Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on June 22, 2022 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with one comment


Grateful that summer has offically arrived!


Gratitude is the attitude.

I’m recovering from Father’s Day weekend. When it comes to celebrations that involve me, like F.D. and birthdays, I am a borderline curmudgeon. Once you reach a certain age, festivities and fanfare are not all that important.

I think a lot about gratitude. These things pop into my head frequently: a) what I have versus what I don’t have; b) what I need versus what I don’t need; c) what I want versus what I don’t want. I can’t think of a single material possession that I covet. Really and truly, the only thing that I want in the late innings is good health. Yes, I could do nicely without chronic pain issues, but these are the rewards (!) for a life fully lived. I realize that I could have saved my body a lot of grief by not running marathons and walking across Spain and the Cabot Trail, but I gladly endure some discomfort today when I think about these wonderful times in my life.

Of course, I am enormously grateful to have a terrific family and many friends all over the world. These are the bedrock of happiness. It would take me far too long and test your patience by listing all the things contributing to my feeling of gratitude, but one always rises to the top of the list.


Music continues to be the thread that connects. Last week was a perfect example of how music has enriched my life. Not surprisingly, when I’m doing something involving music, I don’t notice pain. It’s likely a combination of distraction and endorphins, and possibly beer!

Last Friday, I was subbing at the local high school. I was elated when I found out that I was filling in for the drama teacher. We communicated the night before and she gave me free rein with her students. She strongly suggested that I bring my guitar as a prop. Now, some substitute teachers prefer a structured lesson plan, but I am more than happy to wing it. I have discovered that students of all ages love to hear stories and I like telling them. Even the most disengaged and disinterested student is captivated when they hear my description of eating the brain of a Canada goose and the eyeballs of a ptarmagin.

I had a great day being the drama teacher. It was full of storytelling and music.

It was the end of the week and the last day of classes before exams. I was feeling happy as I exited the school to warmth and sunshine. The entire student body was outside waiting for their buses to arrive. As I was walking past a group of boys, one of them asked if I would play a tune. I ditched my jacket and my backpack and opened up my guitar case. There’s nothing quite like an unannounced and unexpected gig. I picked out a well-known tune (Wagon Wheel) and surprisingly, a gaggle of boys joined in. Very often boys of a certain age are too cool to let down their guard. The chorus grew as more and more students got into the act. You could tell that everyone was feeling relieved that the week and the school year were both drawing to a close.

I was asked to play one more song and obliged. The crowd of choristers swelled until it seemed that every student was singing. It was electrifying and heartwarming. The school’s music therapist, T.C. was exiting the school and moments later, the band had swelled to two. A male student carrying his ukulele made it a trio. Simply put, it was magical. You couldn’t script something like this. It was spontaneous and organic. Upon reflection, I thought this would make an amazing closing scene of a movie featuring a septuagenarian substitute teacher. Would someone please call Hollywood?!

What could possibly top this?

A fam jam later that same day.

My son, Peter had arrived earlier last week to breathe in some good old Maritime air, to hang out with old friends, go swimming, hiking and skateboarding and spend countless hours with his dad watching the U.S. Open golf tournament. Last Friday evening, my daughter Betsy came over to my apartment for a jam session with her brother, along with a few friends. We had a wonderful evening filled with music and laughter. We even managed to learn and record a new song which is always refreshing because more often than not, we fall back on all the tried-and-true tunes. It was an awesome evening, but I have to admit, after being on the go since 5:30 that morning, with no power snooze in the afternoon (schools frown upon teachers having a power snooze in the middle of class!), by 11:30 I was whipped. It was a memorable day, and it was mostly because of music.

Father’s Day was perfect. I heard from all my children. We got out for a nice hike mid-afternoon. The U.S. Open was a classic and when it was over, Pete and I sat down to a fantastic take-out lobster dinner from the great folks out in Lakevale.

My gratitude runs deep. It all starts with family and friends. Throw in some tunes, sunshine, a few cold beer, and a lobster dinner. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Bring on the rest of the summer.

Have a great weekend.

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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