Saturday, July 24, 2010

I have a guinea pig on my grand piano. No, I have not lost my mind. We are babysitting Oreo while her owner is in Europe. Apparently, Oreo has different sounds she makes. My daughter described the sounds, complete with facial expressions.

In the beginning, she had a little growl. She was very unhappy. She makes a little hissing noise when she is fearful. Now she makes a chirp when I bring her cucumbers, her favorite treat. I never knew that these little furry balls have sounds to communicate. Very interesting.

My dog is also very interested in the sounds Oreo makes and since he can't see what is on top of the piano in the cage, he is going a bit nuts.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

the galleys are in for the book!

The fed ex truck rolled up and this great looking guy (I think that is a required trait of fed ex drivers?) gets out and hands me this big package. It's the galleys for the book! I am so excited and nearly hug the guy. He left pretty fast, I think he thought I was nuts.

I've never published anything before, so the reality of this beautiful thing is in my hands. Thank you to William Huber, he did an amazing job photographing sounds. The early reviews and endorsements are all so positive.

I loved creating this book. But, I have to tell you that there were some very emotional moments. God, I miss those sounds. When I was compiling the first list, I sat at my computer and I sobbed. It was hard at times, almost like a grieving process. So, the emotions have bounced back and forth between true joy and a deep seated sadness that the sounds are gone. Does that make sense?

Take a few moments and listen to the storm that is coming tomorrow. Listen to the thunder, listen to the first moments when the rain starts to patter on the roof. Close your eyes and listen to all of it and I guarantee, you will remember those moments long after they have passed.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

For many years now, I have been the cook at the girl scout camp. My daughter is now one of the "aides" and helps with the younger girls. What is so fantastic is to see hundreds of children and adults all enjoying the week. No cell phones, no mp3 players, no TV, just the sounds of laughing kids and the natural setting around them.

So, for one week, it is like it was years ago, before all the technical gadgets became such a big part of our waking hours. Are we better off? Email is a lifesaver for me, it allows me to communicate with friends and family. So efficient. Texting, once again, great for me, I can "hear" through the messages that most folks would have in a quick phone conversation. The captions on the TV allow me to enjoy a show and not miss content.

But, the quiet. The listening. I ask you...are we better off? I know that it would be a catastrophe if suddenly facebook ended. If cell phones were taken away and computers just weren't available. If we were transported back to a time when it didn't play such a big role in our day. It really wasn't so long ago, was it?

So, I look at the girls and their smiles. At the end of the camp, they are exhausted from all the physical exercise, the campfires, the crafts. It's one week that takes them back to how it once was for kids and gives them a memory that will far outshine anything that they will see on their computer screen.

By the one week, I cook over 400 hot dogs and 30 pounds of ground beef and I enjoy every minute of it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It is the Fourth of July! Here are some sounds of the holiday that I remember:

The crunch of eating corn on the cob.
The unfurling flag in a breeze.
A roar of the Shriners weird little cars.
The ooh, ahh of the crowds at the fireworks.
and most of all....
the sound of when everyone stands up when our flag passes by in the parade.

Happy Birthday America and God Bless us all.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Amazing. I could remember sounds by looking at an image. In this case, a picture of a rowboat, created the sound in my mind and a very vivid memory.

It is well known that the sense of smell can bring back memories, that the mind stores the experience and the smell triggers the memory. I think the same could be said for our other senses.

Read on...

It was a very important day at summer camp. All of us were lined up, waiting for our chance to jump in the water and swim around the pier to qualify for the “deep end”. I was ten years old and I wanted so badly to be one of those deep enders. Unfortunately, I was a very poor swimmer, mastering a good dog paddle at best. One by one, the swimmers jumped in and my place in line moved closer to the top.

How my heart pounded and my skinny knees wobbled. On the other side of the pier was a rowboat, slowly rocking against the pillars. This simple, rhythmic sound comforted me, slowed down my heart and quieted my fears.

When my turn came, I jumped in and made the length doing a ridiculous, but determined dog paddle, which proved I could hold my own in deeper waters.

That day was so long ago, more or less forgotten, until I saw this picture. The comforting repetitive sound of a boat bumping against the pier…it all came back to me. Now I can remember this sound I can no longer hear.

It is a simple, yet amazing sound of an ordinary day.

And this is how the book began.