My favorite time of day…

I never thought I would say this, but I am becoming more of a morning person. I saw this a couple of mornings ago:

#sunrise #lovethisplace

And just around the corner this was waiting for me:


And then there was this:

He stayed still just long enough for me.
This guy was hanging out too.

Never would have called myself a morning guy, but I am really loving it.

Can you sing?

I have a confession to make. I can sing. Yes. I can sing fairly well. No, I won’t sing anything for you to prove it. Well, maybe I might. You pick the song and pay for the karaoke. The truth is I don’t do it much at all anymore. But there was a day…

A long time ago in a world far, far away, there was a day that time that I sang a lot. I mean, all the time. Incessantly. Sometimes the singing was good. Other times it resembled Will Farrell’s character in the movie “Elf” (I am in a store and I am singing…). I enjoyed singing before high school, but I really started to focus in on it in about the 10th grade. I got some funny looks when I gave up most sports for choir, but that is what I wanted to do.

I still remember a comical phone call from an army recruiter my senior year:

“Hello Young Man,” a gruff, but friendly voices said on the other end of the phone. 

“Hello, sir. How can I help you?” I replied respectfully. 

“Son, have you ever considered a career in the armed forces? The Army could just be the place for you.”

“Thank you sir,” I replied politely. No, I hadn’t through of going into the Army. I had no interest in it either, but it is nice to be wanted to so I continued the phone conversation 

“Tell me something boy,” the recruiter said sizing me up. “How big a boy are you?”

“Six foot and 190 pounds.”

“Really?” I could hear that he was pleased. He thought he had a good sized fish on the line. He decided to try to reel it in. “What do you like to do?”

Upon hearing this question, I smiled. “I sing bass in the choir.” 

There was a slight pause. “I am sorry young man. I don’t believe we have a spot for you.”

I sang in the school mixed choir, men’s choir and show choir. I also sang in the church choir and performed solos for services. I just loved to sing. It became my identity. So much so that I became extremely competitive and a tad bit arrogant. I thought I could sing really well. Turns out, I was partly right. I could sing. The quality of the signing from those days is still in question. Some was very good. Some never needs to be heard by human ears ever again.

I tried out for many honor choirs while I was in high school. I was in the All District Choir 3 times. I made the All State Choir twice. I even made a Regional National Honor Choir as well. I went to every summer music camp that I could find. I loved those days. I got to sing and I enjoyed it. 

After high school, I got a full scholarship to go to college to sing. So, my freshman year of college I attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University where I majored in Vocal Music Education. I knew I loved singing and I had no idea how I would make a career out of it, so getting my degree to teach it seemed like the thing to do. I figured that I could also lead music at a church somewhere while teaching music at school. It would be the best of both worlds. While there I was in the choirs, show choir, and even a barbershop quartet. I enjoyed it for a time, but I began to get restless.

I thought the restlessness was just that I needed to get out of the small town where I went to high school. So, I auditioned at the University of Central Oklahoma and I received a full scholarship to sing. I was on my way again, on an exciting adventure doing something that I loved. While at UCO I changed my major from Vocal Music Education to Vocal Performance. I can’t say I put a lot of thought into it, but it has been interesting over the years telling people that I majored in Opera at school.

By the end of my sophomore year, I knew that I did not enjoy the choir environment as much as I once had. It may have been the fact that I was singing more than I ever had at that point, but I am not sure that is why my passion was slipping away. I was beginning to understand that I wasn’t as good as I had always thought I was. There were singers around me that were a lot better than me. Some that weren’t as good. But, everyone had their own very strong opinions of what they thought good and bad singing was. I got told more than once by an upperclassmen that I was not matching pitch. I wanted to punch him. 

My junior year of college was starting and I knew that I needed to make a change. So, I walked into the counsellor’s office and I asked what the shortest route to victory was. I was almost 80 hours into my college journey and I changed majors. Funny thing was though, six months later I took my first (mostly) full time position at an area church as a…you guessed it…music minister. Maybe I just wanted to use my singing to serve God. In another 2 years I was burned out on that as well. 

I finally realized that I love music, because I love music. I don’t need a degree to love it. I don’t have to sing in a choir. I don’t have to sing professionally. If I choose to write a song, I write a song. If I want to learn a new song on my guitar or piano, I do that. A couple of days ago I had my guitar out and I was making up silly songs about my son’s socks and how I didn’t want him to touch me with his stinky feet. I loved every minute of that. He did too.

Music has taught me a lot of things though. One lesson I remember very clearly happened my senior year of high school in the music teacher’s office. Mrs. Wilkins was my favorite teacher at the school and I worked very hard for her, when I chose not to rest of my talent and actually try to get better. She had called me in because there was something important she wanted to discuss with me. 

“David, I don’t know how to say this…not many people really like you right now. You have been very arrogant of late.” She was being very honest and transparent with me. I don’t know if I was quick enough to pick it up at the time, but that conversation is burned in my memory and was extremely impactful. 

“I am not arrogant,” I replied with a hint of arrogance. “I am confident. They are jealous.”

How I fit in her office with my head the size it was, I will never know. After a few more moments of conversation, she asked me to think about the way that I had been presenting myself to other people. Even though it was not welcome news, I did my best to do as she asked. It was hard though, I could sing so well…

I consider that conversation one of the most pivotal that I had in high school. I didn’t know it at the time, but Mrs. Wilkins was unpacking truth for me with more kindness that I deserved. I can see the conversation much more clearly now that 20 years has gone by.

It’s not what it used to be…

Have you ever really liked something and then after time goes by you don’t like it as much anymore? it used to be enjoyable, but now not so much? I have experienced this more than once.

I used to love Dr. Pepper. Love isn’t even the right word. I had a problem. At one point I was drinking as much as three liters a day. I realized I needed to cut back, so I switched over to coffee. I could still get the caffeine, but not the sugar. it was a good solution.

I tried to drink a Dr. Pepper not long ago. Holy. Cow. Are you kidding me? I couldn’t even drink half a can. It still tasted decent, but goodness gracious was it sweet! How was I drinking that much? It just wasn’t the same.

I also noticed this recently on my computer. I remember the first computer I bought after Marixa and I got married. It was a super cool Sony Viao that I paid way too much for. I had that computer for a long time and was so proud of it. Several years went by and I got the bug to buy a Mac. So, I went out and got a Mac Mini. Amazingly I paid less for it than I did the Sony Viao.

Last week I got my newest Mac Mini (I’ve had it for a while, but haven’t been using it that much) set up so I can do some recording on it. I have come to realize…I really don’t like computers that much. The world has evolved so much that I do most everything on my iPhone…including the post you are reading. The computer is still necessary, but I don’t enjoy it anything like I used to.

We also ran across this tonight as we watched a movie. Have you seen First Knight? It is an oldie that we haven’t seen in many years. Years ago, I remember Marixa thinking it was very romantic. Nothing stops Lancelot from pursuing Guinevere. I agreed with her back in the day and we really liked the movie.

It has been so different watching it this time. Lancelot is pursuing a married woman. He is not honorable. He breaks the vow of brotherhood he made with King Arthur. Marixa told me tonight that she doesn’t know why she thought it was romantic. It is actually the opposite. It just isn’t the same.

The three examples I have given are normal though. As we grow, we change. Sure, there are many things that we will always love, but it is very natural to change perspectives over the years. I for one am glad that we keep changing and evolving. It definitely makes like more fun.