Language Exploration

My daughter tells me that my 22 month old grandson talks more to me than most other people. It is possibly because I have endless patience for monosyllabic conversation with very cute, three-feet-high munchkins. But I think it is more likely because I find the progression of language riveting and will help him explore language for hours at a time.

When my grandson initially began to speak, the first thing he called me was “Bam Bam”. He could hear the “a” sound and the “m” in “Grandma,” but the other letters were not accessible in the beginning. A few months later, he began to call me “Drum Drum.”  He was able to add in the “r” sound but still needed to keep the syllables the same. Just last month, I became “Grandma.” All the letters are working now!

I enjoyed listening to my own children explore language many years ago. One of my favorite memories is of our youngest daughter, two years old at the time, at the dinner table, trying unsuccessfully to get a word in while her siblings talked on and on. She finally stood up and announced, “MY talking to you!”

She was eventually able to switch out the adjective for a pronoun and a linking verb and went on to become a technical editor for a geo-environmental engineering consulting firm.

You never know where the exploration of language will take you.


A few weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to see England through the eyes of my youngest daughter as we took our long awaited post college (for her) Mother/Daughter trip. Both of us are musicians and hearing Evensong services at Westminster Abbey in London and at the York Minster further north were high on our priority list.

Evensong is a service that is often sung from the Book of Common Prayer. It has been part of three principal liturgies of the Anglican and Episcopal tradition since the year 1549 when the Book of Common Prayer was first authorized for the Church of England.

The Westminster Abbey choir is composed of men and boys, while the York Minster Choir includes girls as well. All of the children who sang at the York Minster were members of the Minster Preparatory School which was established in 627 AD.

At both Westminster Abbey and the York Minster, we arrived early to wait in line so we could be seated in the quire (choir stalls) directly behind the choir. Deep voices of the men harmonized with the high sopranos of the children while the great pipe organ played and filled the church. The music was heavenly.

As an added treat, before the Evensong service at the York Minster, a wedding took place, and we got to clap and cheer for the happy couple as they exited the building.

So much has happened at these cathedrals for almost a thousand years. Babies have been christened, couples have married, monarchs have been buried, and people have sung and worshipped God.

And they still do today.

The Community Gathering

I live in a small town surrounded by several other small towns. And our small towns like music – a lot! Every town has a weekly summer concert in the park series, each on a different day of the week. 

If you enjoy live music, you can head to Atascadero on Saturday night, Templeton on Wednesday night and Paso Robles on Thursday night. If you want to drive a ways to a larger city and listen to music in a historic mission plaza, head to San Luis Obispo on Friday nights.

I love music and attend a lot of these concerts with family and friends which allows us to build relationships and community. (… and eat. We bring BIG picnics.)

There is just something about a setting sun, a cool breeze and music you can tap your feet to that opens the door to good conversations and good memories.