a grandma’s wisdom

I mentioned that I was currently reading “Girl, Go Wash Your Face.” by Rachel Hollis. I am forcing myself to not blast through it as it’s a fun easy written yet highly entertaining in the sorda way your grandma would have talked to you.

Rachel is barely 30 I’m sure.. and she’s mortified that I just compared her to a Grandma, but since she has FAR more important things to worry about I’m sure I am safe, however… if you read the book you’ll find wisdom from hard things and that comes with age for most of us… so grandma it is.

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I wish I would have thought to make list of all the things both my grandmas taught me. A couple that come to mind is if you worked all day for my Grandma Fork, pulling weeds in her gardens,  you’ll get a shiny new quarter.  A hard days work sometimes is more important that the monetary gain. 

My Grandma Spoon on the other hand loved having coffee with friends, and would only initially take half of the treat that you served her during coffee. And then later ask for the other half. A treat spread out makes the time you get to spend with people around the table having coffee last longer. 

Speaking of coffee.. I need to have a coffee time at the studio. Nothing on the agenda but talking with our faces out of electronics. We could play some records (they call them vinyl now. lol) and drink from our Correll coffee mugs. We could talk about anything but the weather and politics and leave as friends promising to make it a weekly habit.. and then accidentally never do it again because although it was fun at the time we didn’t accomplish anything but some sort of connection.. and it seems like everyone nowadays is connected anyways through social.  We will just make a Facebook group and get together there.

I also have no idea how to end this little post eloquently. Which is another thing my Grandma Fork was always so good at. When you left her house she would stand at the door and watch you leave, always. Even if you popped in for just a moment. She would calmly stand at the door and wave you goodbye until you were out of site. Life is a never-ending game of what -ifs and my visitors are going to know that they mattered and that I will miss them until we see each other again. 

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The last refrain 

No where in a music score does it tell a listener how to react properly. When you read music as you play it’ll cue your brain to manipulate the instrument that you are playing into crescendos or fortissimo or some other type of expression, but it doesn’t give the listener any cues as to how the music will affect their heart.  It’s up to you the musician to put  passion and voice into the music to make it memorable for the listener. 

He was the former band director of our little school in Iowa, and he passed away in a bike accident a few short days ago. Last night as I sat in the hot gym I sat with  his friends and family as we listened to speeches, scriptures and songs given in honor of a man who devoted his life to the art of making sure the listener listened to the music being played. 

His friend spoke of times they adventured. His oldest daughter spoke of his love for doing small things everyday to master anything.  Love poured out of the lifelong friend who sang “Bourning Cry.” Then there was a band, 40 steller musicians that offered their time and talent to honor the legacy of a man who had touched them in some way. 

I listened to the music played by this all star band made up of former students, colleagues, and lifelong friends and my heart captured a glimpse of deeper things that happen when one gives their time to play in a band. The diligence of practice that must occur. The friendships that form between people who play the same instument. The sheer grit it takes sometimes to get through learning a new song or instrument. And for this band specifically, it was the beauty of many parts making something amazing together to honor a man who knew God consistently, loved his family emmensly, and gave over 30 years of his life to the art of making music in the local school. 


Mr Dahn, you’ll be missed by this community you called home. You’ll be missed by generations of band students you so patiently guided and lead over your years as band director, but most importantly your life will be missed by a whole host of people that you encouraged excellence from simply because your passion for great music was contagious.