This morning Bill and I got up with the best of intentions to get out and do something fun. Although I’ve been feeling pretty good about staying home, even though I ALWAYS stay at home, Bill was feeling restless. Yesterday, at about 1:30pm, he came to me wanting to go out and do something.
I looked at the clock, realizing that a lot of restaurants would be closing very soon, and said, “It would be a lot better if we planned these things more. You slept until 8:00am, did a bunch of chores, and now that it’s the afternoon you want to go out… and do what?” Bill is usually the one who notices the time, particularly as it relates to eating in restaurants. And thanks to the coronavirus, it’s even more important to plan outings ahead of time.
Bill sighed, agreed, and we spent our Fourth of July in the backyard, drinking beer and listening to music. I did also hear fireworks going off, no doubt on the local military installations, but I didn’t see them. Poor Bill is going stir crazy, even though he goes out for work and grocery shopping. I just can’t be arsed to deal with the coronavirus, though. It’s easier to stay home.
Last night, Bill suggested that we go take a ride on the Seilbahn today. The Seilbahn is a cable car that takes people on a scenic ride over the grape vines of Rüdesheim and to the Niederwald Monument and the Rhein River. We noticed it the first and last time we visited Rüdesheim, in April of last year. We didn’t ride the Seilbahn on that day, though, because we did a wine tasting, where I ended up singing for an elderly couple.
Anyway, Bill wanted to go back today for a scenic Sunday Seilbahn ride… but then we noticed the cloudy weather and high winds. They’re going to be up to 16 miles per hour, which doesn’t make for the most reassuring cable car ride. So we decided to postpone our trip. I went to my computer and pulled out my trusty turquoise guitar and took a couple of lessons on Fender Play. Today’s topic was alternative finger picking of bass notes. I learned “Tom Dooley”, and it occurred to me that the chords were kind of like a really pretty song called “Dreaming My Dreams With You”. It’s been done by a lot of people, but the version I like best so far is the one done by Alison Krauss, who had backup help from Dolly Parton and Lyle Lovett.
I realized I needed to change the chords, though, since I had figured out the song in G and I needed to play it in F#. So I went looking for a chord chart, put the capo on the third fret, and before I knew it, I was playing along with the recording. I still stumble a bit on the chord changes, but I think with some practice, I’ll be ready to post a video. I can definitely sing the song… it’s just my guitar playing that needs a lot of work.
I have been making some significant progress. A couple of times, I’ve played along with a song and it’s been okay until it was time to change chords. Today, I was able to play along and change chords without too much trouble, relatively speaking, although I’m still slow and unsure at times. Anyway, this was the closest I’ve gotten to being able to actually play a song. I even figured out the solo guitar riff, although it’s going to take a little more time before that’s perfected. I probably won’t be able to include it in a video until I’m a bit more advanced.
So, although I would have loved to have gotten out this morning and done some sightseeing, the weather defeated us again. However, I scored a major victory on my guitar! Incidentally, I also got to teach Bill how to properly play an E minor chord, which isn’t hard. He was having trouble making it work because he had one of his fingers on the wrong string. It was a problem that was easily fixed, so now he has a new chord to play with, too!
Incidentally, Facebook tells me that a year ago, Bill and I saw Mark Knopfler performing in concert in Leipzig. He and his band were also staying at our hotel, and we saw him hanging out with his band in the bar. Boy, do I miss bars… But anyway, seeing him in concert was on my bucket list, and then being in the bar with him was also a thrill. And no, we didn’t bug him. I just gawked from afar. The next morning, as we were packing up to go home, the bellman told us Sting was also at our hotel, taking a brief break from his tour having just done a show in Brussels, Belgium. I miss 2019.
I sense Bill still would like to go out today, though, even though the Seilbahn was a bust… maybe I’ll let him take me out to lunch somewhere. Maybe we’ll do the Seilbahn next week, if there’s sunshine and no wind. The week after that, we have another short trip planned. It’s another Germany trip, not too far from home, but further away than our trip to Hofheim for my birthday. Bill is determined not to let me get agoraphobic. Stay tuned.