Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

(No bluegrass here!)

Red and I, along with Chris and Casey and three-year-old Dalton, spent a lovely Thanksgiving weekend in Charlotte, N.C., with my sister Laurie, her husband David, and their son Andrew. That is, it was lovely once we got down there. We tried to leave Wednesday---in the middle of that raging snowstorm---but got only as far as the Strasburg exit on I-81 before discretion got the better part of valor and we turned back. Red and I spent the night with Casey and Dalton and vowed to try again the next day.

Small, but essential aside: Laurie had emailed early in the week asking if there was anything special we needed. After requesting "coffee and Corona" I added, "And just one more thing. Dalton has a few special words he likes to say to get a laugh. They don't mean anything particular but they all came from stuff we were doing. Long story. The words are: opossum, cross that marker bridge, and whoa Nelly. We always laugh. If you can laugh, that will be great. Thanks!"

Throwing those snowballs!

Throwing those snowballs!

Thursday morning found the roads clear and dry. We had an excellent trip down, stopping at the Hillsville exit in Virginia for a picnic lunch. There was plenty of snow still on the hills, so Dalton and Gran (that's me!) had fun making and throwing snowballs. That is, I did the making and the throwing while His Benevolent Highness dictated where to get the snow and where to throw the snowball!

However, the point of this blog is not to give you a day-by-day account of our trip. That's worse than watching 1960s vacation slides! The story I really want to share is this:

Friday night at Laurie and David's house we were having yet another meal of yummy Thanksgiving leftovers, supplemented by some excellent barbeque ribs David had grilled. By now everyone present, including sister Nancy, her husband Rad and daughter Natalie, had heard a few of Dalton's funny words, and he had gotten a few laughs, but I wasn't sure David had witnessed any of this or participated. Which was no big deal. David has a quick and pleasantly warped sense of humor, which is sometimes dry, always clever, and occasionally biting but never mean. In other words, he's a funny guy himself. I just wasn't sure he had noticed Dalton's little one-liners. Or maybe I just didn't notice that David noticed. Whatever.

Now, at our Thursday Thanksgiving meal, David had given a lovely toast, offering a few well-chosen words about being thankful for those present, those absent, and those who had gone on before whose lives made our family possible. I was moved and impressed with his toast-giving talent. So when time for the Friday-night toast came, I was looking forward to whatever words of wisdom David had to bestow. So imagine my surprise when he lifted his glass and said, "I just want to say one word.......................................................................

opossum!" He brought down the house! Huge laughter from everyone at the table, including a delighted Dalton. It was the perfect toast.

So, a great big THANK YOU to David. You made my Thanksgiving! Opossum!

Red Henry

Red Henry

Folks, for Thanksgiving we went to visit Murphy's parents. They live an 8-hour drive south of here, so driving both ways took a lot of hours, and for various reasons no picking developed while we were there. (With Casey, Chris, and three of Murphy's sisters who play, and brother-in-law Mike as well, that's a little unusual. But not many pickers were there at the same time, and we were occupied with turkey and other distractions.)

So what could a person do to keep from getting badly out of shape musically? Well, I just played for a few minutes from time to time, knowing that it was better to do that than to promise myself that I'd play a lot when we got home.

Why is that? It's because it's better to practice even 15 or 20 minutes every day of the week, than it is to play for 3 hours on Saturday. Especially if you are learning to play, if your daily schedule is so crowded and busy that you can't play for your recommended hour a day, then play for 20 minutes. Play for 15 minutes. Play for 10 minutes. Play for whatever time you can manage, because it (1) keeps your hands in touch with the instrument, so it won't feel strange, (2) keeps your right hand -- usually the most difficult one -- in some condition for those banjo rolls or flatpicking notes, and (3) reminds your brain of how it feels to play.

You might not learn much new material while playing for 15 minutes a day, but you can avoid losing ground, and your family, picking friends, and teacher will all appreciate it. If your day is hectic, just get that instrument out and play a little. By the end of the week, you'll be glad you did.

Red

Casey Henry

Casey Henry

Well, after a short 37 hours at home I'm again packing up the car, but this time it's not for work. It's to Georgia for our family Thanksgiving. In addition to the turkey and ham and organic vegis and dairy products, I'm also bringing my banjo and fiddle so that we can do a little pickin'. It will be a mini At Least We're Hot reunion as our mandolin player, who moved away to Atlanta 🙁 , will be joining us. I'm hoping we can revive some of the old hottie favorites.

I have to make this short, as there's baking to be done, but I hope all of you have a very happy Thanksgiving, filled with food and music. We'll see you on Monday when we'll have some DVD packages to tell you about, as well as an exciting holiday promotion. Have a great weekend!