Friday, February 24, 2006
Handbells and Capzasin
Many of you may know that I like music. As I mentioned in the last post, I listen to music all the time. Some of you may also know that I like to play music as well. I play the guitar and took piano lessons last year. My mother played the clarinet so I guess I get it naturally. Most of you probably don't know that the instrument I am most proficient at is the handbells. Yep you heard me correctly, handbells. Let's get in the way-back machine and let me tell you how this all started. When I was in 3rd grade our church wanted to buy a set of handbells. Now handbells were pretty new back then and they cost a lot of money so we had a spaghetti dinner as a fundraiser. Like most events at church, I was there to help out and of course eat. The evening was a big success and soon we had a set of handbells. Like most new things there was plenty of excitement when the arrived and soon there were three or four groups playing the bells. They even let us little kids play. We each had two bells and we marked our music with R and L to tell us what bell to ring and when. Things went well and but soon we had to put up or shut up. By 5th grade we needed to actually read the notes. Since I couldn't hack piano lessons with sergeant Schultz (that is another post all together) I had a steep learning curve. I managed to learn the old "every good boy does fine" and "FACE" as well as "good boys do fine always" and "All cows eat grass". Those of you who read music know what I am talking about. I continued to play handbells all throughout elementary school and junior high. I even played a bit in high school. When I got to college I auditioned for the handbell program and low and behold I made it. I was placed in the middle (of three) groups at Christ College and man was I pushed. Dr. Geisler was a great director although he was a bit hard to get along with at times. He pushed us and expected perfection. I really grew in my abilities there. After a year and a half I got called up to the big leagues...Concert Bells. I was stoked. We had a great bunch of musicians in that group and it was a ton of fun. We went on tour during spring break and performed concerts at local churches. It was a blast. In my senior year a few things changed. Many of my good friends in the group graduated and the group dynamics were very different. I was not having fun and there was no way I was going to be able to afford to go to Europe with the group so I left (with some serious drama from Dr. Geisler) and focused on being in Concert Choir (which I started my senior year). It was strange not playing bells since I had done it at least once a year since about third grade. So there was about three years when I did't even pick up a bell let alone hear a choir play. It was a bit sad but when I started teaching, I found out that the church where the school was at had a bell choir and I joined. I was a bit disappointed as I knew way more about bells than the director and I played almost the whole bass clef by myself. It was not very challenging but it was music. When I moved to Long Beach I joined the bell choir at Bethany. I thought it would be your typical church choir but I was wrong. This was a good group. Most of them had been playing together for many years and they were doing level 4 music (that is some hard stuff) not to mention they had a full five octave set of bells. I had not seen a church choir that played more than three octaves. Well I played with them for about three years and then I started seminary and I have class on Thursdays so I had to take a leave of absence for a while. That was until last month. Because of scheduling of life etc. The bells were rehearsing on Wednesdays until Lent. So I joined again. It has been great!! I have really missed playing bells with a group. The one problem is that I somehow tweaked my elbow on the first night of rehearsal and it has been giving me problems since. So feeling like an old man I went to the store to get some type of cream to ease the pain. I saw a commercial for this stuff called Capzasin that is supposed to be really good so I picked it up for... gulp...$12 a tube. What was I thinking!! All seemed to going fine until this Wednesday. I got home about 7:30 and I needed some quick comfort of Capzasin (hey I should write an ad for them). I was feeling better when for some reason my eyes started to itch. Now mind you I washed my hands after applying, since that is what the directions say and I have to follow directions, but obviously I did not get off all the goodness that is Capzasin. About three seconds later I realize that I am in trouble. I get up and stumble to the back of the house and before I can get to the bathroom it feels like fire is shooting out of my eye!!!!! I yell for Jill and she comes running and I am hunched over in the bedroom groping for the bathroom door. I am in some serious pain here folks. I had that thought run through my head of "Holy, Crap!!! This could be really Bad!!! The other time that happened was when I was white water rafting and I was stuck underwater in a "hole" on the Kings River (again that is another post all together). I finally make it into the bathroom and by now lava is pouring out of my head. Little did I know that Capzasin gets its "heat" from the stuff inside of hot peppers. Now I know what it is like to be pepper sprayed. NOT FUN!!! I start to think about how to explain this all to the nurse at Memorial Hospital when the pain starts to subside. Jill puts some eyedrops in and then I flush my eye with water for about 10 min. So I blame the handbells and my old age (wink...wink) to this calamity. As a public service to all who read this. Wash your hands (and I mean scrub them) after using any sort of cream or balm or ointment. You will be glad you did. So that is my sad tale. Handbell rehearsals have moved back to Thursdays and I will have to wait a few more years until I can rejoin the bell choir. Until then I will help out this Easter. Thanks for listening (or I guess its reading) to my long story. Have a great week!!!
Oh by the way Jill and I start parenting classes next Wednesday. Classes go for six weeks and then we should be ready for placement. Pray for us!!!
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