Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Pleasant Surprise

Last week the mailman delivered to me a parcel, which came all the way from sunny Australia. My dear friend Alice sent this pleasant and most welcome surprise. My husband has been ill lately and going through some tests, so the parcel cheered us up at a time when we really needed some cheering.
The package contained several audiotapes……some with music, and one with Australian birdcalls and a ‘Bird Symphony’ - beautiful music with birdcalls interspersed throughout.
My husband and I listened to the birds as we ate dinner that night, and sat there smiling at each other, once in a while saying, "Oh that one sounds familiar!" The sounds of the birds transported us right back to Australia….to memories of living there, and hearing so many of them on a daily basis. What a treat to hear their cheerful chirping again, and especially the ‘laughter’ of the kookaburras!
The kooka in the picture was sitting on my mother's back porch, waiting to be fed. I took this photo in 1994 when I was visiting Mum.


There was music by a Welsh singer named Aled Jones, who started his music career as an amazing boy soprano. Now as an adult, he has a wonderful voice, which is similar to Josh Groban’s. He sings some of the same songs as Josh G., as well as beautiful hymns, traditional and contemporary spiritual music. There was a Christmas album of his, and another beautiful collection of songs called "Voices From the Holy Land" in which he sings with various choirs as a young teen.
Another tape held encouraging spiritual music by Genesis…."Bring Back the Springtime"!
There was also instrumental relaxation music by Tony O’Conner, which incorporates Australian Aboriginal instruments, Aussie birdcalls and ocean sounds. That music is playing as I write this.


Last, but not least was "A Tribute to Banjo Patterson" by Wallis and Matilda. Banjo Patterson was probably the most famous of the Australian poets. He wrote ‘Waltzing Matilda’, ‘The Man From Snowy River’ (which most of you probably know was made into a movie, plus a sequel), ‘Clancy of the Overflow’, and many other poems. On this tape the poems are put to music. Alice included the words printed out on paper to all the poems on the tape. She has been a busy girl!
Aussie kids are taught Banjo Patterson’s poems at school. It was wonderful to hear them again and to be transported back to my school days and the nostalgic memories of a childhood spent growing up in Australia.


All these musicians are newly introduced to me and are a welcome addition to our music collection. You see, Alice and I have been discussing our music preferences, among other things. This is actually the second parcel she’s sent. The first contained a tape each of Aled Jones and Tony O’Connor. When Alice learned that I loved them both, she sent more! Bless her heart.



So thank you, sweet Alice, for such a thoughtful and caring gift, on which you must’ve spent many hours of preparation. You are truly a blessing and I’m very grateful for your friendship.

13 comments:

Alice said...[Reply]

Two lovely photos on your blog - your beautiful profile photo and another of the two of us together at the end.

Which one is me?

Kerri said...[Reply]

Take your pick Alice. I know you like to wear blue, so I was kind of picturing you in blue, Ducky :) My profile photo was only there long enough for me to copy the url so I could add it to my profile. You must've caught it just at the right moment!

Sue said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
Gifts from a friend are so wonderful, aren't they? The music sounds wonderful. Love your profile photo!
Enjoy your weekend,
Sue

Abandoned in Pasadena said...[Reply]

What a wonderful tribute to Alice...I'm sure she appreciates all the kind things you said about her and she is just so sweet and thoughtful to have sent you such lovely items. It sounds like you two have a wonderful friendship.

Connie and Rob said...[Reply]

That just sounds like a wonderful gift. I am sorry to hear your husband has not been feeling well. I will say a prayer that he will be better shortly.

Take care,
Connie

Val said...[Reply]

Dear Kerri,
I'm so sorry your husband has been unwell. I hope the laughing kookas bring laughter to you both, and that magpie songs were included.

Motherkitty said...[Reply]

Kerri, aren't you the lucky one -- not only to have such a wonderful friend in dear Alice, but to have an opportunity to "revisit" the sights and sounds of Australia. I'm sure it all brought a tear to your eyes.

I'm sorry your hubby is not feeling well. I hope his tests come back favorable and that he is soon on the road to recovery. It would be a shame to not feel well when Spring is on the way.

We should all be so lucky to have such a wonderful friend, especially one who sends such nice care packages. Thanks for letting us all share your joy.

Motherkitty said...[Reply]

I meant to tell you that I love the look of your blog. I can read the words so much better now.

Sigrun said...[Reply]

Hi, I have never seen a kooka! It is a nice bird.

Best wishes for your husband, that he get well soon.

Sigrun

jellyhead said...[Reply]

That Alice is a sweetie, isn't she?!

Sorry that your hubby has been unwell - hope he's well again soon.

Meow said...[Reply]

Hi, I'm visiting for the first time ... I like what I see, I shall come back (if I may!?!)
What a lovely present you got from Alice ... she must be a great friend. And all that lovely stuff from my homeland, Australia. You are lucky.
Hope you are having a great day. Take care, Meow

Kerri said...[Reply]

Thank you all so much for visiting and for the well wishes for my hubby. The tests results were good!
He's slowly improving. I'm sure the warmer weather will make him feel better. Val, yes magpie songs were included...lovely :)
Sigrun and Meow....great to see new faces!
Kitty, I'm glad you can read my blog better!
Jelly,
Yes, that Alice is most definitely a Sweetie :)

Zoey said...[Reply]

I am so glad to hear that your husband is feeling better.
What a sweet, thoughtful friend you have in Alice.