“Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.”

Today is cloudy with a chance of rain. We have been and will be in the 60’s the whole of the week. This is fall.

I never learned to play the piano though I took lessons for a short time when I was in the second grade. A nun was my teacher, and I used to walk across the street to one end of the convent for lessons. But because we didn’t have a piano, I could never practice. The nun suggested I might want to explore other interests. I figure she must have told me delicately as my psyche remained unscathed. I never did try another instrument, and a year later my singing career ended when the nun told me to lip sing. I became a listener of music instead of a participant. I have never been disappointed.

I have the soul of a wanderer. Even since I was really young, books of faraway places held my imagination. When I was eleven, I vowed to travel the world. I knew I’d go to South American, the Sahara Desert, markets in African and places where not a soul spoke English. I was never afraid but self-assured. I knew what I was meant to do.

During my senior year in college, I pursued a few different future avenues. I applied to law school and got accepted, and I was even offered a teaching job, but neither of those fit where I saw myself in the future. They were too staid, floating too much in the mainstream. I applied to the Peace Corps in October. That’s how soon I knew what I wanted to do. Where I went wasn’t important. It was the going that counted. That I ended up in Africa was like a dream, a wish come true. After all these years, my heart is still filled with a love for Ghana, for its people, its sounds and smells, its sights and amazing colors. My old vow, my promise, the one I made when I was eleven has been fulfilled not only in Ghana but also in so many other places.

I have always been an idealist. I consider it one of my best traits. I took tap dancing lessons a while back. I’m still filled with dreams.

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17 Comments on ““Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.””

  1. Bob Says:

    When I was in elementary school I tried to learn piano but we also didn’t have one at home. I settled on the trumpet and realized quickly that I had absolutely no talent to play music. Over the years I became very good at playing the stereo and now the iPod 🙂

    I was also an avid reader as a kid. I was not athletically gifted so I spent a lot of time reading books. Although I didn’t travel the world to the places I read about until recently, I did fly all around North America because I was always flying airplanes that only had about 4 hours range. Since they didn’t have bathrooms, 4 hours is the range of a normal bladder. We did have a potty seat for emergency use only.

    I was lucky that my parents always taught us that everyone was equal and deserved a chance in life to fulfill their dreams regardless of their race, religion or national origin. This was while living in the segregated south.

    “We all have the right to our crazy dreams.” Soichiro Honda

    The humidity as well as the temperature has been rising all week as Gulf moisture streams into the area. We are looking for rain tomorrow and Sunday.

    • katry Says:

      I can play those same instruments you can! We who are devoid of musical talent must look elsewhere.

      I read all the time when I was a kid but I also played softball and basketball. I was a pretty good athlete. I always wanted to fly in a plane but didn’t until I was a freshman in college. Now I have flown to so many places.

      Four hours seems so small a time. It isn’t my average.

      They were great parents who gave you a wonderful view of the world and its people. My parents never discouraged us and were thrilled I went to college. They never believed they would have kids who got college degrees. In my extended family, high school was the max until may years later when a cousin went to college also.

      It is a dark day today here but off cape was sunny and warmer.

  2. olof1 Says:

    I’m useless when it comes to instruments but I have always sung in different choirs. I’ve never liked to sing a solo but was forced in elementary school every Saint Lucia. They made me hate a few Christmas songs 🙂 🙂

    I never aplied to university after high school, I knew I had a bit too low grades to become a vet so I thought I would work a year and then do the Scholastic Aptitude Test to make my way in to vet school. Unfortunately I liked to make money and having a sail bot so I never did it 🙂

    I did dream of travelling to the Amazonas and Australia but so far I’ve only went to the Canary Islands as most south 🙂 I might win the lottery though and then I’ll go there and a few other places too 🙂

    Sunny and cool here today and it will stay that way through the weekend they say. That means cold nights but I’ll take that with a smile 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Bob Says:

      I can only sing one note, and it’s in the key of Q. My singing only sounds good to me and then only in the shower 🙂

    • katry Says:

      I can’t play an instrument, and I can’t sing either. At least you got one talent! If I could sing, I’d sing all over the place!1

      That was the same with many graduates I knew. They decided to work a year to make money, liked having money and never went to school. I used to warn them of the danger of that.

      I keep saying I’ll win the lottery but I never buy a ticket. The odds are so huge against my winning I can’t seem to part with money for the ticket.

      I too love cool nights. I even still have my bedroom window opened.

      Have a great evening!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I’ve always had some sort of musical thing going on. In second grade, I think, we all started with the flutaphone. After a year of that someone decided that some of us were good enough to go on to violin. I took two lessons and quit. I was missing recess.
    I had my priorities. 🙂
    I’ve played accordion, piano, guitar, trombone and I’ve sung in church choir and high school choral groups. I’ve sung solos in tiny coffee houses and big auditoriums (auditoria?). Yet I would not call music a passion of mine. It’s something I can do and it pleases me to do it but it’s not a huge part of my life.

    It’s sunny and warm up here. My heat did come on early this morning, just before dawn. It was 60 in the house.

    Enjoy the rest of the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I can play absolutely no instrument. I did teach myself to juggle which I think counts for something!

      Wow, I am impressed with the extent of your musical talents.

      My house was down to 64˚ when I woke up so no heat. I went to Stoneham and picked up my sister to take her to lunch for her birthday. We went to the Indian restaurant up-town. It is excellent.

      Have a great evening!!

      • Bob Says:

        Juggling does require hand eye coordination and rhythm. I can’t juggle but my son plays the guitar, can juggle and ride a unicycle. All talents he must have inherited from my wife.

        Indian food, I assume you are referring to dot not feather Indians 🙂

      • katry Says:

        I felt quite accomplished when I learned to juggle.

        Yup, not the American Indian!

      • Caryn Says:

        Teaching yourself to juggle counts for lots.
        Teaching yourself anything counts for a lot. :

        I’ll have to check out the Indian restaurant.

      • katry Says:

        This was our second or third time there, and we haven’t been disappointed.

  4. Coleen Burnett Says:

    I once tried out for a group called the Sweet Adelines, which did female barbershop harmony. Things were fine until they realized that my voice did not fit anywhere…I wasn’t a soprano (too high), not a tenor, not an alto, and not a bass (too low). They literally could not fit me anywhere. I must admit I was a tad bummed for some time….

    On the other hand, my work as a disc jockey has insured that I have a love of almost any music save the current country scene and anything classical. I’m not sure what that means, but I’ll take it…

    And I still am trying to fit keyboard lessons in my budget…not yet, but hopefully soon…

    Waving from a cloudy rainy and windy New Jersey…


    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I have even heard of the Sweet Adelines. I’m impressed that you were even considered and sorry that they couldn’t fit you in. Maybe you should have suggested you do solos!

      I have now found I like “classic” country which still surprises me. I like classical but I have to be in a certain mood to listen. In the years since I started this blog, my musical tastes have been widely expanded.

      I have accepted I haven’t any musical talents but I’m a darn good listener!!

      Waving all the way to Jersey!!

  5. Jay Bird Says:

    Never stop dreaming! Funny how things work out in a good path. Did for you, for sure, and in large measure for me. My voice is the right pitch to sing along to Lightfoot, Liam Clancy or Stan Rogers, and I still strum my 50-year old guitar… chords only, and never for an audience. I feel sad for anyone who doesn’t treasure music. Merely listening stirs the magic!

    • katry Says:

      Jay Bird,
      I am a dreamer. I am also a singer though only for myself, not to hurt the ears of others. From the time I was young, I dreamed of travel to exotic places, and my dreams came true. I am a firm believer that with a little perseverance, dreams are always within reach, except for the singing part!

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