Building a Repertoire

Days, weeks and months filled
with music and singing. Dr. Kay Smith Paulsen.
Practice, practice and more practice.
Daily. Passive and active listening
and learning. Hard work, diligence,
and love for music compels me to continue.

Private lessons and group
work in choirs, choruses and chorale.
Practice, practice and more practice.
Highlight the new parts to sing.
Concert attire, music folders,
pencils, pens and markers.

Vivaldi, Gorecki, Getty, Mozart, Haydn,
A.R. Rahman, Sjolund, S. Schwartz,
Sondheim, J. Williams, arr. Lojeski,
Sean O’Laughlin, Erik Kibelsbeck,
Peppie Calvar, Lou Lemos, Betsy Burleigh,
Sivers, Chirello, and Caravan. Classical music,

music improv, modern, Broadway, sacred music.
Latin, French, Polish, English, German, Italian
and Tamil to name a few.  I have found joy,
inner peace and deep love for music. Practice
and more practice. Weekly rehearsals, dress rehearsals,
new music friends who share music connections.

Practice, hours of practice.
It takes an inner desire whose source
lies deep within my spirit. Music, the international
language and language of the soul. It nourishes
and satisfies the spirit. Music brings happiness and
inner calm. For now and for eternity.

Posted in Berkshire Chorale International, classical music, Italian and Tamil, Onondaga Civic Symphony Orchestra, Pops Chorus | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Drive to the Diner


Poles, wires, trucks, tires
Over potholes to the diner-
the trip couldn’t be finer.

Waitress knew me and
asked if my daughter would
be joining me. Not today.


Coffee, orange juice and water –
oatmeal, eggs, toast,
a side of bacon. She knew the order.

Talk of family trees in
booth next to me with
reunion at a state park


Branches of family tree,
cousins never before seen,
aunts and uncles too.

They ordered a Cunningham
sandwich on toasted sourdough
with turkey, ham and dressing.

IMG_3054 (2)

Sign out the window read
Dollar Tree, WT Brews, AT & T
Whoa! It’s April snow!

Well, folks, a joke?
It’s April tenth – enough of
the white stuff.

Travel home wishing Old
Man Winter would go away
and let us have flowers, a sunny day.





Posted in Cunningham sandwich, family trees, sourdough bread, waitress | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Let’s go to Nana’s house!


Let’s go to Nana’s and play her piano
I said to my two year old sister
in diapers and baby fat.

Down the hill to Main Street in
Monson where the hitching posts
from a bygone era stood at attention.


A Civil War-era cannon stood
guard at the Monson Town Hall.
Looking both ways at intersections,

I picked up my sister and carried
her across streets. Heavy she was
for my four year old arms.

We made the two mile walk
and arrived at Nana’s. She
was surprised to see us

and looked around for our mother
who was still at home up the hill.
We set Nana’s player piano in motion.


And sang tunes we made up.
Had a great time too until our
mother showed up at Nana’s to fetch us.

Much later I was told how I reassured
my mother that I had looked left and
right before carrying my sister across streets.

When I was older, I learned a big word:
precocious. We walked the two miles
back up the hill. Unscathed by the adventure.

When I close my eyes today, I can see
our house on the hill and Monson and where
Nana lived. Those were the good old days!



Posted in Flynt Avenue, Monson, MA, Nana, player piano | Tagged , , , | 47 Comments

It Must Be Spring


Tiny buds and busy birds

are full of activity. Daffodils

have pushed through the ground.

It must be spring.


Gentle rains nourish the

plants and trees.

Mud where snow was.

It must be spring.


The forsythia will be

in full blossom soon

Lilacs too overnight.

It must be spring.


Tiny birds labor to

bring blades of old

grass inside the birdhouse.

It must be spring.


Singing hymns at church.

Have the Easter suit

and hat ready.  Pink.

I must think spring.



Posted in Easter season, flowers and birds, rains | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Friend at Church


It seems the pace of life has quickened and the calendar is full with events, rehearsals and appointments. Today’s post is a blitz poem which is a 50-line poem of short phrases and images and a few rules.  It feels like my life currently.  Some neighborhood children built a couple snowmen in our yard.  These sentinels bring me much joy as I gaze at the front lawn still snow-covered.


Friend at Church


build a snowman

build a friend

friend and neighbor

friend forever

forever trustworthy

forever and always

always listens

always helps

helps with homework

helps cook

cook dinner

cook soup

soup with vegetables

soup for the family

family of four

family love

love and smiles

love and hugs

hugs for Mom

hugs for Dad

Dad reads

Dad plays

plays with me

plays games

games of soccer

games and sings

sings silly songs

sings a lullaby

lullaby by Brahms

lullaby at bedtime

bedtime comes early

bedtime when tired

tired of chores

tired of practice

practice multiplication

practice piano

piano lessons

piano in a blizzard

blizzard and winds

blizzard and snow

snow to play outside

snow is white

white and cold

white and black

black dress

black suit

suit for church

suit for choir




Posted in church attire, family, friends, neighbors, piano, snowman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

3 Sisters and 25 Snowmen

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Originally posted on Dr. Mary Ann Niemczura:
? Every winter there was magic in the winter air when we had a big snowfall in Sturbridge, Massachusetts where our father built our house on Cedar Street. We children loved all the…

Gallery | Tagged , , | 34 Comments

The Blue Room


Blue, from Italy and
now downsized with the
blue sofa gone. Hutch and
ornate blue chairs remain.
After many moons, we
visited our former babysitter.
We referred to her as Zia.
Her child care was impeccable.
More like being part of her family..
After all this time, Zia’s love shines
through in the thick photo
album she has kept with
handwritten thank you notes
sent her. Photos of all the
children lovingly displayed
Our children were
newborns when she lovingly
accepted them into her home.


Apparently as a first time
Mom, I left ten pages of
details about our firstborn,
our son. She only had him
a few hours but remembered
she had changed his diaper some
ten times. Was I that detailed?
I don’t recall. It’s a steep learning
curve with first born children.
Later our daughter joined our son
under her care. Zia sang to them in
Italian and spoke to them in Italian.
As a German teacher, I loved the
early exposure to another language.
When they were older, our two
came home speaking Italian to
us and singing us the songs. My
husband and I smiled and explained
that we didn’t speak Italian. Not
to worry however. We heard many
stories of other young children under
her loving care. It’s as if we were
still back in former times and as
comfortable with her and her family.
It became our big extended Italian
family. Of course, we sat down
to a wonderful, tasty Italian meal
which began with a plate of pasta
and her homemade sauce. A feast,
our meal was prepared for many
more than just the three of us
and her family. The Italian way.

Living more in a country-like
setting these days, Zio Joe has
chickens and plays them music.
He called to them through the
sliding glass window. They came
running for tasty morsels of
bread. Later I was given a
royal treat: 12 freshly laid
eggs. How tasty.  Of course
we were handed extra food to
take with us. Banana nut bread
baked by her daughter. Cake
with pistachios from Italy. All
the food was fresh and made
from scratch. We were spoiled just
as Zia and Zio used to do. This
year they celebrate fifty years
of marriage. Such a happy, loving
and giving couple. Role models for
all of us. Thank you Zia for helping
to rear our children when they were
infants. You knew better than we did
as anxious first-time parents. The
main ingredient you gave all of
us was love. Her blue room reflects love.




Posted in blue furniture from Italy, Italian babysitter, Italian food, The Blue Room, Zia and Zio | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments