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

2023 Holiday Letter from the Reicher's

Well, I didn't think I'd be doing a Holiday Letter this year, but here goes... The Spirit of Norm is in the air. As the wind whips with minus a true snowstorm.  In hopes the Farmers Almanac was correct, I pray to the snow gods. Rain ensued the month of December thus far. We have nearly tripled the amount of rainfall usual for December in New Jersey. And I've witnessed its treachery. Storms such as these hit us hardest in July. Then remained fairly intense through til about early October.  Our daughters are doing well, Thank God.  Their Dad would be proud of them. Our oldest Sarah, now a Junior at UCLA pursuing her degree in Chemical Engineering. She's digging the whole California scene. Which I thought it was for her. She's had some good traveling on her off times from school. For her March 2023 week off, she drove her and a few friends out to Lake Tahoe and went downhill skiing for a first in nearly 5 years. She had to rent the ski equipment.  Funny enough when

It Follows Me...

One may wonder what would inspire someone to work hard labor voluntarily. For me it’s the love of many things. It’s the passion that won’t be broken. Because there are so many aspects to such service for me, that it may seem beyond comprehension. I’d compare it to my youthful desire to enter the military as a young child. Then for a multitude of reasons only to follow through thirteen years later at age eighteen entering the Marines. There were things that followed me throughout my life. Sometimes they were questions of how I ever gave up my over decade’s life dream to become a New Jersey State Trooper. My childhood desire to never wed—to never have any serious relationships with another human being. I desired only service in military and law enforcement nearly my whole childhood. Too the extent that even one of my Marine Corps superiors expressed to me last July, “I never thought you’d ever get married. It just wasn’t who you were. You were always a loner.” I replied, “Yeah. I know.

Sledging the Hammer

  "You could have a steam trainIf you'd just lay down your tracks..."---Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer' lyrics. This is not the tune that lay in my mind this morning as I reminisced about yesterday's volunteers to help on trail crew.    However, as I looked up the proper definition of sledging that song popped up. I say sledging, which is my own take on swinging a hammer that we call a "Double Jack". The Single Jack is six pounds. I know that because our regular crew of five including me and one staff supervisor are handling Harriman State Park Trails, and have to carry about four of those, two shaping hammers, along with a hoist, belay bag with heavy equipment, first aid kit, double Jack, three 18lb rock bars, a lopper, three buckets, three eye to eyes, two burlap straps, two green wrapping straps, two pick Mattox, a roe hoe or two, a bar for either the two ton or one ton hoist, the feathers with pegs for splitting rocks that we drill... s