1984 Playing the piano – The piano was really the first musical instrument I gained a liking for. During school we were introduced to other basic instruments like the violin and a clarinet-looking thing that had holes we would cover while blowing through the top. But none of them interested me as much as the piano did.
My parents enrolled me in private lessons that I went to weekly for several years in a row. Though I was never what I would consider “amazing”, I could definitely hold a tune and play some really cool songs. My fingers moved pretty quickly, I could read some of the most difficult notes, and I could feel for the keys vs. looking down to watch them.
I remember playing some awesome music from movies like Grease and shows like Phantom of the Opera (mom’s favorite). I was invited to play a song at my half-brother’s wedding that the bride was going to sing along with (it was “Wind Beneath My Wings”, meant to be sung to her mother). But that fell through because the never pursued it.
Still I would be one of the better players at piano recitals and once in a while would wow my friends at school as well. However, as a kid I quickly grew bored of the piano. It wasn’t the cool thing to do anymore. The lessons had become work. They wouldn’t fun.
So I eventually stopped playing. Mom always said I would regret that decision, and now much later in life, I do. So for my 35th birthday, I asked for a keyboard so I could start playing again and perhaps inspire Ryan to do the same.
1992 Keeping busy – Ever since I found out about my parent’s divorce at the age of 11, my life has never been the same. And that’s a GOOD thing. I’ll never forget something changing in my mind that day. When my mom told me they were splitting up for good, I instantly took on the role of ‘man of the house’. I looked for ways I could help her. I tried to do more chores around the home and learn other things by watching professionals (e.g. maintaining our pool). Since then I have ALWAYS been looking for ways to keep busy.
Presently there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t look for something to do, something to fix, or someone to help. Around the house I do virtually everything: laundry, vacuuming, cooking, cleaning, landscaping, maintenance, repairs, and so much more. I work on all the cars to keep costs down and because I don’t trust most mechanics to do the job I would. The same holds true for my mom’s house in Saylorsburg.
I have built everything that surrounds our home – from the shed, the driveway, to the decks, the retaining walls, and even the grass. Nothing is perfect, and I’ve come to realize that it never will be. But I’m content with that. And if there is one thing I’ve learned, this stuff is very exhausting but yet very rewarding. The main reason I do all these things now is not only for myself, but also to inspire our son Ryan that he can do anything he puts his mind to.