“When I’m 64….” September 05 2016
Which is today…
How did that happen?
I was probably 15 when the Beatles song with the above words came out. At that point, 64 was so far in the future, I had absolutely no comprehension of what it would be. I was, however, frightened of the age and so chose not to think of it very much at all.
And now, here I am. It isn’t frightening to turn 64. It is remarkable to be this age and still feel as strong and well as I did in my 20’s and 30’s. I am grateful for this healthy body which has seen me through so much and continues to function very, very well.
It is with gratitude I recall a very happy early childhood with two sisters and a brother to share in some high jinx adventures. Things got complicated, as they do for many, in my early teens. At age 12 I began competitive swimming, and in one summer grew 4 inches and lost 20 pounds and learned that hard work resulted in success and self-confidence. Yes, I was bullied in school, but that ended up ok because my flute became my dearest friend and confidant. Hours of practicing daily helped make up the technical development missed due to a late start on the instrument. Lessons earned in the pool translated beautifully to the practice of music.
College was a big adventure. Imagine this very sheltered 18-year-old, who was not invited to her High School senior prom, heading to a large campus where in her freshman year she never missed a weekend of dating….
With that year under my belt, I focused on practicing and studying and was able to graduate with a good GPA. During the summers I worked as a life guard and swim coach, and that is where I met my husband-to-be. We worked with 80 kids 4 hours every morning, and that made for a great working relationship. We were married the August after I graduated, and just last week celebrated 42 years of marriage. ( In the words of Uncle Mac, the first 41 years were the hardest!!) Seriously, my husband has been a source of love, support, inspiration, and is always there. We have two grown children who are happy and working at what they love.
A busy freelance career started after undergraduate school, and I had the great privilege to study the flute with the legendary Murray Panitz, the principal flutist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In many ways those lessons became the basis for my musical identity that has lasted all these years.
Teaching has been a part of my life since the age of 17 when my teacher at that time said, “I can’t do anything with this one. See what you can do.” She and I are in touch to this day! My students have been a challenge, inspiration, and some have become my dearest friends. They have won awards, gone on to be musicians, teachers, music therapists, educators and professionals in their own right.
My third child is my business, Flute Pro Shop. For the last 7 years I have put all I have into this project. I love this business: the look on flutists’ faces when they find the instrument of their dreams, the excitement of new music, the mental exercise of putting the right flute into someone’s hands, the pride of quality workmanship of our manufacturers, the creative outlet of marketing and sales. I am joined in this enterprise by the remarkable Kristen Michelle, who matches my work ethic step-by-step, and whose artistic and creative genius is an inspiration always. And boy does she have a great ear!
If things go on as they seem to be going, I have a good 30 to 40 years left. I am looking forward to continuing to grow FPS, performing concerts and commissioning new works, swimming in meets (am pretty good in my age group!) doing more volunteering, perhaps getting back on the pool deck as a coach, lots of laughing, friends, travel, and insights.
If things don’t go that way, this has been a remarkable life and I am grateful for it all.