A New Life! Retirement at its Best 110

CMS Raleigh

Community Music School in Raleigh, having just moved their location to the brand new Longleaf School of the Arts, invited us to a reception to introduce us to the new facility, honor the donors and showcase some of the students’ performances. Several people have donated grand pianos, a whole piano lab even, and a lot of money. Our son, since September 2018 has been the first  Executive Director, and is considered by all the best ever addition to the company. His wife is the Interim Program Manager, assisting him in many various programs. CMS enables underprivileged children to take after school music lessons for $1 per hour. They teach a wide range of instruments and musical styles; their Music Technology program teaches recording and production, and their Musical Theater Program provides valuable stage experience to budding actors. It is a fabulous organization with a growing attendance. Because the Longleaf School of the Arts is in the center of Raleigh, and it would be dark by the start time of the reception, and because nobody likes me to drive in the dark, we decided to ride with Uber. That was our second time, and it was a good experience. The first time, around Christmas last year, I could not open the app, and we ended up with a ride home from Raleigh arranged all the way from California by our daughter, who uses Uber all the time. But this time, one way only, was a success. The CMS reception was an elegant affair with piano music when the guests were arriving, beautifully decorated tables with petit fours, fruits, vegetables, nuts, small quiches and various other delicacies. Bubbling apple cider was served in gold-glittered champagne glasses. All that had been organized by our daughter in law, who is extremely artistic. Student performances, speeches and honoring various donors made for a beautiful evening.

Massaging my vocal cords

Have you ever massaged your vocal cords or stretched them? Have you even thought of doing that if you are not a singer? Well, I never did either one, until now. To my list of medical professionals like Internist, Ophthalmologist, Podiatrist, Orthopedic Surgeon, I have now added an ENT. For the past couple of months I noticed that my voice was changing. It got dark and rasping, like that of a chain smoker. So I went to see an ENT, right across the street. Everything is so nice and close (except dog training classes). My ENT concluded that I have age related loss of elasticity of my vocal cords. Ha! I never knew something like that existed! But if that was all, could I do something about it? He asked if I perhaps talked little, whereupon I told him the opposite is the case: I talk to my husband, (sometimes too much to his liking), I talk to my dog, I talk to myself and even to people I meet in a store. So I have plenty of practice daily! On Tuesday I started voice therapy, once every two weeks or so, for a couple of months, and then I should have my lovely voice back. Of course it involves homework several times a day, trills of a single note, trills sliding up and down the scale and so on, massaging and stretching my vocal cords. The first time I did it the dog started barking and Mike called, “What are you doing?” So now I do my trills in the office with the door closed, or in the car when I am driving somewhere, and the silent “s’s” I can do anywhere. With proper guidance, my body will heal itself!


The day before you are reading this, on Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m. (I am an early bird) I will have had an MRI of my shoulder. After six weeks and a cortisone shot it still hurts, and I hope to find out that it can be cured by physical therapy only and I will not need surgery. But with many other activities, two more weeks of dog training plus classes on Saturdays (and she must get that AKC Good Citizen diploma this time!) and a large sewing project coming up my posts will be shorter in the weeks to come. I love sewing and have not done it in ages. I still kept the ancient Singer sewing machine which I purchased from our neighbor (the little old lady in Pasadena) in 1989, and once in a while it comes in handy. In addition, in eighteen days, my trip to New York will become a reality, and preparing for that will take time. All fun things, that will mean I will not have the abundant time I have currently to write.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,



2 thoughts on “A New Life! Retirement at its Best 110”

  1. Great to hear, Anna Konya. Oops, I don’t mean great to hear that you are right there with me, but great to hear that I will be able to help you. In the next few days I will send you by email one sheet of exercises I have been doing. Let me know if there is anything you don’t understand.

    Also, how are you doing with the new tribal line of your beautiful skirts? I get compliments on all the skirts I am wearing, every single time. My two favorites are the shorter ones and then the rayon animal print. The brown/orange/yellow dress that I bought in Kona, Hawai’i will be perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.
    Love and hugs,


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