I've had some neat opportunities this summer to "find" myself. To really discover what I like to do. The summer before the 6th grade my mom signed my brother, sister and I up for summer band. That was my first experience with the french horn and I loved it! I still remember having note-holding contests and trying to be as good as Mr. Fleming. He could hold his breath forever! I played in the school band 6th-9th grade and then I quit. I only had room for one more elective and I picked jazz choir over band. (I would still pick singing in a choir over playing in a band - if I had to choose, that is!) Off and on over the past 5-10 years I've had nightmares where I was supposed to be playing in a concert and couldn't remember anything or I didn't have my instrument. Well, my nightmare came true this summer. Mr. Fleming called me in June and invited me to play in the newly formed city band. He said he'd have a horn I could borrow. The first practice I didn't even stay - just picked up my horn. At home I printed off a fingering chart that I found on the blessed internet and practiced, but I didn't do well. The first practice I went to I mostly just wrote in the fingering on the music and the few times I tried to play I just shook my head a lot. I felt so stupid. There's nothing like sitting next to a kid almost 20 years younger than you and having him teach you what to do. Miraculously, though, I've improved. Each time I practice I get a little better. Within a month Mr. Fleming even commented that I was doing really well, that I was hitting notes I wouldn't even have attempted at the beginning. So, it's been fun. Now I'd like to purchase my own horn so that I don't lose this talent again.
We had our first concert last Thursday. It wasn't advertised real well, but we had a few people show up at the gazebo at the park. It was hot, but fun to perform again after 17 years! So, this is a picture of me afterwards. It's kind of cheesy and I hate my hair in this picture, but I realized that there aren't any pictures of me playing the french horn when I was younger. Sad, but true. I think it must have been because we had such a big family and it was either forgotten or couldn't be afforded (to develop film) - I don't know, but here it is! It was really fun to have my sis and her husband play, too. She plays the saxophone and got to sit right next to me. (I'm still sad you are moving away!)
So I said there were other things that helped me discover myself. At girls camp we had a day that was filled with new experiences for most of the girls. We canoed (I loved that!), rock climbed (which I love to do, but chose not to that day), and they taught us how to use a bow and arrow. I was one of the last to leave the area because I loved it so much. I came away wishing I had my own. (I haven't given up on that desire, yet.) And I wasn't too bad, either. Then yesterday Kannon and I went and played tennis together. Ever since high school when some of my friends were playing tennis, I thought, "if I ever tried tennis I think I'd be pretty good at it." Well, the first time I ever played was on my mission with a couple of the elders. And I stunk! I was also super self-conscious around them, too. So, along the way we've bought tennis rackets for both of us and Ben, too. But we've never actually played. I always thought it would be a fun date. Since we don't have the kids this week I asked Kannon if he wanted to play tennis for a date/FHE and he agreed. We played for just over an hour and I loved every minute of it. He complained about spending so much time picking up balls, but I just chalked it up to fun exercise. I'm still not good. I still miss the ball most of the time (which is why we spent so much time picking them up!) but I did a pretty good serve. I have no idea how to play the game, scoring and what-not. Maybe someday someone will teach me! But, I still loved it and plan on doing it more. Maybe the kids can pick up the balls for us next time!
So now you know a little more about me. I love playing the french horn, shooting the bow and arrow, and playing tennis!