A copy of this post is also found on Everything Dulcimer. Please excuse the repetition.
On the eve of Thanksgiving and the coldest day of the year so far in Northern California, while chopping vegetables in preparation for tomorrow's feast, I watched my daughter sitting on our couch in between my parents as the three of them wrote the fifth or sixth chapter of what has become an on-going story about two families of grasshoppers who learned to put aside their differences and get along together. The joy they all obviously felt in their collaboration, though, pales in comparison with the joy I felt observing it. Indeed, my family is healthy and we have many relatives and friends to be thankful for.
But I am also thankful for all of you.
With the exception of one day in July 2009 when I attended the Redwood Dulcimer Day, my entire dulcimer experience has been digital. I first discovered the instrument in a YouTube video by Stephen Seifert, I located a luthier online and contacted him via email, and I learned my first half-dozen songs by copying YouTube videos. Other than that one day in Santa Cruz, the only dulcimer I've ever heard live has been my own, and I know no one in my "real" life who plays.
But here I am, over 18 months after obtaining my first dulcimer. I still play as often as work and family allow, and I am still enthusiastic about the instrument.
The fact that I am still so excited about playing this instrument is certainly due in large part to the support and camaraderie I've discovered at ED and FOTMD. These two websites have remained an important part of my dulcimer life for the last year and without all of your friendly and supportive enthusiasm, I don't know whether I would still be playing the dulcimer. I would like to think my love for the instrument is genuine and would have lasted anyway, but I don't know whether I would have continued to study the instrument if I had no one to share that interest with.
So I say to you all, thank you. You have helped sustain a joy in my life that I hold precious.
I do indeed hope one day to meet many of you in person, but even if that day never happens, I will always be thankful for the interactions we've had online.
And no, I'm not crying; I've just been chopping onions.
Dusty T., Northern California
"A good song makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think."
-- Pete Seeger
updated by @dusty-turtle: 06/11/15 07:26:27AM