Skip to main content

Wood...Winds Calling

 


Wood... Winds Calling

Last night one of my husband’s past teacher friends called. He was checking up on our now family of three, not including our bunnies and our piggy.

As the conversation was winding down, I piped up, “I have a really cool story to tell you.” He replied, “Yeah?” I responded, “Yes, I have to tell you this. I’ll make it short, ‘cause it’s getting late.”

I began, “So about March 2020, like about ten months ago. This woman, who I’m writing a memoir for, sends me an old clarinet. She tells me it was her Dad’s.  He was a musician.  But you see, no one else in the family was. And no one was interested in this old clarinet. So, she found out my youngest daughter played the trumpet, the mellophone, the keyboard, the guitar, and recently began playing a ukulele that my husband bought her a bit over a year ago now. So, I’m basically writing her memoir, and not asking her for any funds. I’m just enthused to write her memoir, because she is a fascinating person, that I think many could learn from the stories of her living.

So, finally I have some time, and I say to my youngest daughter, ‘Let’s go get this clarinet checked out at the music shop and see if they can refurbish and freshen it up. It’s got to be at least sixty years old.’ She remarks, ‘Okay Mom.’ I thought she’d say no. Who knew that she might be enthused. I get to this small music store. I show a woman the clarinet. She remarks, ‘Okay, we will let you know what the estimate is.  Just as she is printing out the paperwork, the man who picks up woodwinds to be refurbished arrives.  So, now the clarinet is on its way. And I will find out more about the clarinet and what needs to be done to make it whole again soon enough.

Days later, I receive a phone call from music store. They begin, ‘It’s a LeBlanc, made by Norman Wood. The LeBlanc company has been around for over one hundred years.’ I inquire, ‘So, what is it like about sixty-five to seventy years old?’ The person on the phone responds, ‘About that.’ They continue, “if you except the estimate which …’ the guy rattles off all that has to be done… ‘it will be four hundred dollars and ninety-five cents.’ I respond, ‘Great. Fix that clarinet. Let me know when it’s done.’ He then responds and says, ‘Just so you know, the guy who will be fixing it, is named Phil.’ I think, Cool. I know a lot of guys named Phil. Two are pretty good friends.

Well, come to find out. The clarinet is worth about one thousand dollars. My brother who died relatively young, played the clarinet for over thirty years. My deceased husband’s name was Norman. His first degree was in Botany, he loved wood, the woods, and was a big hiker as well. My original fight coach’s name is Phil. I have a friend in Canada, her last name is LeBlanc. All this I did not think about until I got the now fixed instrument home.  Then the magic happened.

After putting the clarinet in its’ case down on our living room coffee table, I set up dinner.  Then I’m ready to go downstairs to write some. I hear at first a squeaky clarinet noise. After thirty minutes however, I hear music and less clarinet squeaks coming from my youngest daughter’s bedroom. She doesn’t put it down for nearly two hours. Then the next day, another hour plus. I think I hear the beginning of an old cute song. It begins to sound like she knows how to play the clarinet.”

My husband’s old friend remarks, “Wow.” He tells me about his guitars that he has and his dog. Then I ask, “Did Norman ever tell you how he proposed to me?” He responds, “No. He never did.” I continue, “Well, his Dad told him basically to marry me because I was a good cook. And that it’d been long enough. It was time to shit or get off the pot.” We chuckle. “So June 10th, 1983 a Friday, Norman drives us up to Harriman State Park and he proposes to me after thirty minutes of hiking, eye to eye he faces me with no one around.”

His friend remarked, “Now that is amazing. Because Norman is the only one I ‘ve ever known to propose without fanfare in a woods during a hike. That is how I proposed to my wife. I always told Norman that I was his brother from another mother.”  We then realized as he told me where he proposed to his wife, that it was along the same mountain range as Norman had proposed to me in 1983.---Jody-Lynn Reicher

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Completion of Humanness

Completion of Humanness As we arrive to the completion of the first year without Norman, I had decided long before he'd passed that I would continue to do things certain things he liked yet could no longer do. I decided I would not take a day off of fitness.  I would run at least for 500 days in a row. I began that in early 2020.  I'd not be concerned with the distance I'd run. It was the very thing I convinced Norman and the thing that mattered to him, from the very first discussion we had August 11th, 1981, was fitness. I loved that he was a College Boy. He loved that I was a Marine. We tickled each other's soul with such admirations. Later fitness continued as an old discussion from 1994 ...getting outside and to run no matter what. I would say to him, "Run 200 meters, then 400 meters. If it doesn't feel good, stop. Turn around and walk back home and know you did your best. That is all you can ask of yourself." I said this,  knowing he would get dow

In My World

As I finish putting away the week's groceries, I contemplate other's lives. Aside from my two daughters,  I consider what may be other's lives.  How they have conducted their lives over the past two years.  This is a thought not unusual for me to have. Yet, it occurs more often than not. Especially  now, as the population is probably feeling ever more irked. Regarding perhaps. their illusion of any lack of their freedom. But isn't that what life is about? The illusion of who we are. What we are about. Where we stand on the planet. Who we love. And who loves us. Our significance. Couldn't we imagine if this were all just an illusion? Sounds like a "Twighlight Zone" episode, perhaps. My aim here, are the thoughts of reckoning. I'll explain why I'm claiming such a thing. For about twenty-eight years of a career in dealing with injured athletes,  pain patients, chronically ill and the terminally ill. I found that there were many people who lied to

Reicher's 2021 Holiday Letter

  11/23/2021... The Reicher Holiday Letter... Yes, finally I'm on time...LOL. As the late November wind whips and the delayed leaves fall to the ground in our neighborhood, I await the first sign of snow. I stand outside, begin a run, do outside chores, bring in the mail and sniff the air for the smell of snow. Yes, humans can smell snow. Just like a spring rain approaching. It is awaiting to provide a cleansing of the dreams that need to be refreshed or re-routed. It’s all how you look at it. Really. Oh, the word ‘really’.   Per a few grammar writing geeks. A good writer is not supposed to use the word, ‘really’. I’ll say it again. Really? There is another word I discovered this year, not supposed to be used in writing by writers. I cannot at this moment remember what word that may be.   But I’m sure, it’ll arrive in my mind as I write this Holiday letter to you all. A reading audience. Where to begin this 2021 Reicher Holiday Letter? I’ll start with our smallest resident. T