Thursday, July 19, 2007

A little Autoharp to regain the balance

Life, nowadays, can be hectic. The computer and the cell phone can be a leash that ties one to work, and can become a noose if one let’s them. Recently, I have found myself more entangled in this unhealthy web. Seemingly endless overtime, nearly impossible deadlines, and other commitments have become nearly overwhelming.

There is a lot of truth in the tired old adage: ‘Life is a balancing act.’ It’s important to keep work separate from the things that are truly important in life, such as family, friends, and music. I have been feeling a bit out of balance lately, as my postings here on the Bus must attest. In fact, I have considered parking the Bus for awhile, since I don’t feel I have been able to devote the time necessary to write reasonably literate posts.

I haven’t even picked up an instrument in so long, that I can not remember the last time. Tonight after supper, I tuned up my favorite Autoharp and took it out to my rocking chair to get reacquainted. I am happy to say that we are still good friends despite the neglect. It’s amazing how just a few moments of peaceful, musical reflection can bring one back to what is really important.

Work and the money it provides, are not as necessary as we are led to believe. I have been without work many times in the past. I have been homeless, with a wife and three young children living in tents at a county park. When I first met my wife, we were living in the bus that has lent its name to this space on the web. A high-powered job and a big, fancy house have never been important, in fact, I find them to be distractions.

Nothing enriches life more than family, friends, and (of course) music. When you find yourself overwhelmed with the responsibilities and commitments of daily life, as I have recently, play a few of your favorite tunes, sit back and close your eyes, and reflect on the things that really matter in your life.

A little Old Time Autoharp usually does it for me.

Ernest Stoneman - Sweet Sunny South.mp3

Kenneth Benfield - Shortening Bread.mp3

Kilby Snow - Flop-eared Mule.mp3

Mother Maybelle Carter - Black Mountain Rag.mp3

Please bear with me for the next few weeks. Until things settle down at work, I will be posting only as I get a chance.


Blogger Gustavo said...

Great instrument and great post!!!


July 18, 2007 4:59 AM  
Blogger pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

I remember my first Kilby Snow album(I still have it) and playing tunes on the bottom of the instrument, way back in the late 70's when I lived in Arkansas. I always liked that style of playing. I'm going to practice it some more, I think. Great post, Ed. Don't work so hard. You can't take it with you....

July 18, 2007 7:31 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Thanks Ed! That's some sweet sounds....

July 18, 2007 9:14 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Gustavo and Greg, I'm happy to hear that you are enjoying these tunes from my favorite under-appreciated instrument.

Pineyflatwoodsgirl, I too love the sound of the short end. I was inspired to post these cuts by the Autoharpist with a string band (I missed the name) that I saw at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. He was playing beautifully below the chord bars.

July 18, 2007 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said, you have a month of OT to go. That, my boy, is called light at the end of the tunnel. You stated, quite clearly, that you understand family and friends are the important things in life - not the money. Hear, hear.

Money has never been anything more than a tool for man's use. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the extra earnings from OT. Then, you enjoy your time when the OT ends. The key words here, are "to enjoy" the bright side of whatever hand you're playing.

It's sad that most people think money is the "be all" and "end all" of finding happiness.

We riders will allow you to park the bus, but would prefer that you not. Go ahead and slow it down as much as you need.

Being your senior, I doubt I could do 12's anymore. God knows I did them years ago, by your side. You can tough it out one more month, jobbie. Then, take a break and let's get together.

July 19, 2007 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Oh Dear sounds like you might be tapping into your reserve; hang in there. With all things ya gotta pace yourself. Seems to me you guys need to venture just down the road to Chickenstock 2007 to relax and enjoy some beer, great food, beer, friends, beer, music, and the eye-candy of a volleyball tournament, oh yea, did I mention beer.

I've been telling you for quite some time that you shouldn't stress out over posting everyday. I know this is something you love, but you don't want it to become a chore. Post when you can, we'll be here.

July 19, 2007 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


July 19, 2007 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lucy is right, ed: we'll be here. take it easy.


July 20, 2007 9:15 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Thanks for all of your kind words and encouragement, folks. I know I have said it many times before, but I can’t say it enough, it is the wonderful group of people that catch a ride on the Bus that keeps it on the road.

Many years ago, when my wife and I ran Front Porch Music and the Barracks Coffeehouse in Florida, the Palm Beach Post did an article about our little music venue. One of the things that the reporter couldn’t get over was the variety of people that regularly attended our shows. There were retirees, young families, wealthy celebrities, local politicians (the county sheriff was a good friend, hammered dulcimer player, and regular), artists, and beach bums, all enjoying the music and each other’s company. When the reporter asked me what brings together such an unlikely assortment of Florida’s population, my reply could only be that it was good music that crossed all boundaries and brought out the best in everyone.

So it goes on the Bus as well. I am always amazed at the kind folks that visit the Bus. My friends (and I am fortunate to have so many), your comments and encouragement are dearly appreciated.

Thank you.

July 22, 2007 7:33 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hi Ed...thanks for some wonderful music, especially Pop Stoneman. My Grandpa loved him. Hope you are getting along as well as can be expected.

July 23, 2007 6:51 PM  
Blogger countrygrrl said...

great inspiring post...glad to visit and take a seat to listen and read your stuff. money sure isnt everything you hit the nail on the head there. i havent posted on blueskies as regularly as i would like but i know that the blogging community will still be there when i get around to it. that is the great thing about this community of ours/ thanks again !!

July 23, 2007 7:01 PM  
Blogger mully said...

i do luv me some autoharp...

July 26, 2007 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, certainly reminds me of me sometimes ago. i quit finally.
it's sure is nice to see someone put those feelings in writing.


July 27, 2007 9:25 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Chris, Your Grandpa had some good taste in music. It must be in the genes, I love your selections of Deep Purple.

July 27, 2007 7:04 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Countrygrrl, I'm glad you stopped by. I know you have been busy lately, if travelling and having a good time can be considered being busy ;). I always look forward to your visits.

July 27, 2007 7:11 PM  
Blogger Solana said...

True true, I get all caught up in the tech life. but also i take time for my friends and whatsoever. Nice post

July 27, 2007 9:02 PM  
Blogger DarrellH said...

I had never heard of an autoharp before today. Thanks for broadening my horizons!

July 29, 2007 11:45 AM  
Blogger CrisOli said...

Very well!!!Good work!!! I have a good blog about music, and I was thankful for your visit, please see in:

July 29, 2007 2:21 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Solana, Sometimes it is too easy to get caught up in the daily grind. We all need to remember why we work in the first place.

DarrellH, I'm glad found the Autoharp interesting. Some of the less-popular instruments are a favorite subject here on the Bus.

July 30, 2007 9:21 AM  
Blogger Bogdan said...

It's great that someone is nice enought to give to others the opportunity to download that much of good music! You have a great blog!!!

August 01, 2007 4:36 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Thanks for the kind words, Bogdan.

August 02, 2007 10:08 PM  

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