Saturday, June 04, 2011

Ramblings on a Saturday Morning

I have come to treasure my Saturdays. Especially? The mornings. Other than an occasional Saturday here and there..Saturday mornings are when I have the house to myself!!!

Bug is usually with my sister on Saturdays. Big B and the boys are usually at Pick-N-Pull. Pick-N-Pull being car-part Heaven.  It is a HUGE scavenge yard with every car imaginable. Inevitably, Brian and at least one of the boys spend the morning climbing and digging through cars. They find various treasures for whatever cars they are currently fixing. Whatever boy is not bonding with dad in car-part usually at a friends house.

Today is no different. Cody and Big B are at Pick-n-Pull. Austen is at Justin's house. And me? I am piddling around the house. There are two specific things I love to do when I have the house to myself. One is clean! (Yet another reason the rest of the crew scatters on Saturday a.m.' doubt)

It always amazes me just how much chaos one family can create in a house in the span of a week. Not even a whole week, really. Because most Mondays? I have the boys clean bathrooms, vacum, etc. as we get ready for community dining. So the chaos we create is in a 5 day period. But what I what I discover about my family as I clean.

For instance..I can tell you Austen and Cody's favorite clothes. Why? Because they are the piles of laundry NOT left in the living room. Everyone does their own laundry around here. (Levi not included). But somehow by about mid-afternoon on Wednesday..we have clothes hanging from hangers on the mantle of the fire-place, a  folded pile of Austen's clothes on the back of the couch. A folded pile of Cody's clothes on the back of a chair. Until I move these piles of clothes to the boys' rooms on Saturday, they remain planted in our living-room turned closet. Except of course, the favourite clothes. I find it odd that only favourite clothes are either being worn or have been placed in from Levi's reach.

Then of course are the towels and napkins. We always have a stack of napkins being placed on or near the piano because..well..we use cloth napkins and have to wash them a lot. This stack reminds me that we eat well and often. I begin to realize how lucky we are.

Next would be the stack of towels. There is always a stack of towels. Why? Because we have a river and a pool in our back-yard. Both are used frequently. Once again..I am reminded of how lucky we are.

Finally..we have the clues to what La Familia is doing for fun. For instance, this morning I spent quite a bit of time putting books back in the book-shelf. Not the books the older boys are reading..because those stay next to the boys' beds..usually. Rather, I find the trail of books left by Levi. I realise he has favourites. Not the children's books that we have in a basket on the floor for him. True there are a few books he likes to chew on..and a few he will bring to you to be read...but mostly? The book basket is for Levi to climb into. You he can sit in the basket and hide his really treasured toys, specifically his Fisher Price Little People Toilet and a Winnie the Pooh that is also perfect for chewing.Oh and a cookie crumb trail. When did he eat cookies in the basket? I follow the cookie-crumb trail to the other pile of books. The pile he repeatedly pulls of the bookshelf.

What I discover by replacing the books that have been strewn and dragged down the hallway. Is that the books Levi really likes (because they are always the same ones) Levi is drawn to the Harry Potter and Eragon series..along with some art books on Monet and Degas. Well hey. At least the kid has good taste.

I find myself really enjoying this time as I pick up after the discover things I don't normally take the time to notice. Does this mean I like to clean? NO WAY, but I find myself taking a really twisted sort-of pleasure in this lately. Like I am slowly unraveling clues to the inner workings of our family  life. But mostly, I just feel lucky, I guess.

But best of all is when the house is picked up and I still know I have another hour or two to myself.Leading to my number two thing to do on Saturday mornings. I have been practising instruments during this time.

Once upon a time, I was a fairly decent violinist. If you were to compare violin playing to baseball playing, it would be safe so say I had reached the level of a minor-league player. A minor-league violinist.  For a number of reasons (primarily my OCD tendencies with music) I put this aside when our family started growing. Playing only occasionally for special events or to teach lessons.

I am a good amateur pianist..and can fake guitar pretty well. I have at one time or another played french-horn, flute, cello, trumpet and a handful of other instruments.I was never great at these instruments. There is always a certain thrill in learning what creates different tones and playing with these tones when you are learning an instrument. A space for creativity within structure. No language to interfere. Pure acoustic beauty and opportunity. A chance to enter a zen space of sorts.  But music is a gift I have not cultivated much in the past decade.

So on Saturdays I enjoy the freedom from interruptions to just play and practice music. I start with the violin. Mostly reviewing some classical music..and playing around with some Irish folk tunes and stuff.  I have slowly been getting back in shape and starting to produce some decent tones again.

Then to piano. The piano is just plain fun. Lots of old Billy Joel, Rush, Journey and some occasional Chopin and Mozart.

I skip guitar because I practice guitar during the week and on Wednesday mornings with my friend, Jack. Although I occasionally spend some time on Saturdays trying to get used to bar-chords. I'm really bad at bar-chords.  But I end with what I am worst at.

My latest musical venture has been to learn the trombone. When I try to practice during the week, everyone leaves for the garage except Levi. Levi cries. I am truly awful.

I don't know why..but I seem to be getting progressively worse every week. A few weeks ago, I could at least play 3 songs on the trombone. Last week, I couldn't even play a B flat scale. But I am determined. I will practice for a decade if I have to.I want to play until I can play the Flintstones on trombone.

Then..I will be content and leave it alone. So there it is. A ridiculous rambling about how I enjoy my Saturday mornings. And I am off.

The trombone awaits. It is my turn to catch my breath, so to speak. Even if I sound like a very sick elephant!

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