Saturday, January 07, 2006


(Or: Neil Peart, Watch Out)

After a 1.5-year hiatus, we are once again a fully functioning percussionist household.

When our basement flooded in July 2004, we had to have it re-finished, a project that just wrapped up last week. ("Had to"? Well, perhaps not. "Really, really wanted to"? Yeah.) Among other things, this meant that Jeff has not been able to play the drums in over a year and a half. And that I've had drum cases in my bedroom for 17 months too long.

He missed drumming, to put it mildly. But tonight, joy of joys, the basement walls vibrated once again. The drums are back.

So it's going to be a little LOUD around here. And although I tend to like quiet-as-a-church mouse decibel levels, I am thrilled that Jeff is finally able to play again. I think he's a terrific drummer; I love watching him. I'm in such awe of anyone whose two hands and two feet can do four different things simultaneously!

Jeff's fan club has also grown by two: When Jeff started playing this evening, Sean literally jumped up and down. "Look at him GO!" he shouted. I hate to use this cliché, but his eyes were actually sparkling. Allie seemed both overwhelmed and excited by the noise.

Sean couldn’t wait to take his turn on the drum seat (excuse me, "throne," as Jeff tells me it's called). Oh, the banging that ensued! The glorious banging! The kids' dinky plastic drum is one thing, this wine-red well-stocked set quite another.

Allie took her turn next. Jeff's hands enveloped Allie's small ones, guiding the sticks over the drums -- the result a more gentle sound than Sean's Animal impersonation.

I think it's pretty cool that the three of them will have this musical touchstone to share. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Sean or Allie decides to take lessons someday. It seems to be a family tradition -- Jeff's grandfather also played the drums (professionally, even).

My role in all this? To flick the basement light switch if I need someone's attention.