Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Gifts From The Heart

Some very special people have given me gifts over the past couple of months and I can't wait to share them with you. The gifts are special because they come from the heart of the people who gave them to me.

My daughter has a way of finding the perfect gifts for me. This is what she gave me for Christmas. I'm sure you can understand why her heart raced a bit when she saw these pillows. She knew they would be the perfect gift for me. She always seems to find things I love and this time she really outdid herself!
Our son and daughter-in-law gave us a gift that keeps on giving. This photo was beautifully framed and now it hangs in the family photo gallery in our hallway. It touches my heart every day as I scoot by and see if there. We have been so blessed to have our children and grandchildren close by but the photos help us remember how much they mean to us when we're apart.
My sweetheart knows me well and, at times, he comes up with the most amazing surprises for me. He had planned to keep his Valentine's gift a surprise until the last minute but when he thought about the possibilities of a snafu, he decided to tell me two weeks ahead of time. The anticipation was almost as much fun as the gift. He saw an ad in the local paper and he knew I would absolutely love the event. He called and got tickets and when he told me I could hardly believe my ears!  A concert. I'm a musician and I love music so a concert is always a delight. But a concert of music from my youth? Even better!  The evening before Valentine's Day we had a nice dinner on our way into Portland.  We parked and walked to a fully restored vintage theater that is the home of many wonderful events. The night was clear and comfortably warm for this time of year. I love downtown Portland and seeing it at night is always a delight to my heart.
And then we were there!!!
Johnny Mathis in person! An evening to stroll down memory lane with familiar songs from my youth! The concert began with a few romantic pieces played by the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. They fun and familiar pieces, led by the young associate director. The director wore a light gray suit (black tie and tails), a big red bow-tie and bright red high-top sneakers! He talked and interacted with  the audience and explained why he had chosen the pieces they played. Often we heard the stories behind the music. He had a great personality and he made listening quite fun.  Intermission - and then what we were all waiting for! Johnny came onstage to the sound of thunderous applause. His performance didn't disappoint. I had a bit of trouble keeping quiet. I really want to sing along with him and I'm sure I wasn't the only one in the theater who felt the same way. Song after song and then it was over. What an evening! But there was one more treat in store for me. Something that wouldn't thrill some people but it was like frosting on the cake for me.

My sweetheart has been trained as a sound technician. He has been the 'sound guru' at our church for many years. He always loves to see the equipment and the people behind the scenes who make it possible for us to hear what is being sung or spoken. He knows they work very hard and often are unappreciated. True to form, on our way out, he stopped by the sound booth and engaged the sound technician in conversation. Soon they were talking about things that were foreign to me. It seemed like  my sweetheart enjoyed that almost as much as the concert. As we said goodbye and turned to leave, the sound man handed me his program notes for the evening. Oh, my - what a treat! To have the list of songs sung and have a souvenir unlike anything others took home made me smile.
We walked to our car and headed toward home but the evening wasn't over yet. My sweetheart stopped at the restaurant where we had eaten dinner earlier that evening so we could have dessert together. It was the perfect ending to a date that I will always remember! Before we left the theater I bought a two-CD set of forty of Johnny's favorite hits. And I may or may not play them over and over and sing as I work around the house. It's possible that I may be about to drive my sweetheart over the edge with my constant renditions of music that touched my heart when I was quite young. And it touches my heart again in this season of life!

It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.Mother Theresa