Thursday, December 27, 2018

Christmas Joys

With two children that are both married, we are becoming accomplished at managing holiday schedules.   We alternate Christmas and Thanksgiving with the in-laws, who are very easy to work with.  This Christmas, we loved having our kids and grandkids with us in Braselton.  We attended two Christmas Eve services, enjoyed several trips to the playground and of course consumed more than our share of food and beverages.  The holiday fun is made complete by our six grandchildren.  We have two new girls this year, Brynn pictured here with Caroline and Blakely who was featured recently in an earlier post.  I hope that you were able to find joy with the people you were with this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018


The sun beats down
Heat rules the day
The rains lie silent
Plants and animals alike
Scaling the steep terrain 
In search of a foothold
And a spot of moisture

The seed blows to still
Undisturbed momentarily
Breathless and famished
Feet begin to scavenge
Deeper and deeper
Thirsting for nourishment
The course is slow and arduous
Rocks form blockades
Patient and determined
Each treasure uncovered
Inhaled intentionally
Passed upward to feeble arms
Reaching for the sky

Arms fall open
Searching for structure
Security, protection, and balance
As they grasp tight
They grow stronger
Month to month
Year after year
The trunk grows sturdy
Essential and steadfast

And then
With feet set firm
Nutrients rushing through its veins
And arms reaching for the sky
Fingers open as a bloom
Presenting the first fruit
To any that will taste of it

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Free College

My parents were both from southern Appalachia, and this bluegrass arrangement of Carol of the Bells caught my attention.  Some of you may have seen this already, but if not take a moment to listen.  I love the quality throughout - from the arrangement to the musicianship to the video editing.   I dug a little deeper to find out more about Berea College in Kentucky where these musicians attend.  Berea College was founded in 1855 by the abolitionist, John Gregg Fee, was the first non-segregated university in the south and provides full scholarships to all of its students through a work-study program.  The school's motto is "God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth".  I imagine there are many more beautiful things that are produced on this campus.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Mystery in music

12/7/18 UPDATE:  Due to unforeseen circumstances, The Georgia Wind Symphony concert on 12/9 has been canceled.  Please stay tuned for information on future concerts.

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that music is an important part of my life.  I met my wife in grade school, and we played in bands together through high school.  We took a break from the band for about 30 years, but are now playing together again in the Georgia Wind Symphony.  This Sunday at 4PM at Cambridge High School in Milton, GA, we will be performing our annual Christmas program.  We will be playing one of my favorite compositions of all time, O Magnum Mysterium - O Great Mystery, written about Mary and the birth of Jesus.  We would love to have you join us this Sunday if you can, but if location or schedule keeps us apart, you can enjoy our performance of O Magnum Mysterium from last year here.   Here is the translated Latin:

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord, lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
the Lord, Jesus Christ.

I hope your Christmas season is filled with music you love.