Time flies. Such a profound statement that. Be it whether you’re having fun or whether you’re not, time does indeed fly by. It seems like just a week or so ago that I was telling you about Victoria turning 18. Well, today she has turned 19. Where this past year has gone I haven’t a clue. I think the culprit is college. When your life is on a semester schedule it seems to go by quicker than on a plain old month to month schedule. If that’s not the reason why it seems like a whole year couldn’t have already come and gone, I don’t know what other reason there is.
So, what’s been going on in our little girl’s life—our little girl, who isn’t such a little girl any more? Mainly, much the same as last year. She’s still in college, a junior this year, still majoring in music, still coaching gymnastics, still a Chargerette, and still ballroom dancing. The new thing she’s added to her list of things to do is teaching harp lessons. She now has two students and is enjoying working with them and sharing her love of the instrument. I wish I could say she still helps out in the shop, but that doesn’t happen very often because she’s too busy doing all those other things. She has found a little time this past year to do some embroidery work on samples, but the majority of the time she’s studying if she’s at home.
She was invited to play with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Ensemble back in March because they needed a second harpist. That was a great learning experience for her, and she even got paid as a professional. Mileage and all! She’s played at more weddings this year than last, one of which was on the beach in Gulf Shores. That one was a bit tricky because of rain. We were told that rain on your wedding day was a sign of good luck, but rain on a harp is anything but good luck. She managed to get the guests seated and the bride down the isle before the rain came but wasn’t able to do the sand ceremony or the recessional. One of the young men who’d gone to help, held an umbrella over her and the harp the whole time so neither she nor the harp got wet. We managed to get the harp off the beach and under shelter without a drop of rain getting on the wood. Whew!
While she enjoyed having the opportunity to play at the beach, just going to the beach was her main objective. It turned out this summer that she went three times in all: once with Bonner, who you met in the post on her 18th birthday; once with our neighbor who needed someone to look after her grandson while she was in training; and then again for the beach wedding. She’s decided that after she graduates year after next she wants to spend that whole summer at the beach playing just enough gigs to pay her expenses but not so many that she can’t spend all day on the beach. We’ve discussed the problems with getting too much sun of course. After her first trip to the beach this summer where she returned fried, and I do mean fried to a crisp, she’s more cautious about what she puts on her skin. Normally she doesn’t really burn so she doesn’t put anything on, but after putting on suntan oil at the suggestion of a friend she learned what it meant to become burnt. No kidding. She was as dark as a piece of very burnt toast. Very burnt! When she peeled it wasn’t a pretty sight.
Is it hard to believe that she got that dark? Well, she was so dark this summer (how dark was she? Are you old enough to remember that joke?), she was so dark that she was mistaken for an African American. Yes, I’m serious. One of our ladies asked Miss Martha if Victoria was still playing at Bridge Street. Miss Martha told her she was. Our quilter said she’d seen a young lady playing the harp there, but she was so dark that she thought it was someone else. No, it was Victoria. She’s the only dark skinned harpist there. Her friend who plays with her from time to time has a fair complexion and is blond. Of course, now that it’s October she’s lamenting the fact that she’s soooo pale and can’t wait until next summer so she can get out and mow the yard in order to get her tan back. Going to the beach again as many times as she can manage in order to deepen that tan will be on her to-do list as well I’m sure.
Back to her music… In the spring she’ll have her junior recital which she will share with another musician. If you live close by and want to come to the recital you’re more than welcome to do so. Just watch the calendar on this blog, and I’ll be sure to post it as soon as a date is set. She’s working up music for the recital at present and has some pretty impressive pieces under her belt already. Every now and then she’ll play those impressive pieces at Bridge Street, but for the most part when she’s playing there she plays things in the popular genre that everyone has heard.
Her harp is back at the house now thanks to the generous donation of enough money by a local patron for the music department to buy a harp that can stay on campus. We’re back to getting to hear her practice a little every now and then. We just finished our first-ever fall Stitchin’ Camp this past weekend and some of our campers were able to hear her play for the first time in a long time when they visited the shop to take advantage of the discount given during camp. We’re mulling over the idea of having an open house at the end of the year and having her play. Early in our marriage we went to a B&B for music and light refreshments during the holidays. It was a lovely event and kind of what I have in mind. I just have to figure out how to hold the event without folks thinking the shop is open for business as well. An idea is forming in my tiny mind though. We’ll see if it works out like I want it to. Again, you’ll have to watch the calendar for the date, assuming that we pull the event together of course.
All in all we’re very proud of our lovely young lady who has enough wisdom about her to know that at present she’s far too busy to include a serious, or even not so serious, relationship with a young man amongst all that she has on her plate. She’s met several very suitable young men this past year, most of whom wouldn’t mind having her to call their own, but so far she’s kept them at arm’s length and stayed focused on getting through school. Of course, it helps that none of these young men quite measure up to Robert Conrad, John Wayne, Clint Walker, and other rugged and/or athletic he-men of days gone by which is what she’s looking for. On top of that, he must be a Christian first and foremost as well as have excellent manners and be a proper gentleman. Given the complexity of her list of criteria that a young man must meet, I really don’t think we have to worry about wedding bells for her any time soon. That’s a good thing because I’m not ready.
Her goal right now is to make it into an honor society where you have to have a 3.9 your junior year to be accepted. She’s close with a 3.82, but time will tell as to whether or not she’ll make it. She did make it onto the Dean’s List this past year and was able to get a couple of scholarships because of her academic standing. Needless to say, her dad’s quite glad of that. It’s not a full ride, but as he says, every little bit helps.
While it is on some levels intriguing to watch her grow into an independent young woman, it is also not something that I really look forward to. I’ve enjoyed having my children home with me, and given that she’s the last one in the nest I’m not at all anxious to see her sprout wings and fly. The saying that we give out children wings to fly on doesn’t work in my book. I’d rather clip those wings so flying isn’t an option any time soon. Thankfully, she seems to be content to live at home with her cats (her dear friends have dubbed her the old maid cat lady) and her fuddy duddy old parents. What this next year holds for her is anyone’s guess. Only the good Lord knows for certain, and I pray that He is gracious to her and that He keeps her safe, healthy, and focused on all the right things while removing from her life those things, or persons, that might cause her to stumble and veer from the path on which she’s currently traveling. If prayer is a part of your daily life, I humbly ask that you include her in them each day asking God to give her wisdom as well as sufficient strength to do what’s right. I don’t think it takes a village to raise a child, but I do believe it takes much prayer on the part of many who care.