About a month before an ex-boyfriend dumped me, he came over, and with a sweetness in his eyes, he said “I want to teach you and Marlin, how to play the ukulele.” He pulled out a stack of papers, he had drawn out several chords, and one by one he showed us how to play each chord.
Okay, Back to the ex-lover. So he went away traveling, as Anarchist boys often do, and ended our relationship (or whatever it was). Don’t worry, It was a long time ago. I am not sad about it anymore. But, I was sad. And playing the ukulele helped me embrace and work through the sadness. I listened to old Country Western songs. Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Blaze Foley…. Sad songs about broken hearts, and I learned how to play all of them. Okay, not all of them, but, a lot. My broken heart, helped me grow.. Music is a great healer.
The heartbreak has long since healed, and now, I play the Ukulele! Yeah! I have so much fun with it! I have several friends that play, and we hang out and make music. I have even done a few performances both singing and playing my lovely little instrument.. And as part of homeschooling, my son is learning too.
Ukulele means Jumping fleas in Hawaiian. But the Ukulele was actually brought over by Portuguese plantation workers….gotta love the Portuguese! Hawaiians saw the Portuguese playing the small guitar like instrument, with fingers moving so fast, they named it Ukulele. Ahhh.. I miss Hawaii.
One of the best parts about learning to play my Ukulele, was bonding with my Grandpa. Both my Portuguese and my American Grandpa, were really good musicians. Amazing guitar players with amazing voices. My American Grandpa is still living, but, he is old school and grumpy… and he really doesn’t like “Damn Liberal Hippies.” Anyways, when I went to visit my Dad last summer, I saw my ol’ Grandpa for the first time in many years. The first thing he said when he saw me… “Blue fingernails? What the hell do you have blue fingernails for?!” I smiled and said “Grandpa, I am also covered in tattoos and I don’t shave. But give me a hug.” I told him I was learning to play the ukulele. With a gruff voice, He said “Oh, yeah, show me a G 7th.” So I did. He continued testing me- calling out several different chords. I played them. And I could see a sparkle in his eyes. He was pleased. My Dad was there too and shocked. My Grumpy ol’ Grandpa totally fell in love with his ‘weird’ granddaughter (The feeling was mutual). My Grandpa and I had a few jam sessions, I played the ukulele and he played the guitar. He taught me several songs from the 1930’s and 40’s. We really enjoyed being together. And before my vacation ended, my Grandpa came over, and surprised me with a gift, he bought me a new (and much nicer) ukulele. Talk about love. 🙂
If you don’t play an instrument, it’s not too late! You should start. Hopefully, minus the broken heart.
Everything happens for a reason.~t