Cool As a Uke

To continue my love of the Ukulele……… my friend and I went to Guitar Center – and took the free Ukulele lesson they offered this month.

Let me backtrack a little.  Last week I went into our local Guitar Center to see if they had a gig bag for my ukulele.  In the parking lot I took a deep breath and quickly got into character.  You see, I’m sixty-one years old and if you have ever been in this chain store you know it is full of guitars and drums and amps and guys with long hair and probably REAL musicians.  I just wanted a gig bag for my Uke.  I was a bit intimidated.

I should not be intimidated because I have been playing the guitar since 1970 and can bang out some chords on a piano or keyboard and even played a little violin in my day – very little.  My brother played in bands and music filled our house often.  My four children are musicians – that I gave birth to.  I’m from New Jersey for crying out loud!  Bruce Springsteen territory!  But here I was in the parking lot of The Guitar Center where giant posters of – whoever they are – people like Steven Tyler and other dudes like him filling the window.  And in walks mom – or grandma.

Well, this young salesman comes up to me and asked if I needed help.  I stated I wanted a gig-bag for my ukulele.  You would have thought I was his best friend.  Not only did he have gig-bags but he played the Uke and loves it!  The stress melted off of me right there and we became fast friends.  So that is how I found out about the free ukulele lessons in the month of June.

Here we were in this class of about ten people of all ages surrounded by Peavy amps and an instructor full of fun and happiness.It was a beginner class and my friend and I were a bit more advanced – especially her.  I could at least tune my Uke to the iPhone app Ukulele tuner and I owned my own Uke.  This was forty-five minutes of fun and encouragement.  I recommend everyone who wants to play check with your local Guitar Center for upcoming lessons.

For your Saturday enjoyment ………


cate b

Cate, Plain and Tall

sarahI think most people in the United States of America have seen, or at least heard of the movie Sarah, Plain and Tall starring Glenn Close and Christopher Walken.  The Hallmark Channel seems to show the movie series on a somewhat regular basis.  I do believe I’ve seen them each about three times, if not more.

This series is about a farmer in the mid west who lost his wife.  To find a new wife and a mother of his already born children he places an ad in a newspaper for a mail order bride.  Sarah, from the coast of Maine answers his ad.  She leaves the sea and the plush green north-east and journeys to the dry mid west and a new adventure in life.  The story is wholesome and pure and rather good for a cold rainy day indoors. I find it particularly interesting that both stars have played some pretty sketchy roles in other films. 😉

All this said to tell you my Cate, Plain and Tall saga.  I grew up on the very humid and green east coast of the USA.  I did spend several years in southern California but landed back in the east for several more.  Four years ago my husband and I packed up and sold house and left some of our children and grandchildren to begin a new journey in the mid west.  Like Sarah, I miss the smell of the ocean and the sand between my toes.  I miss the cooling down of temperatures in the late afternoon – here it begins cool down at about 3 am – about twelve hours too late.garth-williams-little-house-on-the-prairie-original-artwork  I miss the food we ate back east –  I miss the bakeries.  I miss the seafood.  I miss the pizza.  I miss the hoagies.  I miss the WAWA!   I miss the attitudes from time to time.  You always know where a nor’easter person is coming from – right to the point.  I miss Easter dinner with my son and his family and all other gatherings with them!  What it comes down to is I miss what is familiar to me.  I’ve found that most people I’ve met here that have grown up in this area and never left to live anywhere else do not understand those who have.  They don’t understand that you actually go through a type of culture shock.  At least they speak English here.

So, I found I had to find new familiars.  I love the warm and sometimes hot dry wind that blows through here – as long as it’s not associated to a  tornado.  Getting out and discovering things native to this land is fun.  I love the wild birds and the plants.  I love the local coffee shops and roasteries and the local restaurants.  I love the abundance of STEAK!  I love the friendliness of the people and the variety of culture offered in the metropolitan areas.  Not so fond of red BBQ sauce unless taken in moderation.











I believe life should be adventurous – for me.  I get easily tired with the same old, same old.  Need to feel like there is always progression even if I stay in the same town for decades.  I just love to look for the adventure in whatever it is I’m doing now.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I am glad we came to the mid-west and I like it here.  I’ve looked and will continue to look for the adventure in this land.  Like Sarah, Plain and Tall I will always miss the shore and the things that formed me at a young age but have learned to find my new familiars and things that I love in this part of my life’s adventure.  I Hope you all can do that in whatever you are doing or in where ever you are living for the now.


cate b – Cate, Plain and Tall

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