Terri Kaiser

In my next life, I'm going to make beautiful music. I'm serious! I love music and have a devil of a time staying still when those notes surround me. Doesn't really matter the genre - Country, Pop, Folk, Rock, Blues, etc.

My parents raised us with a good, solid background of country music. Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, and on and on. Dad would sing in the logging truck as he drove and Mom had the record player on often during the day. I think what sucked me in were the stories those songs told. For those of you that don't like country music because of all the 'woe-is-me' lyrics and twangy tunes, well, I get it, but life is full of those stories and somebody's gotta tell 'em.

My fave though? Classic Rock. Okay, maybe I'm hanging on to my youth with the last shred of my being, but those songs bring me back to a time when life was a bit more carefree and my joints didn't ache. I think we all have those tunes that spark a memory, whether it's a sad one or a happy one.

The only time I saw my Grandma Morrison cry was one Sunday in church when a certain hymn was sung and I looked over to see her crying. After church she explained that the song was played at her father's funeral. She didn't know how, after all those years, it could hit her so unexpectedly and so hard. That's the power music has. Amazing Grace was sung at my Dad's funeral and I took comfort from that song. From that moment forward, that song releases a flood of emotions. At the end of the funeral we listened to 'I Am Ready To Go,' by Bill Monroe, Dad's favorite artist. It was a fitting and uplifting way to send him off.

My Grandma Prezak introduced my sisters and me to polka. She often had it playing at her house when we'd visit. Once in awhile she'd break into a few of her moves in the living room. She and Grandpa took us with them to dances now and then, and we'd get to skip and twirl and hop as we tried to keep up. A favorite memory is being between them as they taught me the Flying Dutchman. To this day, polka music makes my heart happy.

Our niece Hannah is marrying her Erik this September. The RSVP card asked 'what song will get you out on the dance floor?' Isn't that a neat idea? I could have filled the whole card with suggestions, but only put down three (two more than was asked for). I can't wait! Both of our boys will be there, and my goal is to get them out on the dance floor. (I do realize they have just read this, and are debating if they should try to ditch me all night.)

Yes, music is the soundtrack of our lives. Through heartbreak, happiness, tragedy, love found and love lost, there is a song to either keep you company as you wallow in the depths, or kick up your heels as you pull yourself out. And let's not forget those lullabies. If I had a nickel for every time I sang 'Rock-a-bye Baby.' There are songs for celebration and songs to highlight those turning points. For me, once the beat begins, it tickles my ears, seeps into my soul, wraps around my heart, and sends the shimmies into my limbs and before you know it, my feet are tapping, my hands drumming, my head bobbing and I'm dancing - even if I'm still in my chair.

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