Monday, April 23, 2012

U is for UKELELE

     I love that word.
     It's fun to say. 
     It also reminds me of the backyard parties my grandparents used to host on summer nights. Uncle Harold, who wasn't really a relation but a family friend, brought his ukelele. He'd unzip it from the worn leather case and tune it before he played. Strumming and singing, Uncle Harold played until he put the kids to sleep in their parents' laps and the beer and soda were gone.
     That ukelele was a great instrument, one small enough to fit comfortably into my eight-year-old hands. At least it looked like it would. You see, I never got up the nerve to ask Uncle Harold if I could hold it and strum the strings. I was pretty shy. My cousin did, though, and I remember burning with jealousy as she sat  next to him in a folding metal chair. She held it like a baby doll and delicately plucked the strings. I wanted to yell, "Strum it, for gosh sakes! Play it fast and loud, like Uncle Harold!" But who was I to tell her? That could have been me getting a lesson instead of her. She wasn't afraid. She didn't miss her chance.
     Years later when Uncle Harold passed away, his wife Vi gave the ukelele to my grandfather. Uncle Harold and he had been childhood friends, and without children of their own, Vi thought my grandfather would like a nice memento of the summer songfests in our backyard. Getting my chance at that ukelele overshadowed the sadness of losing Uncle Harold. I finally had my chance!
     Last month when I brainstormed for ideas at the start of the A to Z Challenge, 'ukelele' came to mind right away for letter 'u'. I sometimes think about the ukelele when I find myself balking at taking a chance, about stepping out of my comfort zone.
     Not every opportunity comes with a second chance.
     Play your ukelele like it's the only chance you'll get.


  1. I love this. We all have our ukeleles, and you've captured that in this piece of writing-well done!

  2. mentioned you on my blog today Holly

  3. The Ukelele always reminds me of George Formby singing When I'm Cleaning Windows, a classic of British humour.



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