My Love Affair….with the Piano….

I’ve written a lot about my musical background, including my shady days as a bar-fly, but music still is my heart’s desire, even at my age. I grew up with piano music in my house, and as a small child, I think I just assumed everyone’s mother played the piano like mine did. I must have thought every house had a piano, just like a sofa or dining table. I didn’t know that not everyone heard the music of Chopin, Beethoven or Rachmaninoff being played in their own living room. What wonders these kids missed out on, for sure!

So, of course, I think the piano is the best musical instrument ever invented by mankind. The piano, under the right touch, can produce any style of music, from classical to ragtime to country to pop. Nothing against guitarists, because I do know some really awesome players, but I feel the piano outshines them all. My mother, who is a mere 18 years older than me, has such a lyrical, melodic style that I have tried to emulate for 50+ years, without success. She was classically trained and it shines through in whatever she plays. Someone once described my style as “Broadway”, but I think it’s Broadway meets country meets Southern Baptist……it just depends on where and what I’m playing.

My talent is just a shade past its prime these days, as arthritis has made my hands slow and my fingers clumsy; and my style has become simpler, less adorned….playing safer means fewer mistakes. It breaks my heart at times, because I love to sit down and play; and now I get a little frustrated because of the limitations. Ah, well….such is life, though. I’m still blessed to be able to play and I’m thankful that my mother shared her knowledge with me at an early age and instilled in my heart my love of good music.


The Big Hail Storm of 2012

It was late afternoon, Wednesday June 13, 2012… forecasters were calling for some imminent thunderstorms, and we were anxious for some rain around our house. Hubby and I sat out back on the deck watching the storm clouds rolling in, me with my camera in hand, hoping to catch some spectacular shots of cloud to ground lightning! All I got were shots of clouds. Maybe next time?


Finally it began to sprinkle a little and we moved to the patio under the arbor, which doesn’t afford much protection, especially when small pieces of hail began to hit. I snapped a couple of pictures of the nickel sized hail, when all of a sudden the rain and hail got serious. We proceeded to the garage and watched from the front of the garage, where both cars were safe from the upcoming damaging hail…..and I got lots of great shots, and even some video of the hail.

The only hailstone Mike could catch on the back patio before we were chased inside by the rain and hail. This wasn’t the largest hailstone we saw.

I’ve seen minor hail storms before, but this one was the worst I’ve ever witnessed, the largest hail stones, the longest period of time to see them falling and the most damage I’d seen. Our house is eleven years old and we were pretty sure that we’d be looking at a new roof when all was said and done. This was a serious storm. Only a couple of hours later did we realize how lucky we were that it wasn’t worse, because an area of Dallas got hit with softball sized hail that was literally smashing car windows and plummeting THROUGH residential roofs. It was crazy the damage that was done to this historical district.

But, back to MY story!

Heavy rain coming from the East to the West…..
Hailstones bouncing off the driveway with considerable speed.

We watched and listened for about 10 minutes, then listened from inside the house for another 10 minutes before the hail subsided. After all the storms had passed we were thankful that it wasn’t worse, since we were seeing reports on TV about the damage in other areas. I still planned to call our insurance company and have our roof examined.

Fast forward to the next day, a hot, sunny afternoon…we headed out back for a swim before supper….when Mike, who got into the pool before I got to the deck said “LOOK!”……and when I did LOOK, I was so upset! My beloved pool was damaged, from the hail, and the liner was cut in multiple places along the west side, right above the water line. I grabbed my camera and took photos before we tried to tape over the holes to prevent water from sloshing through the holes and getting behind the liner and causing more damage.

Oh noooooo… beloved pool was damaged right above the water line. Who knew hailstones could cut vinyl like that?
“You might be a redneck if”……you have to use Gorilla Tape to hold your pool together!

Sad story ended up being a happy story… covered the pool damage and the roof…..and now everything has been repaired and replaced and we are all back to normal.

New roof “Estate Gray” 30 year dimensional shingles….I let Mike pick the roof.

It was 104 degrees the day the guys came to install the new liner, I don’t know HOW they could stand it….I almost killed myself the day before trying to get all the water pumped out by myself, and I got way too hot. They insisted they were used to it and installing a liner was easier than installing a pool from the ground up. When they left here at 2PM they were headed to do another liner. wow.

I chose the new liner and I’m very happy with the design and the color, it’s really beautiful!
Nighttime shot showing the new light…..

Big thanks to Farmers Insurance for the prompt response to our claim; to Knight Roofing of Waxahachie for handling the roof AND finding someone to do the pool also, and to our friend Jerry W. for his invaluable help through this whole ordeal.

Now it’s August 5th and we are begging for rain, but please Mother Nature, just send rain…no more hail!