Fifteen years ago this month, I sat solo in a small apartment late on a Friday night and put in the winning bid for a large item on Ebay. I waited anxiously all weekend for some word from the seller. Nothing. Then finally I heard from them early the next week. They had been out of town all weekend and were now trapped in by a large storm in Denver where they lived. Shipping my large package to Arkansas? Yeah… just not sure on the when or the how.
My very first harp. This was such an appropriate snag to the official start of my harp journey. Getting to the decision to make that bid had taken nearly a year of ups and downs and starts and stops both in my personal life and in this crazy dream. This was the biggest step and a huge decision in every sense—emotionally, financially, and more. The desire I had to learn to play the harp kept getting stronger despite a lot of obstacles, so a little blizzard, no problem.
Turns out a friend of a friend was headed to Denver that week in his large SUV. He picked up the harp and brought it back to me. My piano teacher taught me what she knew about tuning the harp, how to pluck out a few notes, and play a simple tune. A few weeks later, I put my harp in a cardboard box, checked it in on a plane as baggage, and held my breath as we fly to Portland. Then on a lovely day in April I met Kathleen Staub for the first time and HAD A HARP LESSON. Boom. Life changed.
By the end of that year the other greatest thing in the world came in to my life. About the April anniversary of my first harp lesson I was moving out of that small apartment and into the home of the man of my dreams. Somehow he has managed to put up with me all of these years and with the harp(s!). We’ve certainly tested the “in sickness and in health” part of our vows over the years. I think because of my health problems and surgeries I’ve lost at least two years (or three? and more on the horizon, unfortunately) out of the fifteen that I’ve been playing the harp. So the journey has had lots more stops and starts than anyone would want but during blizzards we just sit by the fire reading and life is exceptionally awesome. And there is harp music and cold beer.
Somehow the “butt in the chair” time and my dedication to my music have overcome my lack of innate musical ability. I’ve come further in my harp career in the last fifteen years than many, including myself, ever imaged would be possible. But I believed there would be music in my life and there is. So a crazy dream hasn’t turned out to be so crazy after all.
Fifteen years of harp sounds like a good start…. with many more to come.
Happy Harpy Anniversary!
(Here I am with my first harp in my little apartment. You can see I haven’t changed a bit! Ha!
And an angel shot my friend Christie took for her portfolio. You can’t take yourself too seriously as a harpist and sometime you just go with the clichés.)