Back to the Cottage

It’s back to the cottage for me, I can’t handle TO!

Actually, I’m going to do some work and to close it down for the season.  Since it’s quiet there and here I decided that I could take some extra time and stay a few weeks, maybe I can get the work done that I was supposed to do this summer.

A quick visit with friends in Halifax is on the agenda.  I’m anticipating long walks on the beach to clear my head and get it ready for the writing I’m going to do. As I’ve been told, quite a bit over the past few weeks the cottage is a “bubble” and “not real” and there might be some truth to these statements, however it’s exactly what I need right now, a quiet place to think and write.  It seems so sad that we can only keep our place going for 3 seasons, at some point we’ll have to have in insulated so that we can have winter vacations there – although as a friend pointed out to me, we’d need a generator for the times that the power goes down.

I’m going to sit down with some “career” books and try to figure out the next 20 years of my life. I’m going to get another “bunch” of pages written in the story that I’m currently working on, did you notice that I’m not committing to the number of pages? Most importantly, I’m going back to singing. I’ve been doing a lot of it this summer and I’ve realized how much I miss it.

As I write this blog I’m listening to a new singer I was introduced to this summer, her name is Stacey Kent and she sings all the old jazz standards as well as a few “modern” pieces.  It’s quite inspirational to hear her sing, she makes me want to go back to belting out the jazz tunes.

I remember when I was a teenager, rushing from my school across town to make it to my lesson with Mrs Devereux.  A stern widow who had part of her garage turned into her music studio.  She was so precise that she had carpets under her car where her tires sat, I always marveled at how someone could be that neat.  I loved my lessons, we would begin, the hour-long lesson, with the vocal exercises from the week before.  They can be so beautiful that I always thought someone should put words to them instead of the vowel sounds that we’re given.  Then we would move onto whatever songs I had been given to practice and learn the week before, then on to the new selection.

Mrs. Devereux had a large bank of filing cabinets behind her grand piano and she would pull a drawer open and pull out a piece of music, choose a key and take it to the photocopier to make 2 copies one for my binder and one for the folder that had my music in it for her.  Then out would come the blank tape (or the current one we were working on) and two versions of the new piece would be recorded.  The first version would be with a melody for me to sing along to while I learned the words, the second would be the accompaniment. 

I remember I would rush home and begin to learn the new songs or practice the ones I had.  It was always considered homework so my mom and dad would never tell me to stop singing to do other things.  I loved that.  All of Mrs. D’s students would train for exams, the York Region Music Festival, and later on her Choir. I would try out for the plays up at St Andrew’s College, the boys school in our town, they always put on musicals and they always called Mrs. D to have her students audition. I had a great time doing this, but that’s another blog.

I stopped singing like this when Mrs. Devereux married her boyfriend, retired and moved to London Ontario.  She had a heart attack a few years later and passed away.   I tried other teachers but it was never the same.  My friend, Jeannie, was also a student of Mrs. Devereux’s, is now a piano/singing teacher, we used to sing together as well as going to school.  I’m going to call her and find out how much she charges, I wonder if I can get a family and long time friends discount.  

Until then, it’s off to the cottage and I’ll have to use the computer programs as my teacher and back up for a while.

Dream Big,

Samantha

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