Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Didn't Understand a Word

We left the busy Redondo Beach, making our way here to the quiet loveliness in the Yosemite area yesterday late afternoon.
Leaving the congested roads
Drawing near
Getting Close
Ahhh...the gravel crunching under the tires....
 We visited with Joe's mother last night, staying up until 2 AM.  We played and sang, sitting around the kitchen table, just the three of us.  We'd left "spare" instruments here last year when we returned to VA, opting not to carrying a guitar and an accordion back and forth on every trip.  So, we decided we should give the instruments some warming up before the upcoming jam session.   We played, and we sang, Joe's mom telling us stories she's told us many times before, but which clearly give her pleasure to tell...and which the songs always evoke.  It was nice and easy.  A good welcoming.

Today we were supposed to buckle down and get some prep work done for our drive back to VA, but we were both feeling very draggy...we opted to take it easy and simply meander around, planning for the next few days, eating good food his mom prepared for us, and playing and singing some more.  And of course, we sat at that table and told more stories.

As we were finishing supper tonight, Joe's sister stopped in and joined us for the after meal discussion.  Now sometimes I understood these discussions and other times I did not.  For occasionally it is easier for the mother if the discussion is in her native tongue, and so the family converses in Czech.  It really is not necessary for me to know what they are saying.  I can sometimes pick up on the topic of their discussion, but not much else.  During one of these discussions it was determined that we should all retire to the living room where the mother had some CD's and DVD's she wanted to give Joe.

We listened to some of the Czech music on one of the CD's and, of course, I did not understand a word.  Nevertheless, the music was beautiful.  Truly lovely.  And the instruments' voices complemented each other and the singers' voices.  I was particularly impressed with the clarinet I heard.  I mentioned to Joe's sister that I really liked this music, and she assured me we should watch the DVD of the quartet that was playing.  So, the DVD was located and for the next hour we all sat and watched the four Czech musicians playing the Bass Fiddle, the accordion, the clarinet and the violin, and singing the old Czech songs -- songs the mother knew well and with which she sang along.

During several of the songs, Joe, his sister or his mother would translate some of the words, so I could appreciate the meanings as well as the music of the songs.  It was nice of them to do so, though, to be honest, the songs were so lovely, it mattered not what they were saying.  We will take a copy of these CD's and DVD's home with us, and I imagine I will learn to play some of those songs.  And when the DVD was finished and we all returned to the kitchen table for a last cup of tea before heading to bed.  Joe's mother asked me if I really enjoyed the music, and I answered honestly that I did.  Music is that way... I don't need to understand a word, to enjoy it.

Tomorrow will be a busy day with more family and friends coming to play.  We have only a few short days here, so we are squeezing in as much as we can, still getting our necessary work done.



Sharon said...

Good Morning Judy!
Sounds like a full, very enjoyable day! I suppose will be more of the same today. I hope you have more fun and take some more pictures, the area is quite beautiful!

aswesow said...

It does look beautiful! It is amazing the power of music, I love to hear my wife play the guitar and sing, and my children...yet at work I'd rather it be a tunes free work place...just like music has the power to soothe, heal, touch the can also do the total opposite. What I find annoying and intrusive to the extreme others find something to like in. Still, I encourage my kids to learn music just because times like this are precious. Wow...this brings back alot of memories

mixednut555 said...



Judy's Corner said...


Yes, yes... full, enjoyable days...not getting the work done we intended, but getting lots of visiting done. More of the same today and then tomorrow it will be load 'em up and hit the road....

This is a beautiful area!

Judy's Corner said...


I completely agree. I need quiet for work and any music is, at the very least a distraction for me. Much as I love it, love making it, love listening to it, I want a quiet workplace.

Glad you are encouraging the music in the children... it is a wonderful form of expression and sharing, across language barriers.

Judy's Corner said...

Hi kat! LOL at the WV word... they are crazy!!