A Playground for Fiona and Morning Glory for Sue

We’re currently staying in St. Paul Minnesota in a nearly 100-year old home. Right outside the window are morning glories. I’ve loved morning glories since I was a kid and always hoped to have some of my own. Now I do for a few weeks while house sitting.

morning glories

Diagonally right across the way is a playground. So guess where Fiona will be spending her P.E. time? And it’s great that there’s a Trader Joe’s only a few blocks away!

playground

Corner of My Eye (FAWM 2011 #13)

The past two FAWMs I’ve tried my hand at some jazz guitar. This year it almost didn’t happen. I didn’t plan it, at least, but my unconscious decided otherwise.

During most of the 14,000 miles we’ve traveled in the past six months, I’ve driven, with Sue in the passenger seat, just visible out of the corner of my eye. It’s one of the emotional mental images I get when I think about our life.

Listen to ‘Corner of My Eye’

Just Another Day (FAWM 2011 #11)

Sue wrote this about her father, and I desperately wanted to put it to music. I’d like to nudge a few of the words a bit to make it easier to sing. I was amazed at the chord progression that presented itself as I read the words. I’ve asked around, and the musicologists at FAWM can’t even agree what key it’s in.

Listen to ‘Just Another Day’

Sue’s Liner Notes:

My father (he’s been dead nearly 20 years) was never officially diagnosed with bipolar but all the symptoms were there. The extreme emotions, feeling the depths of despair and then great joy, were challenging to deal with. As I’ve learned more about this disorder and dealt with other’s who have it, I’ve come to understand why my father was the way he was. These lyrics just touch the surface of the many conflicting emotions a person with the disorder and those around them have to deal with on a daily basis.

Joel’s musical notes: as I was reading this, the most complex chord progression I’ve ever created came into my head. I had no idea what it was and no idea where it came from. Discovering the C6 was a bear because I could hear it but I couldn’t find it on the guitar. Switched to piano and it came right out.

My classical guitar is tuned to D instead of E so I had to relearn it on the keyboard to record that part. Fun.

Chords are D Dmaj7 C6 G Bb F C and I have no idea what key it’s in. Must absorb more theory.

Lyrics:

looking down into the reflection
seeing an image without a face
arms reached out and grabbed
pulling in the opposite direction

(chorus)
just another day
drifting along
never quite at peace
just another day

drifting blowing in the breeze
suspended floating away
what’s happening here?
all this turmoil; no peace

Chorus

twirling dancing happy as a clam
flying reaching for the stars
sucked in by a whirling vortex
exploding bursting the dam

Chorus

fireworks sparkle in the sky
joy happiness and despair
when will it end?
another day’s gone by

The Stars and the Sails

Nothing to see here, folks; move along . . .

I may be a navigator, able to steer a course and bring our ship to port.

You are the sun which shows me where to go; the stars that tell me why I must; the sails that move me; a place warm and soft and dry, safe from the storm.

I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to find words which aren’t pathetically inadequate to say how very much I love you.

Tahoe Interlude

When we first moved to northern California in 2003 we spent a lot of time adventuring. This was our first tip to Lake Tahoe. I was not as eloquent or verbose in this travelogue. Perhaps I had other things on my mind.

Sue and I drove to Lake Tahoe. It was fun.

Living the Dream

Wow! Yes, I’m actually considering living a nomadic lifestyle. When I was young this thought terrified me. I wanted a home base and stability. When I got a bit older there were many years when I just wanted to get in the car and drive away and see where I landed. And now I’m feeling like just getting in the car and driving and seeing where each day takes me.

We all have dreams. Sometimes our ‘dream stealers’ tell us that our dreams just aren’t possible. I’ve always tried to let my children and family have their dreams. Who knows what’s possible until you try?

So we’re going to live our dream. Yes, it’s scary! No, I’m not sure how it’s all going to end up. But I’m going to start now taking steps to live the dream!