Saturday, March 04, 2006

Dogwood Winter

Hello from Tennessee where the weather cannot make up its mind! Spring has arrived in the foothills of the Smokies. The daffodils. crocuses, pansies, forsythia, and early spring trees are blooming and the grass is starting to turn green. Soon it will be time to mow. We've had some nice warm days but it will get cold again this weekend. Dogwood Winter. I worked in the yard the other day after work and planted three rose bushes in the bed that I created for them last fall. I hope the cold weather doesn't hurt them or the stuff that is already blooming. The best part about all this is the BIRDS! They are singing, chirping, making clicking noises, and flapping their wings and I absolutely love hearing them. I will crack our bedroom or kitchen window open in the mornings no matter how cold it is just so I can hear them. Steve and I bought some bird feeders a few weeks ago to bring them closer to the house. Now if I could only figure out which bird makes which sound. . .I do have a couple of sound cards with different birds to listen to that Susie, my audiologist gave me for practice. I took Riga for a walk yesterday morning and never heard them make such a racket! They were everywhere. So far we have robins, cardinals, doves, goldfinches, titmouses (or is it titmice?), and sparrows.

Music is getting more enjoyable. I've returned to playing in the handbell choir at church and love hearing them again. That has always been the one thing I could do in church related to music (other than liturgical dance and signing to songs.) I can now hear the higher bells, which I didn't hear before. I always heard the lower ones around me. (I play B and Middle C). The melodies are more complete and clear. I found an awesome website with a beautiful handbell choir and wept at my computer when I heard them play. Go to Raleigh Ringers, click on Gallery, and then video or audio. Beautiful music.

I also went to choir practice a few weeks ago just to see what it was like. Steve sings in the choir and looks forward to it because it is such a worship experience. I sat in the choir loft, hooked up my lapel microphone to another gal who sings alto and just listened. (I think I made her nervous but Steve said she was the best one to listen to! Thank you, Rhonda!) I'd like to learn how to sing. But, "church" music doesn't sound right to me yet. It is just noise. There is too much "competition" between the voices and instruments and I don't know what to listen for. (Susie did say that that churches are usually very bad acoustically. The people who run sound booths in churches and public places are not always familiar with the techniques of balancing and equalizing the sounds of music.) I'm still not comfortable exposing my "singing voice." I'm hoping to take voice lessons someday soon.

Last weekend, my Aunt Miriam and Uncle Clarence came for their annual spring visit to our house. They were on their way home to Ohio after spending a month in Florida. We always look forward to their visits. On Saturday night we went to the high school musical, "The Sound of Music", where Marissa sang in the "nun" choir. We sat right up in front and it was a wonderful production. I can remember seeing "The Sound of Music" for the first time in a movie theatre years ago as a young teenager and sitting next to my mother. She spent most of her time during the movie making sure I knew what was going on. I'll never forget that. I've seen it several times since then and have always loved the music. So, it was an enjoyable evening to see and hear it again.

In auditory therapy this week we worked on "m" and "n's". Those are hard. But, I understand that m & n's are difficult for normal hearing people, too. It will just take a little longer for me to
"get it." In my quiet time the other morning I was thinking about how the mind works and how it affects our thoughts, words, and every aspect of our lives. The mind is like a chip in a computer or a tape in a tape recorder. That information is stored permanently. That is why A/V therapy is so important for persons like me who have been implanted with cochlear implants. Sounds need to be "imprinted" in the mind and brain that haven't been heard before. And one who has never heard a certain sound has to hear it three times as much as a normal hearing person.

Having children, I've learned that they never forget anything! I'm always amazed at what they can remember that I've forgotten long ago. God did something great and wonderful when He created our minds and brains. He made us so that every experience and thought that we've ever had is forever recorded inside of us. Yes, as we get older it is easy to forget stuff but if we look deeper we can recall experiences that have been forgotten deep inside of us. Which brings me to my thought that I had this week. I'm working so hard with my CI to "imprint" my mind and brain with new sounds. This is true with my faith as well. I can choose to have good things or bad things enter my being. I will exercise positive faith and positive thoughts by imagining and picturing the results that I expect to achieve. It is so important to be consciously aware of what I will allow to be "imprinted" forever in my mind and memory. Just take a look at the people around you who are committed in their faith and walk with God. You will notice that their actions are related to their positive thoughts. Life is what we do with it and how we filter the thoughts that come through our minds every day. We have a choice and can decide what we are going to let enter in. We can choose positive or negative, good or evil, right or wrong, productive or counter-productive, healthy or unhealthy and so on. I am so thankful that we have a God that teaches us the power of faith. He is alive. He is there even if we do not feel His presence. He is constantly guiding us with positive thoughts to keep us focused on our Christian walk.

"Finally, brothers (and sisters), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." Phillippians 4:8


Chris said...

Mom, I cannot imagine what it would be like as an adult hearing new sounds that you've "heard" all your life. You were always great in the handbell choir. Singing is perfected by the relationship between how you hear your voice and how accurately you can control it. I bet I could come up with some basic simple drills you could try on your own. You could sit down with a guitar tuner at the piano (you'll probably need Mimi's help) and practice trying to match your voice to a single note on the piano. Use the guitar tuner to tell you if you are flat or sharp. Just an idea. I love you all. Chris

Tina said...

Laurie, I was just thinking of your phone call yesterday and smiling at how well you are hearing!!! That was a remarkable phone call! Thank you for checking on me. . .cough, cough. I am slowly shaking this thing. Have a great day!