Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Rachel, Luke, and I were out in the "sticks" this past weekend, wisiting my parents. I fill in as a preacher sometimes at several small, country congregations in that area and had been asked to deliver the message Sunday. So, we decided to go down and make a weekend of it. While we were there, my family had what we call a "Music Making".
I've mentioned them on here before, but this was a really good one. We had 13 musicians and over 50 people there, total. There were fiddles, a banjo, guitars, my good old bass, a harmonica player, and plenty of singers. Before the music making began, my Dad, Uncle Tommy, Uncle Bob, and I were all cleaning out my Dad's woodshop. Dad's a carpenter by trade and has his shop in what we call "The Old House".
The Old House also happens to be where he and his siblings were born. While we were sweeping up the sawdust and moving the tools to the back room, my Uncle Bob and I got to talking about writing and music. Uncle Bob has written several family biographies based on stories and recordings of my granparents and other family members. He also lived in Nashville for several years, trying to break nto song writing. He has written hundreds of songs for several instruments including dobro, banjo, guitar, and of course voice.
Over the last decade and a half, though, Uncle Bob has suffered from major depression brought on by the deaths of his father and oldest brother, the birth of his little boy who has a debilitating disease, an ugly divorce, and his failure to make it in his life-long love of music. He's just now starting to rise back out of the depths and it's wonderful to see.
"Come here, Josh. I want to show you something," he said during a break in our conversation.
I followed Uncle Bob to my Dad's finishing room, expecting him to show me something Dad had built. When he opened the door to the finishing room, I saw a beautiful, cypress box, well-finished and smooth.
"I built this box to fill with all of my books, written music, and CDs of my songs. If you don't mind, I'd like to give it to you so you can pass it down to Doctor Luke (he calls my son Doctor Luke)."
All I could say was, "I'd be honored."
Uncle Bob went on to say that he knew I liked to write and make music and that he figured I was the person to pass down the treasures of our family. I plan to give the chest a special home in our house.
Years from now, when my children ask me about what the box means, I'll show them the gifts of writing and music in my life.
We all have these opportunities. Don't let them pass you by.