Avioneta has been with us for a year now. I met her when she had been hit by a car and injured her foot. I got her vet care and bandaged her wound, and later took her to the spay and neuter clinic but left her where she was, never intending to take her home. The story is in an old post here.
But, later, the trucking firm where the guys looked out for her moved away. They were going to leave her alone in the street and I couldn’t let that happen, so she came to live here.
She is a wonderful dog! She is sweet and affectionate with us, but very protective and aggressive with anyone she doesn’t know. She’s intelligent, well behaved, follows directions, doesn’t chew things, bother the trash, or pee in the house. Well there was that one time when it was thundering which she hates, and rather than go out she peed next to the toilet. At first she wanted to dash out the gate whenever she could, and she seemed worried when we left her alone. Now though she is much more relaxed, never lunges for the gate, and with a treat as we leave she almost seems happy when we go (but she’s very happy when we come back too).
So, life with the dog is going well and we are happy to have her.
Then, there is the bass guitar. I first picked it up somewhere in early or mid June of last year. The former bass player kept going to Colombia and it became increasing obvious that the band needed a substitute bassist. The only other bass players in the area are excellent and very busy with commitments to other bands. I grew up playing classical piano so I have some knowledge, and maybe I could figure out this thing with strings. Joel had a bass guitar gathering dust so he got it out and put it in my hands.
At first I was totally awkward. My fingers didn’t do what I told them to or worse, I didn’t know what to tell them to do. But, little by little, I learned. To my surprise, some songs I like have very simple bass parts. I started learning a few others that were more challenging. I saw on my blog that on July 7th I said I was learning so I must have been encouraged enough to think it was going to work out.
Once I said yes, I had until mid September to get ready. All day, every day was spent practicing. I went to the US in July to visit kids, bought a cheap bass there and while they worked, I practiced. I came back in August and Joel and I started practicing together, and then we put it all together with Chris, our drummer.
The first gig went well! Thank goodness, since everyone in town turned out. I didn’t know I had so many wonderful, supportive friends! Almost immediately I was upgraded to full time bass player, which freed the other guy to move to Colombia which he did soon after, so it worked out for everyone.
Now, a year later, I’m starting to feel like a real bass player. It’s been a process though. I still practice every day, sometimes most of the day. Joel is self taught and I’m conservatory trained so we have had to learn each other’s languages and how to communicate. He has spent countless hours working with me on the music and other aspects of a band, equipment, lights, setting up on stage, trouble shooting, etc etc. There is a lot more that goes on than you would think!
Just in the last few weeks, it feels like something clicked with me and the band as a whole. At first it was a job and I didn’t want to screw it up, but now I’m part of creating music. We have some really cool material that is a blast to play. Joel is singing better than ever and Chris, a relatively new singer, is getting better and better all the time. We are getting tight and more professional as a group. We have made some wonderful friends in the music community, and have had the opportunity to play with some awesome musicians who sit in with us now and then, which is a wonderful experience for me and very inspiring.
Also important, I’m getting a better music – life balance. This has also been a process as I went from the very intense push to get ready to now, when I actually have some “chops” and we have more material than we can play in two evenings. Now I’m making more time for gardening, biking, friends, and other interests, and I’ve even taken an occasional day off from practicing. Maybe I can write in the blog a bit more often too.
If someone had told me I’d retire, live in Panama, have a dog named Little Airplane, and play bass in a rock band…. uh huh, right 😁 You never know what’s around the next corner.