I feel lucky in the way I was brought up surrounded by music.
Every gathering at my grandparents included someone on a guitar, piano, singing or just the record player spining out music from my granparents era.
I had the opportunity to play saxaphone in the school band, drums in the town marching band and piano lessons. I was even in my middle school choir.
Music was a huge part of my life and I can be magically transported to the past by a song.
When I hear Lois Armstrong's Hello Dolly I am in my grandparents basement. The room is crowded, and the wicker tables are covered in little wooden bowls full of peanuts and 1/2 empty drinks from the bar that my grandfather would proudly bartend.
Another transport to that room, this time full of family and close friends, are the songs Leaving on a Jet Plane and Black Bird. I see my aunt and uncle performing for everyone.
My whole life can be laid out in music.
The Night Chicago Died takes me back to summers at camp with my mom, brother and baby sister down at Darien Lake.
The Beatles White Album throws me into the living room where I grew up, with my mom and our family dog.
Tie a Yellow Ribbon sends me to my childhood friends living room where her mom would be singing along.
The various camp songs.... Camp Baradaca where I spent many weeks of my summers.
Eagles Hotel California, my first album that I bought myself actually puts me in the kitchen and seeing my parents dancing to the song.
ELO's Telephone Line .... without any details brings the smell of cheap cologne and my first kiss from a guy I have no memory of a name for.
Supertramp School sends me right back to my other best friends living room and even reminds me of my first boy friend... Fred.
Ted Nugent my first huge superstar crush also reminds me of my first 'real' boyfriend and takes me back to that town house across from the mall... basketball at the Y,
My summers as a teenager spent with my aunt in Vancouver are brought to me through Motzart and the Musical Offering, always and forever.
Lunatic Fringe moves me once again to our new home in Drumheller and the parties had there.
Doobie Brothers and April Wine are only a few of those times shared with many good friends.
Phil Colins and Paul Simon will forever mysteriously bring up the smells of England and send my mind on a tour of the old home in Oxford.... but it also is my strongest memory of my grandfather and some wonderful time he and I spent together alone.. it makes me sad as I miss him very much.
Genesis Follow You Follow Me is the song that IS Ray and I.
Peter Gabriel's Mercy Street IS my baby girl.. the only way we could get her to sleep... I smell her as a baby, I feel her, see the apartment she was born in.
Beatles I'm so Tired is Jesse's song as he would laugh as a tiny little baby while I sang that to him at 4 in the morning... could that be the beginning of his sence of humour?
As my kids grew the music became theirs and I share memories with them....
I tried to make sure that the music in our home was varied. My kids grew up listening to the same stuff I grew up on as well as anything new that came our way... and all types.
Jazz, Rock, Classical... you name it, we played it.
It never ends... it will always be about music for me, I couldn't imagine a life without it.
I have been lucky in how I was raised and am happy that I could offer the same to my kids... and not just music, but all of the arts.
Growing up in the city of Ontario helped, and moving to Drum helped me realize what is missing in small town life.... so it was important for me to make sure our house had plenty of the arts....
.... but more on that another time.