Blessings of God come in different shapes and forms. Expecting and watching for those blessings along our life pathway keeps our childlike faith tanks filled.
I attended university in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a beautiful city located in the Northeastern part of the state of Oklahoma. Tahlequah is home to gorgeous landscapes, where the seasons are distinct from one another, canoeing on the Illinois River as a much-coveted past time and rich history and presence of the Cherokee nation. I remember my surprise when I first saw the street signs there. They appeared both in English and in Cherokee. In Autumn the leaves turned to vivid, rich jewel-toned hues. Excitedly, I would mail them inserted in letters to my parents.
While studying as a music major, I worked as a staff voice lesson accompanist, working under Dr. Ralph Whitworth. I, also, taught both private voice and piano lessons on the side to supplement my income.
I recall a family whose young daughter, less than 10 years old, had much musical talent. The father brought her to me, seeking that I teach her to play piano. He and his wife had many children and lived out in the country. I remember quoting him my price to teach her and particular books that she would need to purchase for lessons. His hopeful countenance dropped. He expressed that he didn't know what to do, in that she had much musical talent, yet they could not afford the lessons. In that moment, I told him if he could find a way to purchase the books, I would teach his daughter for a time, taking my personal payment in Stillwell strawberries.
Stillwell strawberries, for those who don't know, are grown in Stillwell, Oklahoma. They are considered "gold" in strawberry language. They are sweet, delectable, palm-sized berries! They were "the" thing to have and enjoy in that region. It was a win-win for both of us. This family kept me stocked in amazing strawberries, while I taught their daughter for a time. It was a delicious barter and both of us profited.
I have no idea where they are today or what they are doing. Some of my students went on to be doctors, nurses, police officers, politicians and, yes, musicians themselves. Each one I count as one of my life blessings.