One of our kids lives in another state. Thanks to cell phones and the freedom to pick up the phone and talk anytime, as long as one wishes, this son and I keep in touch often. He visits with his dad, but they mainly talk with purpose; then the call is ended. But, its different with Maynard and I. We talk marathons.
Maynard calls us when he is on the road, or coming home from work. He uses the car phone system and doesn’t handle the phone. But he does call from the car, and it passes the time. A new habit and tradition have been birthed in these calls. When Maynard calls us, or when I call him, he answers by singing a particular song. Since I am usually the one he calls, I am immediately greeted by this happy voice singing THE song.
“This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. We will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it, and be glad in it” etc.
Now, keep in mind, Maynard is also doing this because of his type of sense of humor. He has hundreds of tunes in his repertoire, but this has been his recent choice.
When he first started to sing this chorus to me, he sang all the verses regardless of what I had to tell him, or regardless of where I might be (card club, in a restaurant, picking the garden, football game, on the toilet, or sleeping), and he didn’t stop until the entire song was sung. It still goes on. He starts every phone call singing this chorus.
He sings each verse. At first it irritated me, because I wanted to talk. Don’t misunderstand. It’s cool when one’s son sings to his mother. So, after a while, I gave up. I know when I am beat. You see, in spite of the many verses, I knew there was no way to shorten the concert, even when I interjected, “Maynard, Maynard! Listen. I am driving in the middle of traffic in the middle of Dallas” (or something like that!)
Often, I would state, “Gotta go,” and hang up.
It didn’t faze him.
Another time, I was in the boat in the middle of Lake Wilson throwing a rope to a stranded boat. Remember that story?
No sir, he kept right on singing. By the time he got to the verse, “God told Noah, to build him an Arkie, Arkie, (repeat), Build it out of (clap) Gopher barkie, barkie, Children of the Lord,” I had to end the call. Eventually, I said, “Can’t talk,” and hung up.
Often, I thought I had important things to say. Really? Probably not, actually. I stopped trying and joined in. I began to sing with him and forgot about trying to fit a word in edgewise.
Maynard used to play the drums, and now at the ripe old age of 50 something, he is playing again. After a month of these concerts on the phone, he was now filling in the song lyrics with drum beats, setting a jive style, and the song was morphing into a life of its own.
I decided to harmonize. If you can’t beat them, join them, right?
At the last stanza, he would end it with “the LORD, the LORD, the LORD”, each part transitioning to a step higher, with a higher pitch. When I harmonized, it sounded good! Oh my gosh. We have a real thing going on here, I decided. Drumming on the cheek and clicking on the tongue, rhythmic volume, and harmony. Can’t beat that!
So, here goes. I’m going to sing this to you all because we need it. We so desperately need it in this world today.
Rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory, Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory, Rise and Shine and (clap) give God the glory, glory, children of the Lord … Now God told Noah to build Him an arky, arky. God told Noah to build Him an arky arky,.( Build it out of (loud crescendo) gopher barkie, barkie, children of the Lord. THE LORD! THE LORD! THE (clap, harmony, drum roll) LOOOORRRD!.
Now I laugh. I harmonize. I surrender. It makes me happy and ...
Then I get to talk!
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or juditabler@awomansview.