I spent the weekend at mom and dad's farm where mom's extended family held their annual camp out. We've been doing this for nearly thirty years. We tried camping at a campground once, but somehow it moved to mom and dad's sizable yard. This year there were 47 relatives and 5 generations (if you count my late grandparents as the first, which we all do). Sadly, mom and dad are downsizing, selling the farm and moving on a smaller plot of land in their front meadow. So, this was the last reunion at my homestead.

This is also the first year I dared to bring my guitar. My mom's family is very musical. And can be very critical. It is a joy to sing with my family, but I also know what it is to sit through their criticism. It is a family I don't always feel like I fit in. But that would be a subject for another blog. I wasn't sure I wanted to take my guitar because I wasn't sure I wanted to put myself out there for judgement.

In the end, I decided to take along my guitar. If it wasn't well received, I would just play for myself and forget the rest of them. But, to my delight it was very welcome. I played quietly as everyone visited and conversed. Just noodled, or strumed a few simple songs. Afterwards several cousins came to tell me they appreciated my music as a kind of background to the relaxed evening.

Today, then, after the big family meal, we had a traditional hymn sing. My mother wanted the song "They will know we are christians." To my surprise everyone called me out to get my guitar. It is a song I do know how to play, and play well if I may say so. Unfortunately, I had decided to leave my instrument at home for the day (we live down the road and usually don't actually camp--give me a queen size bed any night). So I couldn't oblige. But it felt good to have my family, who I know to be musically discriminating, clamor for me to get out the guitar. It was another kind of affirmation--the best kind--the one you aren't looking for.


  1. Alkelda the Gleeful said...
    It's great when someone asks if you will play the guitar. So many times I feel as if people are just putting up with my strumming!
    K. Jay said...
    Yes, I was surprised at just how good it made me feel. One story I didn't write about as you really need to know my brother to appreciate the humor: He and his new bride had gone to Mexico for their honeymoon. While at the resort he had his first ever massage. He was relating this story about Rosa, his masseuse, and his nervousness. I played a bit of a Flamenco vibe. He really played it up against my music. It was great!
    Amishviking said...
    Play on, cuz, play on!

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