Task #3, Uncategorized


Hello my merry wee band of followers. I thought I would give you an update on the progress I have made on my list. I have been practicing piano very, very hard! Unfortunately, I have had a few set backs. Firstly, one of the songs I have chosen to perform at this much anticipated cultural event won the best song of the year at The Oscars! This presents a problem because now people will know what this song is supposed to sound like!

The second problem, it turns out I have absolutely no musical talent no matter how much I practice. It’s extraordinary, I am so talented in my head, but it just won’t come out! So, why is this task even on my list, you ask?  Well, in the pursuit of self-improvement and personal growth, a musical challenge targets one of my most significant flaws. An MRI of my brain beautifully demonstrates the problem…

Conway, Leana 12/21/67
MRI of Brain activity, Conway. Leana

Left Brain Function

Reason, organization, math/science, logic (so overrated), boooorrrrriiinnnnggg

Right Brain Function

Creativity, Empathy, Imagination, Super fun (ok I added that)

As you can see the left side of my brain looks like an old, dusty walnut you found on your pantry floor. Music, however, is the great equalizer. Creating music requires both sides of the brain through the corpus callosum to communicate. 

According to science, the brain develops according to what we feed it intellectually. Actual physical nerve tissue forms as we study a new skill! At fifty, when everything else is headed south for the winter, how exciting to actually grow!

Another bonus to this task is my teacher, Amy Witten. The Witten’s are the all-American family. Amy is lovely and gracious. Her handsome husband Doug is a DEA agent who risks his life for the greater good (feel free to thank her family for their service if you are unfortunate enough to be coerced into attending this event).  After attempting to teach me piano off and on for approximately 6 years, I am still about a third grade level (this is not her fault!). I have, however, made a friend for life and learned several cosmic truths.

Probably the biggest lesson I have learned, other than how to butcher Amazing Grace, is the concept of dissonant notes. A dissonant sound is an unpleasant sound in music that is unstable and has an oral need to resolve. Only once the next notes are played, the resolution, does the entire piece of music make sense and create beauty.

I cannot tell you how many times in the hospital, when I’m worried, or when life isn’t making sense do I remind myself this is just a dissonant note in my life. While the event may be uncomfortable, the resolution is coming! It may be beyond the veil of this world, but it’s coming.

To paraphrase Florence Foster Jenkins, “They can say I can’t play, but they can’t say I didn’t.” I have set the date of the recital for May 11th. As you guys know,  I am not shy, but the mere thought of this event makes my stomach feel like its full of squishy lime-Jello. Hopefully,  I won’t embarrass myself too badly.

As far as my other tasks, I have purchased the crème Brulee torch and am perfecting getting my Brulee to “tremble.” My double first and second cousin/niece (it’s a Mennonite thing), Robyn Barchen, is going to school me via Skype on this. I have leads on people for tasks four and five, although I had a severe setback when my first choice older person decided it would be better to go on and head to his reward instead of being the subject of my dumb blog. Thus I have narrowed my age parameters to an 80-year-old friend and a 20-year-old friend. I have completed mine and Dennis’ love story and will publish soon!
The dancing with Dennis idea has elicited the same reaction from Phil Holdbrooks, Jimmy Ellison, Doug Stapleton, Jake Walsh, and other guys, “I’ve got this!” Hmmmm…. what does that mean exactly? Are we going to suspend Dennis from a crane and a hunting harness? Will we staple him to a board on wheels, or are we all going to stand in a circle and pray that angels are going to come down and lift him for us?

While I certainly appreciate the enthusiasm, I think Dennis is going to want a few more details before we wrestle him into a party suit and dancing shoes. Below is NOT what we are looking to do to him!


I am completely blown away of the support I am receiving for this project! Thank you, especially for the beautiful replies to the “love letters”! It is definitely true that “In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” So, let’s all go out there and make some love! Wait…I’m not sure my mum, Oma Irene, is going to like that slogan, but you get the spirit of the thing. Make your list and spread some love!

6 thoughts on “TASK #3 THE PIANO RECITAL!”

  1. Hey friend, you’re giving Erma Bombeck a “run for the money.” This is hilarious, heart warming and inspirational. Thanks for the laugh. You’re going to be great at your recital!


  2. I am constantly amazed by you, my amazing, hilarious, crazy momma. I’m beyond excited that i’ll able to attend your piano recital. I’ll also force your blonde daughter and favorite Pakistani to come along as well. I shall ensure that everyone has had enough wine to where they’re confusing your playing with Alicia Keys’.


  3. You heart once again is shining through accompanied by your magical words.
    You have made me as I’m sure many laugh, cry, and appreciate the beautiful ‘you’ even more❣
    Write on my friend. 💕


  4. Oh where to begin…you have just made my day! Your blog is delightful entertaining and certainly allows me a glimpse of the “girl ” next door. I have enjoyed every word! I may not be quite qualified for the 80 year old friend position, however I am close enough to apply. I look forward to your recital and truly admire your spirit……:with and without wine!


  5. Wow! God always manages to show up and show out when our hearts are followain’t His prompts. Here, I reached out to see how you are doing, and now I have been blessed beyond measure by being invited to be a furry friend! My timing wasn’t exactly perfect, or I would have been enjoying a cocktail at your recital! Ha! I am beyond “in awe” of your wit and sensitivity, and will anxiously await your updates to this huge step of starting an amazingly creative blog! I must also admit, this is the first blog I will ever have followed, so I, too, have a first … not quite as impressive as yours, but a first! You inspire me, and I am honored to call you friend! Love and blessings!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s