“Oh Shenendoah”

(A summer repeat – from 8/14/2011)

When my daughter Lauren was born – from the day we brought her home from the hospital (and for years) – I sang to her.  Every night before she went to bed.  I would play my guitar and sing “Froggy went a Courtin’”  “This Little Light of Mine” “Trouble in Mind” and a host of others.  But I would also lapse into some old songs that we used to sing in the Gamma Alpha Beta (“GAB”) Fraternity at Augustana College.  And I would often close the evening, as Lauren was closing her eyes, with the GAB “Sweetheart Song” or “Oh Shenendoah” — a song that the GAB’s sang at a Homecoming event one year (and won). 

When Lauren was married just over two years ago, I thought long and hard about what song I should have played for the Daddy/Daughter Dance at the reception.  Then it hit me.   And I smiled.  Lauren had some general notion about the universe of songs from which I would select. “Dad, you’re not going to have them play ‘Froggy went a Courtin’ are you?”  No. . . .  Instead, I picked that melancholy favorite that I’d closed each evening with — “Oh Shenendoah.”      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etC59HVD-tg 

The music started and we both had tears in our eyes as we danced to this song that will forever be in our hearts. 

Trouble Sleeping?

There appear to be three types of insomnia:  transient (occasional); acute (short duration); and chronic (long duration).  All result in sleep deprivation which can (after longer duration) have serious health consequences.   I fall asleep easily – and quickly – but there are times when I will wake up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m.  thinking about this or that.  I’m familiar with the usual RX’s for getting to or back to sleep:  a cool room; no meal immediatly before bedtime; easy on the alcohol; no caffeine; no chocolate; a glass of warm milk; no afternoon naps; keep regular sleep hours; exercise but not before going to bed; read something boring – or soothing – before turning out the lights; and so on. 

However I have three further remedies that work for me that I’ve never read about.  They are:

1.  Clenching hands — When I wake up in the middle of the night, I sometimes find that my hands are clenched.  I simply unclench and lay them flat.  I suddenly feel relaxed;

2.  Deep breathing — I will breathe in through my nose, hold the breath and then exhale.  Slowly.  Deeply.   Through my mouth.  I get exhausted doing it.  After 7 or 8 times, it’s pretty much back to dreamland; and

3.  A pad of paper — I will often wake up thinking (you wonder – what could this man possibly be thinking?).  So I have a pad of paper by the bed.   And a flashlight.  I jot down whatever random drivle  comes into my small brain and I can then forget it.   zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. . . . .

And if these remedies don’t work, call me and I will start singing “Oh Shenedoah” (see post of August 14, 2011) .  That should do the trick. . . . .

“Oh Shenendoah”

When my daughter Lauren was born – from the day we brought her home from the hospital (and for years) – I sang to her.  Every night before she went to bed.  I would play my guitar and sing “Froggy went a Courtin'”  “This Little Light of Mine” “Trouble in Mind” and a host of others.  But I would also lapse into some old songs that we used to sing in the Gamma Alpha Beta (“GAB”) Fraternity at Augustana College.  And I would always close the evening, as Lauren was closing her eyes, with the GAB “Sweetheart Song” and “Oh Shenendoah” — a song that the GAB’s sang at a Homecoming event one year (and won). 

When Lauren was married just over two years ago, I thought long and hard about what song I should have played for the Daddy/Daughter Dance at the reception.  Then it hit me.   And I smiled.  Lauren had some general notion about the universe of songs from which I would select (“Dad, you’re not going to have them play ‘Froggy went a Courtin’ are you?”).  No.   Instead, I picked the one that I’d closed each evening with — “Oh Shenendoah.”      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etC59HVD-tg 

The music started and we both had tears in our eyes as we danced to this song that will forever be in our hearts.