Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Whistle while you work

This morning I've been remembering a story about my great grandmother, Kathleen Mary Fitzgerald (how's that for a good solid Irish name? Lol). She had a very difficult life in many ways, and with a lot of hardship.  But she was a very kind and gentle woman with a great sense of fun. My great uncle Doug (her son) has told me that she was also very popular because she was an accomplished pianist with a beautiful singing voice. 

Anyway, my favourite story about her goes something like this: One time she was riding the train from Adelaide to Darwin - right up the middle of Australia - and for some reason the train either broke down, or was forced to stop due to flooding up ahead.  But either way, the train (and everyone on it) was stuck there in the middle of Australia, for two days! Anyway, it was soon discovered that she could play and sing, AND it turned out that there was a piano in one of the luggage cars.  So a bunch of fellows on the train unloaded the piano out onto the ground right there in the middle of nowhere, by the railway track, and as Uncle Doug puts it she 'practically played for two days and two nights straight while everyone enjoyed a non-stop singalong!'  She played everything.  From all the great wartime classics (like 'it's a long way to tipararee'), well loved 'pop songs' of the era, like 'somewhere over the rainbow' and of course all the old Irish songs like 'take me home Kathleen'.

 I love that story not only because it tells me something about her, but also because it's a wonderful example of finding a silver lining, of making lemonade out of lemons, of blooming where you're planted.  Of making the best of whatever situation you might find yourself in at a particular time.  Especially when the situation isn't one you'd expected.

So that's my thought for the day:  If you find yourself stuck by railway track in the middle of nowhere, you can either sit feeling all bored and hot and sorry for yourself, OR you can make the effort to pull out the piano and make some music! The first is definitely easier, but I've been getting better at the whole pull out the piano and sing your way through the hard times thing lately, and I'm definitely happier for it.  La la la la la la la!

(Feel free to join in - we could make this quite a sing-a-long!)

xo Tammy


  1. I like the story and the picture too Tammy, thank you! I think it's also a good reminder to give whatever it is you have to give, and the world around you will probably be better for it :) How sad if she had decided that she did not feel like sharing her talents..

  2. I like that! It's a wonderful story and you're right - a brilliant example of finding the silver lining!
    And of talent sharing :)
    Thanks Tim Tam xox