Friday, December 26, 2008

An Email from My Dad

A Violinist in the Metro

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.
A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people.

The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

This email really made me begin to think on this day after Christmas. Although if you know my family well enough Christmas doesn't really come until about 3 days after the real date - we have lots of family members with other extended familys and meeting on an actual date (say December 24th or 25th hasn't happened in a long time) but what is an actual date, when you are together with family celebrating the birth of Christ?

Anyway, back to the email. Here are some of the things I think I miss or don't readily see as each day passes us on: The beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the cry of a baby (even if at the moment it doesn't seem real beautiful), a new leaf on a spring tree, a cat lying lazily in the sun, a smile from a mom, nana, pops, aunt or granny when they see their little one becoming more independent every day, a smile exchanged between a husband and wife that only they know the true meaning behind, a family laughing or crying together. Although there shouldn't be just one time of the year to stop and hear the beautiful noises or see the beautiful things around us it should remind us what this time of the year really means to all of us.

I hope you and all of yours have a blessed holiday season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Because my sister put up the challenge!

The object of the picture tag is to:
1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder
3) Explain the picture
NO CHEATING! (cropping, editing, etc!)

Ah yes! My two lovely children. This is about a month after I got Lilly. I was already packing in Tennessee to head to Oregon and the cats were helping. At that time Isabelle towered over Lilly. Doesn't happen much anymore these days but every now and again Isabelle gets her way. That was in 2004 this is 2006 (amazingly enough I don't have another picture of the two of them that close since then):

Saturday, December 13, 2008

20 Week Pictures!

20 weeks - Feeling Round!

Ultrasound at 20 weeks that really confirmed her little girl status!

I know, I know I'm behind. Today I'm actually 23 weeks along but life has been very busy! In 3 weeks time I actually feel bigger than I did at 20 weeks. She's an active little Toad in there these days. I'm pretty sure she'll come into this world purrring. Lilly still loves to rest on my belly. Here soon it's going to become too uncomfortable for her to do that anymore but for now we're okay. I'm not sure if I mentioned or not but Rex got to feel her kick one night. He was pretty ecstatic. Now he asks quite often if she's been moving. I read today Astoria can actually now hear outside sounds like an alarm clock, a police car and yes, even our voices. I have a pretty good feeling Rex will definitely take advantage of this.

I finished school this past week so now all I have to do is take my TExES Principal Exam January 31st and I'll be certified. I can't believe it's finally over. I'm not sure what I'm going to do to fill my time. Oh yeah, I remember, we'll be starting lamaze classes the second week in January going up until the last week in February. I'm still working part-time at Christopher and Banks until the end of February. I figured at that time I'll be ready to get off my feet at night. I like being there though and it does help with a little extra money here and there.

I have one more week of school left before Christmas break and I'm sure it's going to drag on forever. I'm really excited about being with the families this year for Christmas. It seems like things have been so busy I've missed out on some much needed family time. I fly OKC on December 22nd. Unfortunately Rex isn't going to be able to join us for Christmas this year up there. He has to work. Next year it will be a different story, I hope. We'll begin making our own traditions without losing the family traditions. By next year Christmas at the Johnson's will be quite exciting with two little ones running around (or at least one running, Olivia, and one crawling, Astoria). I can't hardly wait.