Monday, November 18, 2013

On Piping in the Mountains…With Neices

Needless to say grad school, a full time job, and other responsibilities do not leave much time for practicing. . .or blogging.  However, I have been practicing when I can and here are some highlights/catch-ups from this past year:

We played for a Hunley ceremony on the beach. The Hunley was the Confederate submarine that sank a Yankee boat and then sank itself.  Re-enactors had a service at dark on the beach and then we all went to a pub

I was given the Piper of the Year award by the Charleston Police Pipes and Drums-go figure.  It doesn't mean I'm the best player but it is for the person who is enthusiastically dedicated to the Highland art of bagpipe playing (my husband wishes I wasn't so enthusiastic).

               Angus thought he should be given the award-we fought over it-I won.

When I started my new job in the pain clinic and got the lay of the land I experimented with using my very strict 30 minute lunch break as a time to practice my chanter in the back of my car.  My practice venue looked like this:

This has been hard to do consistently because getting out to the car and eating seriously limit how much time I am able to practice.

I have continued to compete with my 2/4 March and Slow Air.  In the Charleston Scottish Games I also did my first piobaireachd ground competition…and got 4th.  I got 6th in the 2/4 march.  At the Stone Mountain Games I got 6th in my 2/4 march.  I was rather pleased with these for how little I'm able to practice.

In the middle of all this Annette got engaged to Mark Hargrove.  I was NOT invited to play at any of the celebrations and I have been told there will be NO bagpipes at the wedding so don't even ask.  Sigh!I guess I didn't start playing early enough so that the pipes were imprinted positively on the kids

. . . so I have started early with my nieces.  They were happy to march in my parade as I practiced this past weekend

This semester I have been doing a pediatric clinical rotation and working in the office of Charlestown Pediatrics.  Krispy Kreme had Pirate Day:  if you walked in and spoke pirate you got a free donut BUT if you walked in dressed like a pirate you got a free dozen donuts.  So, guess what I did?  I went early to get my donuts then stayed dressed up as a pirate for my day in the office with the kids.  It was a lot of fun.

For Halloween I wore my kilt and police shirt (we had a gig to play right after my clinical).  I saw my patients wearing this outfit and had my stethoscope around my neck.  I'd walk in and ask the kids what I was dressed up as.  One boy looked me over from head to toe a couple times and then focused on my stethoscope and his face brightened "a doctor!"  I took the stethoscope off and said "No, guess again".  He looked me over from head to toe again and then focused on the police shirt- "A policeman!"  So I put my glengarry on (the little hat) and said "No, guess again."  He did the look over twice and then, with a very puzzled look on his face he said, "A police cook?" Sigh! There is much work to be done in this younger generation.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Catch Up Between Semesters

Semester break 
                         + bored 
                                        + facebook surfing
                                                                          + Coreyanne's blog
                                                                                                       = time to catch up on my blog

Last I posted was in October - one advanced pathophysiology class ago, a sinus surgery ago, Christmas ago, lots of practice ago, several parades ago, many parking lot practices ago, a radio gig ago and the beginning of the new games seasons ago.  Let my catch you up:

1. Advanced pathophysiology- I passed...with an A!!!!
2. Sinus surgery- no pictures but it wasn't fun and the recovery KICKED MY BUTT!!
3. Christmas- Kent's parents + Kent's brother, Mark and his wife, Navah + my parents +Kent's uncle and aunt + Stephen + Annette and her BOYFRIEND!!! (Mark)= great family time
 Mark got the biggest stocking (Annette was NOT happy)
Mark got the grilling from the dad and grandparents and great uncle and aunt.  I couldn't have planned it better myself-he and Annette sat facing all 7 of the elders- 6 of which are retired missionaries.  Bless his heart, he passed with flying colors


                                                                                                                              Caroling at the hospital             

4. Practices

 Myrtle Beach Women's Retreat

Rest area practice
Nathan used his pillow to block his ears
Kent used my drone corks to cork his ears
Stuck in Pennsylvania with car trouble
I tried to hitch a ride
Practiced in a corn field
At the Biltmore, N. Carolina

5. Parades:

On the West Ashley Greenway

Charleston Christmas Parade-
happens after church so I wear my
kilt to church

Mt. Pleasant Christmas parade is at night

Parade commemorating the launching
of the Hunley-the first submarine to sink a ship
Was launched from Sullivan's Island in the
Civil War
Met a Confederate soldier

6. New Years:

Only in South Carolina on New Years Eve!!

7. Parking Lot pracitce
My view

 One day when I was practicing a tow truck drives through the parking lot and the driver gave me a big thumbs up-made my day

On another day a large delivery truck pulled into the parking lot by me (we share a parking lot with a radio station and people come by to pick up prizes they have won).  All of a sudden I heard a loud band-sounded like a gun shot.  Kid you not-my first thought was to check my bag pipe bag for gun holes.  It was just the truck back firing.

8. FM 105.5

My friend, Catherine (who I met while caroling at the hospital) is the Sunday afternoon DJ on FM 105.5 and likes to interview local musicians.  So, in an effort to publicize our upcoming concert Graham, Josh and myself went to her studio and spent an hour with her talking about the concert, playing and piping, and chatting.  Now I wish I had taken some pictures.

9. First games of the season-Northeast Florida Highland Games:

 Grade V band - we're a motley crew but we got 4th place!
Grade IV (I play the tenor drum) got 2nd place.

10. Our upcoming concert:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Home and Third Place!

Happy to say, we made it home a day late but in one piece... only to rush off again the next weekend to the Stone Mountain Games in the Atlanta area.  The weather was beautiful, I saw many of my piping friends, spent time with my band peeps and had a lot of fun.  On Saturday the grade 5 band (I play the pipes in that one) played and placed 8th out of 11.  The grade 4 band (I play the tenor drum) also competed and did equally as poorly- oh well... we had fun.  On Sunday I competed in my solo march - AND GOT THIRD PLACE!!!!  First time I've ever placed and it was the last game of the season!!  I think I'll keep on with this midlife crisis-this beast called the bagpipes!  All this is thanks to Shawn who dared me to compete a year ago - I lost the bet and had to compete and have been competing ever since.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Corn Field Piping...and Grandma's Memorial Service

Written Saturday, Oct 13, 2012
I have gotten to play my pipes in some beautiful places but I think today's was my favorite so far.  Beautiful Pennsylvania fall weather!!!!  What you can't see in this picture is the awful farm smell in the air.  Oh well, the temperature was right, the sky was blue, the colors were beautiful and I had my family around.

Today we honored a woman I am honored to be the grand daughter of- Esther Story Fiol.  She went home to heaven in July at 99 years old.  She and Grandpa were missionaries in India for 45 years.  Today we had a wonderful service remembering her. . . and we had car trouble.  Those of you who know me well know how much I HATE car trouble.  It unsettles me so let me take this opportunity to work through some of my  conflicted impressions of today:

Why I'm Blessed                                                              
-Today my brother Phil (from India) and my brother, Alan (from Taiwan) were here along with my parents who are traveling all over the place these days.  We sang a song together at the service:

The David Fiols singing (dad is off screen at the piano)

-Grandma had 4 boys - 3 of them were there today and Pat, Uncle Bob's wife, was able to be there for him.
-Grandma had 12 grandchildren - 11 of them  were there today (see picture)

-Grandma has 28 (I think) great grandchildren - 13 of them were there today
-The music was beautiful and fun at the service
-We had a great time remembering the funny things about Grandma and Grandpa
-The weather was beautiful
-I got my homework done and submitted
-We were able to have Annette and Nathan with us on this trip (Stephen is on Fall Break somewhere)
-We were able to figure out how to get Annette back to Williamsburg by tomorrow evening despite our car trouble
-I thought to retrieve my computer and Grandma's wedding dress (from 1939) from our car
-We are well and had such a great family time
-Interesting thing about the picture below.  Alan, tells me he has started playing the flute a few months ago and needs a quick lesson.  Before the service he pulls it out to mess around with us.  The schmuck, with only a few months of self teaching, was able to play well enough with Ruth and I to do part of the prelude!!!

My frustrations (which are really kind of amusing)
-Car is broke (but it got us to the memorial service with plenty of time for me to practice all the music)
-As the day went on I realized how much I was planning on living out of the car - the Christmas presents that my brothers were to take back to the nieces were in there, my sweater and sweat shirt were in there, my tennis shoes and only other comfy pair of shoes were in there, my wine is in there!  all our extra food is in there, my car keys are in there!!!!!
-Kent took the car to the only place open on Saturday- a truck fixing place.  They couldn't help us and referred us to the Honda dealer in Lancaster so after the service he and Annette drove the 40 minutes to the dealership.  They called later to tell us that we would have been able to have car today except they don't have the parts they need and have to wait till Monday to get it . . . so, we are in Lancaster till Monday afternoon which is when we were hoping to be home
-We called the dealer and asked them to park the car where we could get at it this evening and they did but then we realized my keys somehow got locked in the car !!!  How did that happen?  I never leave my keys in the car.
-This morning I realized I had brought the wrong tights for my dress so we had to stop at target...and they had a large selection which we never have in SC-so I bought 2 pairs- one of which is locked in the car so I'll be wearing dirty tights to church tomorrow  
-I have no wine for this evening
-Housekeeping did NOTHING with our room in this Super (NOT) 8 motel

Written Sunday, Oct 14, 2012

Went to church this morning with my cousin Londa and her family (they live here).  Her parents (my Uncle Bruce and Aunt Judy who I grew up with in India) were here along with her sisters, Lisa (who lives in Jordan-the country) and Tina (who lives in Atlanta) and her brother, Andy (who lives in DC).  They were like my siblings in India so it was a great family time at church and then afterwards at Londa's house.  Jon and Londa have 6!!! children.  Yesterday I played my flute with their daughter, Ruth (on the flute) and Elaina (on the harp).

  Their son, Micah, helped me take the picture below:

I just want to get home-I have the Stone Mountain Scottish Games next week and I can't be late!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rest Stop Parking Lot Piper

Today we are traveling to Pennsylvania for my Grandma Fiol's memorial service.  Grandma and Grandpa lived in India for 45 years so I grew up on the mission field with grandparents there.  I also had an uncle and aunt and cousins on the mission field with us-how many people can say that?!

Anyways, Grandma went home to heaven in July at 99 years old (she and Stephen are exactly 80 years apart-they shared a birthday, Nov. 22).  My dad and his brothers had agreed that since they all traveled so much and lived so far from Grandma that we would not have a funeral but a memorial service that all could attend.  So, when Grandma passed away in July there was a small graveside service and we started planning her memorial service for October.  That is what brings us to be driving to Pennsylvania right now.

We are stopping in Virginia to pick Annette up.  I have a competition next weekend and am trying to play my pipes every day-that is a problem when one spends the day driving.  Which brings us to the rest stop piping - yep, I did.

Annette instructed us to get the piping out of my system before we got anywhere close to her part of Virginia so we wouldn't run into anyone who knew her so we stopped just over over the N. Carolina/Virginia border at an almost deserted rest stop and I practiced.  It was beautiful fall weather.

Nathan used his pillow and hat to block the sound.  Kent put my drone plugs in his ears - he's sooooo funny.  But, they weren't embarrassed to be seen with me.