My dad always said, “Find something you love to do.” Now that I have nearly completed my sixth decade, I am clear that I finally have met his challenge.
I now devote most of my waking hours to music or musical connections, learning or creating new songs, or sharing music with others. The vibrations we feel when we experience generating or listening to music with other people envelopes and unites us—I think of it as being a part of a giant singing bowl in which the sound waves reach out and cleanse the ‘ick’ from our minds and hearts. Singing picks up where poetry leaves off, since it connects beyond language.
My intention for my music is that it soothes and brings joy to those who hear it. When I play and/or sing, I can’t help but fill up with hope and love, and I hope that resonates with my listeners. I believe that sending a message through song can act as a prayer when we feel there’s nothing else to be done.
You always can sing. Try it. You’ll like it.
I was raised in Kansas, and engaged daily in hours and hours of typical backyard shenanigans with neighboring children until the dinner bell summoned all of us wee-ones home.
As the youngest of five, I was given lots of love and a fair bit of teasing. I was a typical tomboy, and loved being outdoors and participating in all kinds of sports and games. On a family trip to Estes Park, CO around age seven, I was smitten by the mountain experience and longed for more, which eventually led to spending summers at a camp outside Colorado Springs and then ultimately settling in the area.
Having been exposed to the gamut of folk songs in my early years, I was thrilled to receive my first guitar from my mom and dad when I was 11, and picked my way through chord forms in the Peter, Paul and Mary books my brothers gave me that accompanied my treasured gift. Folk and folk rock of the 60’s and 70’s were major influences on my style: Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills & Nash and most profoundly, Simon & Garfunkel were among my favorites, and I still play some of their tunes to this day.
My working world has included everything from teaching outdoor education, managing several camping stores, running an eggrolls restaurant, selling cheese, being a secretary and draftsperson, dabbling in real estate, and finally becoming an elementary teacher, from which I retired just a few years ago.
Throughout all of the jobs and the pursuits of recreation, my passion for playing the guitar and writing songs has endured.
The natural world and interactions with it while hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, paddling or biking have always been my primary influences in songwriting; so have relationships with family and friends. Within the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to use my music in service to others, which has, in turn, been reflected in my songs.