Gifted musicians from the Sandpoint Music Conservatory were playing across the hallway. I recognized a piece from the movie Titanic and thought, “How appropriate for this week.”
We were dining with our mother at The Bridge for Assisted Living.
This month's Friends and Family dinner celebrated a much more auspicious anniversary than this 100th year since the Titanic tragedy.
The wonderful facility where our mother resides has been operating in Sandpoint for 14 years. Manager Leland Fuller gave out a few facts about Bridge history and staff. His remarks included a mention of Gen Klatt.
Gen, the Bridge’s first-ever resident, died a few months ago, but her family was there last night to help celebrate the facility’s 2012 milestone.
Occasionally, between visiting with my sisters, son and mother, I would train my ear to listen to a portion of the next lovely piece of music emanating from stringed instruments in the main dining room.
While listening to “Pachebel’s Canon,” I said to my sister Laurie, "That's your song."
Of course, I'm sure most people familiar with the beautiful piece would lay claim to it, but every playing for me reminds me of an event back in the 1980s.
My sister rode a gray Arabian gelding in the U.S. Arabian Nationals competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was a big experience for all of us.
Our neighbor, Keith Glazier drove Rishmah aka Richie and Laurie to Albuquerque. My mother and I flew down later to watch her perform.
As the horses entered the arena, a recorded version of "Pachebel's Canon" accompanied their elegant performances.
The trip was well worth the effort for Laurie. She and Richie were selected from the large class and awarded all the loot that goes with a Top Ten placing.
So, hearing the song always takes me back.
Last night, the talented group of string players tugged at my heart strings again.
"Simple Gifts" reminds me of so many things in life which I appreciate---interacting with friends, meeting new people, watching black and white dogs romp in a field of ever-increasing green.
That's kinda how yesterday went for me. I enjoyed seeing old friends, Don and Janice Burnett, at the dinner last night. While growing up, Janice (Heath) lived on the same farm we later occupied for 30 years.
Don is Myrt Burnett's oldest son. Myrt sits at my mother's table at The Bridge. Her friendship is so valued by both my mother and me.
Before dinner, I took Mother to a new experience for both of us: a denturist's office. Long story short, Mother's uppers are missing.
Today she'll have a new set, thanks to Jess.
Who woulda thunk a trip to a denturist's office would be such a pleasant adventure and another of the "simple gifts" life has to offer.
Jess runs the office, and she runs a tight ship both in her office and statewide.
She's appointed by the governor to sit on the state board for denturists. She worked vigorously a couple of decades ago to have a law changed allowing denturists to sell directly to clients.
The examining room in Jess' facility is papered with letters of thanks from people deeply appreciative of Jess's efforts in giving them confidence, new smiles and some good-looking teeth.
I'm sure Mother---after she receives her new dentures this afternoon---will be added to the long list of satisfied clients who come from all over the country to have Jess provide them their new teeth.
One logger, pictured in his hard hat and big smile, wrote, "Thanks for your help; they won't call me a hillbilly anymore."
Mother hasn't written a letter yet, but she kept saying as we walked out the door, "I like that lady."
So did I.
Jess is one of a kind, to say the least, and we became kindred spirits almost instantly upon talking about dogs. Jess raises Golden Retrievers and runs with the Westminster-type canine crowd.
Definitely a simple gift among the many yesterday.
So, the song has great meaning every time I listen to it.
Which brings me to the latest country piece that I just CAN'T get out of my mind. Its lyrics say so poignantly what song will do with our memories.
Songs carry us on journeys, just as Pachebel does so often for me.
I heard this song first on the Country Music Awards a few weeks ago.
It touches me deeply just like Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me," and Dierks Bentley's "Home." Gosh, I'd love to go to his concert tonight.
Anyway, I'll leave you with the lyrics from Eric Church's "Springsteen." If you hear it once and then maybe twice, I can guarantee a trip for you----into a past, meaningful time for you.
Enjoy this "simple gift" of music.