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View Full Version : Tell me how the Ukulele has enriched your Life..



mm stan
03-20-2012, 09:04 AM
For me UU, the ukulele and the Ukulele underground community has helped me distract from my disability,my serious health issues and my loss of my father. I have made many great friends here too, thank you all....Tell me how UU has helped you ....


P.S. I am very thankful of UU and I know it's almost time to renew my
UU VIP status to support UU.. I hope many of you will contribute again this year to help support our wonderful forum and site...and the
new members, I hope you will join in too...thank you:)

Hippie Dribble
03-20-2012, 09:12 AM
wow Stan...in so many ways it's almost impossible to put together in words. Thinking aloud, here's some of the main ones maybe...

(i) a friend during the down times
(ii) a joyful compadre to share the good times
(iii) a tool to communicate with the residents with dementia whom I have worked for in a nursing home...that reaches beyond words and touches the heart and soul
(iv) something that has brought our family closer together by sharing our love of music and playing together
(v) therapy when all sometimes feels as though it's lost...I suffer from depression pretty bad too and it's amazing how one can literally drift off for hours at a time and find peace through just strumming and singing songs
(vi) a means to bring joy to others who are in need of refreshing
(vi) comfort to families during illness (at my work)
(vi) making people smile in unexpected situations
(x) it has introduced me to a huge bunch of wonderful people on this website who I am blessed to count as friends - yourself especially Bruddah :)

ukulelecowboy
03-20-2012, 09:26 AM
Nice thread, Stan. Like to add my own thoughts.

This instrument has helped me and my wife to overcome many substantial creative blocks and inhibitions and to reach levels of achievement that, at certain times in our lives, we felt and believed were not achievable. It helped me to recuperate and regain my strength after two heart attacks and a quadruple bypass (2004).

It is a remarkable instrument and I am grateful everyday for it's presence in our lives.

Mike

Nickie
03-20-2012, 09:27 AM
Well, let's see...
It has helped me to not miss my late GF, Annie quite so badly.
It has helped me make new friends, in my city, and here on UU, including the two above.
It got me on stage at my church, quite a feat.
It has me forming a new band to perform in nursing homes and ALFs.
It gives me a way to entertain my friends I already knew.
It has sparked a new outlet of creativity in me, and released my inner geek.
It keeps my bank account from getting to bloated!

mm stan
03-20-2012, 09:38 AM
Aloha Eugene, Mike and Nickie..
It is amazing how this little instrument has touched our lives and how it improves our quality of life....I am truely blessed to be given the oppertunity to play and enjoy it,
and all the rewards it provides...

fabioponta
03-20-2012, 09:42 AM
I just learned to like my simple way of playing an instrument with the ukulele. And I could still learn to play much more complexly with him after that.

808boy
03-20-2012, 10:02 AM
Aloha Bruddah,
It gave me so many things from kid time to now that it's impossible to list them all. Back in the day, the ukulele was a big chick magnet (in Hawaii, that is).
It brought family and friends together for the love of the beautiful sound it produces, to learn and appreciate its simpleness, and to marvel at uke masters and our own progression.
Most important, it allowed me to meet great people who share a common bond with our beloved instruments. I've learned so much from you as well as from my other UU Ohana members............................BO............. ....

Hippie Dribble
03-20-2012, 10:04 AM
Aloha Bruddah,
It gave me so many things from kid time to now that it's impossible to list them all. Back in the day, the ukulele was a big chick magnet (in Hawaii, that is).
It brought family and friends together for the love of the beautiful sound it produces, to learn and appreciate its simpleness, and to marvel at uke masters and our own progression.
Most important, it allowed me to meet great people who share a common bond with our beloved instruments. I've learned so much from you as well as from my other UU Ohana members............................BO............. ....

he he Bo. It's a chick magnet for me too Bruddah...problem is, they're all over 80 :o

zac987
03-20-2012, 10:34 AM
The ukulele was my first foray into playing music and making art in general. I mostly play guitar now, but without the ukulele I never would have dreamed of playing any music at all.

ichadwick
03-20-2012, 12:09 PM
Tell me how the Ukulele has enriched your Life..
It hasn't. It has impoverished my bank account, my Paypal account, and taken up all the free space around this little house. It's consumed my life, my time, my money and my conversations.

But I love the little monkeys, anyway... all of them, even if I can't get at my wine rack these days because of the wood stacked in front of it...

Okay, okay. Sure I've met a bunch of wacky, happy people because of it. Sure I rekindled my passion for music because of it. Sure I connected with some great old music from the 20s and 30s I never learned to play on guitar. Sure I discovered new things about wood, about luthiery, about music because of it. But aside from that, what did the Romans ever do for us?

Hippie Dribble
03-20-2012, 12:18 PM
It hasn't. It has impoverished my bank account, my Paypal account, and taken up all the free space around this little house. It's consumed my life, my time, my money and my conversations.

But I love the little monkeys, anyway... all of them, even if I can't get at my wine rack these days because of the wood stacked in front of it...

Okay, okay. Sure I've met a bunch of wacky, happy people because of it. Sure I rekindled my passion for music because of it. Sure I connected with some great old music from the 20s and 30s I never learned to play on guitar. Sure I discovered new things about wood, about luthiery, about music because of it. But aside from that, what did the Romans ever do for us?
HA HA! Well played Ian!!! :biglaugh:

The Romans - or one of em' at least, Nero - taught us a good lesson: it's nice to play music in front of an open fire :p

ksiegel
03-20-2012, 12:22 PM
The ukulele has introduced me to many friends - some I've even met in person - and helped me through a depression I didn't even know was there, by letting me make music again after an arm injury.

Ukulele introduced me to Ukulele Underground, and all of the wonderful people I can call ohana here - as well as a few that I'd like to call other things, but that's how life goes, isn't it?

Enriched my life? Naw. I'd say that's quite an understatement.




-Kurt

SailingUke
03-20-2012, 01:15 PM
It has lowered my bank account enough that I need to work with so many great people.
My closest friends are my music friends, without playing music I would have more money, but I would be poor with things that really count.

1931jim
03-20-2012, 01:37 PM
he he Bo. It's a chick magnet for me too Bruddah...problem is, they're all over 80 :o
Whenever you're 18 an 18 year old looks good. Whenever you're 80 an 80 year old looks good. If only I could remember why I'm lookin' HaHa!!:)

ItsAMeCasey
03-20-2012, 02:44 PM
The ukulele has given helped me build confidence that I've never had, and has helped me become more social with others. It's also helped clear up some confusion in my head about what I feel my purpose is. I'm hugely in debt to this instrument.

kaizersoza
03-20-2012, 03:43 PM
for such a small instrument it has introduced me to a whole wide world of new friends, both on UU, globally and in my hometown, it has humbled me, amazed me, made me smile, it has taken me down avenues i never thought i would venture down in a million years, it has helped me break down boundaries that i thought were unbreakable, it has given me the confidence to express myself through music, taking up the ukulele has been a life changing experience, i am honoured to be in such company

Mandarb
03-20-2012, 05:36 PM
Q. Tell me how the Ukulele has enriched your Life..

A. Well, I met this cool guy online named Stan who loves ukes.

Q. Tell me how the Ukulele has enriched your Life..

A. It has made me a better person.

808boy
03-20-2012, 06:16 PM
Aloha my Bruddah from Down Undah,
At least you're not attracting flies eh? I'd start to worry if you don't attract anyone.
I think I attracted my first girlfriend (Dodie, to whom I'm engaged to and spending a lot of time on Maui with) with my uke/guitar playing and singing although she insist it was my goods looks and personality.....wat evas,hehe.
At the local elementary and middle school, I counted at least 15 kids with ukes........cool............................BO.... ............

consitter
03-20-2012, 06:30 PM
As some of you out there know, my 8 year old daughter has intractable atonic epilepsy. A type that she will have literally more than 100 seizures daily. Her brain has developed to that of about a 2 year old. She doesn't speak except through sign langauge, and of that she knows about 20 signs. She however does walk, with a little difficulty. BUT, she does dance. She absolutely loves music. And when her extremely fortunate daddy pulls out his ukulele, she starts laughing and doing the sign for "more" before I've even started playing. She has a smile that goes all the way to her eyes, and will smile and laugh no matter how crappy I'm playing. When I finish a song she claps, laughs and signs "play", which I oblige.

We love each other all the time, but when the ukulele is out, that is our special time together. My life is so enriched by her, and my ukulele only magnifies that. Didn't think that would be possible. Silly me.

mm stan
03-20-2012, 08:53 PM
@Aloha Ian,
@loha Zac987, Yes I agree, the uke has even open me further in music, than my previous instruments for sure
Ha Ha who cares about the wine...when you've got them ukes and having fun..you probally have delved farther than
most of us...with your research..thank you for sharing your knowledge with us..
@loha Fabioponta..it is not all about of your playing ability, the main thing is you are having fun and enjoying yourself...
@loha Bo,
You lucky bugga, you got the girl and the ukes..and you have enriched your whole family with the ukulele..
good going bruddah..happy strummings
@loha Kurt, my sentiments exactly...yes I am truely blessed to make so many uke friends from all over the world..
@loha Sailing Uke, wouldn't have it another way..enrichment in life with my uke friends here and everywhere.
@loha 1931Jim, you alwaysm look good with a uke in your hand
@loha Casey, Many of us are not as fortunate to do what they love for wharever reasons or know what they really want at your age..It is so nice you have the support of your loving parents to do so..way to go brah
@loha Kaizersoza, yes yes I feel the exact way..
@loha Mandarb, Mahalo Bruddah..same here my friend, made me learn many other things aside the ukulele..

@loah Consitter, I am sure your daughter has enriched your life even more, but you and your uke surely have
enriched hers.. good goings bruddah..

drbekken
03-20-2012, 10:00 PM
I have been a professional musician (jazz piano) since the mid-1980s, and always loved it. Then, in 2007, my youngest boy, then aged 9, was severely injured in a car accident. He has had to learn everything anew; to raise his head, walk, talk, eat and drink - and more. When this happened, I lost interest in everything. After being there for the boy, all energy was spent. Even music was of no importance. My rediscovery of the ukulele last year, after not having played it for more than 30 years, has helped me back into a musical life, a life in which I am able to be a father and husband again, and to be a man who can see how privileged he is. And my boy; he's almost fully recovered, and getting better...

mm stan
03-20-2012, 10:58 PM
Aloha Doc,
Sorry to hear about your son and nice to hear he is recovering and getting better... I am also glad you got
back to the music , piano and ukulele, and I can see your passion there..Your CD is amazing with different types of songs..Do you sell them? you are truely blessed to get both of your lives back on track...Thank you for sharing...Happy Strummings

cantsing
03-21-2012, 12:41 AM
I've never been musical, in fact I pretty much flunked piano lessons as a kid, and I never thought I would have music in my life. About a year ago, this little 4-stringed wonder found me and at age 54 I'm making music, or at least it sounds like music to me! It makes me happy just thinking about it.

Sometimes I wish I'd found the ukulele 30 years ago, but then I realize that a huge reason I'm playing today is the incredible online ukulele community. I wouldn't have even tried to learn without all the information and encouragement available here on UU and other awesome ukulele sites.

garyg
03-21-2012, 01:04 AM
Like all of you the uke has awakened creative energy in me that I never knew existed. I've always loved music and like to sing songs but never seemed to be able to master, hah master isn't the right expression, I never seemed to get *anywhere* on the guitar. About a year ago my younger daughter (15) and I spent 10 weeks in New Zealand and I took a uke with me because I thought, well without distractions maybe I can learn to play this thing. And the rest, as they say is history. My daughter started playing too, so that's a lifelong gift for her. As for me, although I've started in my mid-50's, I can actually play music to accompany my singing and uking has added a dimension to my life that I didn't know existed. And it has been nice meeting all sorts of new and helpful people here on UU. My heart goes out to those of you with kids that have health problems or with health problems yourself and it is gratifying to hear how the uke can bring happiness even when times are difficult. Keep on strumming everyone, g2

fitncrafty
03-21-2012, 01:27 AM
It would be easier and quicker to say how the ukulele hasn't enhanced my life. Because there are so many ways it has been so good for me. Aside from the the fact that I have made a few friends far and wide across the globe and some even close to home.
I have had my own difficulties in the past few years and even just playing one song, chord whatever is a nice spot of relaxation in my day.
Not only have I made uke friends, but some local have turned into yarn friends, share a meal and a chat friends too. Awesome.. After years of following my Navy husband around the country it has definitely taken it's toll on me. I had envy to other that played instruments, I have watched my 3 kids learning more instruments than I can ever imagine. I always wanted to play, a friend of mine from college shared a video of three ladies playing ukulele's (a song that has great memories for us from college radio days) and I thought I could do that (except the singing part) So after a few years I decided it was time to learn and I got a uke of my own. It's been a year and half now.
I joined this forum about the same time that I got my first uke. I have friends here that write, keep up with me and encourage me to keep going and persevere through the feeling stuck. I am working on learning some theory so I understand the uke better.
There is so much more, some very private and personal to me, but thank you to all that keep the forum going and to the many friends that make each day a little better for having you all in it! I am rambling now I know it. It's early!

Gwynedd
03-21-2012, 01:35 AM
Great topic, Stan.

1. When I was very young, Mom got us a couple of uke lessons one summer. I ended up teaching myself guitar and balalaika after that and enjoyed playing in college. Sadly, a busy career in engineering and finance led to me dropping the uke and guitar and just playing piano and singing for some time afterwards. But it really was fun in school.

FAST FORWARD 40 years..........

2. I was recently widowed (almost exactly a year today) and my late husband enjoyed music as much as I did. He loved guitar more than I do and he had a guitar he never had time to learn to play. I decided I needed a distraction while I was moping in mourning (a tough time, you get so foggy and sad when you go through this.) So I found this site surfing around and listening to Jake S. That led me to buy a beautiful Mainland uke for my birthday and start playing again. It has been very soothing and helpful in distracting me from grief and has been a source of joy--how can you be sad playing the uke? And I also started singing again, something I had not done in thirty years. I don't have the power I had as a youth due to asthma but you know, it DOESN"T matter. Make music, make happy.

My only regret is that as my assistant shrewdly pointed out, I would not have found the uke again had I not been looking for that distraction but I regret my late husband isn't here to enjoy it too. He would have SO MUCH FUN playing. Or accompanying me with his digeridoo.

joeybug
03-21-2012, 02:14 AM
How has it enriched my life? Good question, Stan!

It's given me back to the chance to make music
It's given me something to share with my Nan before she died, something that brought her comfort
It's given me friends, an online ohana as it were, friends who I hold dearly near my heart.
It's given me the ability to deal with stress, a strum here, a chord there.
It's given me a way to take my mind away from the pain, the illnesses and everything about them in my life.
It's allowed me to share with people, who watch me learn
And many other things!

Thank you all of UU for enriching my life!

mm stan
03-21-2012, 02:29 AM
@loha Can't Sing,
I am glad you found the ukulele and it brings you happiness and enjoyment..I too have a weak voice and the
uke has though me how to sing better(I think?)ha ha in my mid fifties too and us middle ager ukers rock..
you are right, I appriciate UU community and UU, made alot of dear friends and learned alot..
the uke..easy to play, hard to master, tons of fun....

mm stan
03-21-2012, 02:34 AM
Aloha Gary,
Like you, I played the guitar and got nowhere close to where I am now with the uke...and this is way more
fun and a great uke community..it got me singing too.. ha ha I'm am glad to hear you and your daughter
have connected with the uke at the same time..there will be so much memories and fun in the years ahead..
Happy strummings...

mm stan
03-21-2012, 02:42 AM
Aloha Gwynedd,
I too picked up my uke for a distraction from my fathers passing a few years ago..after he passed away, I found
his old uke books in his room. I asked my cousin to play at his service(over 45 yrs)he played..I got so choked
how beautiful it sounded, I picked it up again..It did help fill my greiving period and distracted me too..Like you,
I wish I picked it up years earlier and I wish I could play with my father before he passed away. it would have
made him very happy..I am sorry to hear about your hubby's passing..my sincerest condolences..it's never too
late to play music or the ukulele...look at Bill Tapia..wow thank you for sharing..

mm stan
03-21-2012, 02:48 AM
Aloha Joey,
Thank you for sharing..both of us have serious health issues and I am sure the ukulele has not only been so
much fun and enjoyment but also distracted from our health anxieties.. I know you are really in love with
playing the ukes as I can see the passion you have...thank you for being a great friend too..you go girl...
Keep Strumming them strings..

dkcrown
03-21-2012, 02:57 AM
Aloha Bruddah Stan. Nice topic. As I stated recently in another thread, the uke has helped pull me out of despair after a life changing divorce. Discovering the ability to be creative musically is very empowering, and consuming!

mm stan
03-21-2012, 02:57 AM
Aloha Fitncrafty,
I am happy you have found the ukulele too girl...I know how much passion you have for it too...I see how
you can connect with your kids too as they learn music too..wow all the fun times and memories ahead...
thank you for helping me too and being a great friend also.. I only wish we lived closer so we can play
together..as with all of the members too..Happy Strummings..

vanflynn
03-21-2012, 03:27 AM
Aloha Stan, great thread (again)

The ukulele has rekindled a passion for making music that I lost over 30 years ago. I drink less and my blood pressure is down. I got to play to a friend dying of cancer and hopefully help ease the pain. I have a greater appreciation for woods and luthiery. A friend in need of a guitar got one that was collecting dust in my corner. I have met countless people/friends from around the world, expanding my understanding and tolerance of things. And, and, and I could go on for a long time!

Much Mahalo

mm stan
03-21-2012, 03:56 AM
Aloha Vanflynn,
Sorry to hear your friend has cancer....hope he pulls through....that was nice you played for him, maybe do
it more often and play songs you both can sing too..that would be nice..Glad to hear you cut down drinking and
your blood pressure is down..I'd say keep strumming them strings...and stay on path..I too have gained so much
from the ukulele too...happy strummings my friend...Mahalo Plenty...

philpot
03-21-2012, 04:22 AM
My relatively short life has been a sequence of less than desirable events that would take too long to recount here. General overview, my family is in a rough spot right now due in part to my father's substance abuse issues that have been around for most of my life that I can remember. I've dealt with all the typical teenage issues, insecurity and whatnot. But music is something I can do for me, without having to worry about fitting in or competition. I'm not the best player, I'm certainly not the best singer (borderline worst ;) ...), but music is something that can make me happy when almost nothing else can. I can play my ukulele and everything's okay, just for a little while. I believe that the ability to create music is one of God's greatest gifts to us. It's an almost magical thing.

On top of that, I have memories attached to my Kamaka. It was a year from last October that my grandmother encouraged me to buy it, and in fact loaned me the money to make the purchase when a good deal presented itself. This past summer while I was on an extended backpacking trip, my grandmother (a smoker of 55 years) was diagnosed with lung cancer. By the time they diagnosed it, there were already tumors in her brain. When I got back from my trip, she wasn't the same energetic person I had always known. She was in a wheelchair, and seemingly for the first time in her life, tired. I was able to play for her days before she passed away suddenly, much sooner than expected. She loved it, and was glad she had urged me to buy it.

As a result of my grandmother being diagnosed and passing, my grandfather was moved into a nursing home. It was about December when we received a call that he wasn't doing well and they didn't expect him to make it much longer. We stayed with him all week, and I was able to play for him on his deathbed.

As hard as it was to lose them, I'm glad I have those memories attached to my music. It gives me a reason to play. I love making music, I've met so many awesome people through the ukulele, and I've been able to change people's opinions of an instrument. All of those things mean the ukulele has totally changed my life.

mm stan
03-21-2012, 04:52 AM
Aloha Dana,
yes it was certainly a lifesaver for you...you did well bruddah...keep on strumming them strings..
three moore bettahs..wow wow still amazed with your ukes

mm stan
03-21-2012, 05:17 AM
My relatively short life has been a sequence of less than desirable events that would take too long to recount here. General overview, my family is in a rough spot right now due in part to my father's substance abuse issues that have been around for most of my life that I can remember. I've dealt with all the typical teenage issues, insecurity and whatnot. But music is something I can do for me, without having to worry about fitting in or competition. I'm not the best player, I'm certainly not the best singer (borderline worst ;) ...), but music is something that can make me happy when almost nothing else can. I can play my ukulele and everything's okay, just for a little while. I believe that the ability to create music is one of God's greatest gifts to us. It's an almost magical thing.

On top of that, I have memories attached to my Kamaka. It was a year from last October that my grandmother encouraged me to buy it, and in fact loaned me the money to make the purchase when a good deal presented itself. This past summer while I was on an extended backpacking trip, my grandmother (a smoker of 55 years) was diagnosed with lung cancer. By the time they diagnosed it, there were already tumors in her brain. When I got back from my trip, she wasn't the same energetic person I had always known. She was in a wheelchair, and seemingly for the first time in her life, tired. I was able to play for her days before she passed away suddenly, much sooner than expected. She loved it, and was glad she had urged me to buy it.

As a result of my grandmother being diagnosed and passing, my grandfather was moved into a nursing home. It was about December when we received a call that he wasn't doing well and they didn't expect him to make it much longer. We stayed with him all week, and I was able to play for him on his deathbed.

As hard as it was to lose them, I'm glad I have those memories attached to my music. It gives me a reason to play. I love making music, I've met so many awesome people through the ukulele, and I've been able to change people's opinions of an instrument. All of those things mean the ukulele has totally changed my life.

Aloha Phil,
My sincere condolences to you and your family of the sudden passing of your grandparents..that was nice
she encouraged you to buy and play the ukulele...and you got to play for them, you did a real good thing
life is short..I've learned you gotta do things now, and enjoy yourself and share with your family and friends.
Happy Strummings.. hope you pop gets help too my blessings

Uke Republic
03-21-2012, 05:19 AM
Great thread Stan. I've heard from customers and friends so many very positive things too. When you hold something so close to your heart it's gotta be good

Plainsong
03-21-2012, 05:19 AM
Philpot, the uke that means the most to me was also a gift from my grandfather, who like your grandmother, was the only family member to take my interest in uke seriously. And like your grandmother, died of lung cancer. I wasn't allowed to go home, I'd add too much stress to the situation, but I have this uke, and that's something.

garyg
03-21-2012, 05:48 AM
@Stan, great thread brah, thanks for the comments and for providing an outlet for lots of meaningful comments. mahalo, g

GinnyT11
03-21-2012, 06:08 AM
Mr.T and I both got interested in the uke after I was given an old one. But he has an ear, rhythm and musicality, plus guitar experience, and I had only played an iPod. I struggled with a few strummy songs while he ventured into fingerstyle and bought a custom tenor. After a while, I stopped taking my uke out.

Four years later: Mr.T now is great at fingerstyle jazz and more on any size uke. Last summer we went to Hawaii and we hoped to find a new concert uke for him. Being in many uke shops, watching and listening to him try dozens of ukes, and helping him choose one reawakened my interest. Back at home, I took out my Bushman Jenny and stack of simple songs. I practiced more and slowly, slo.o.owly, slo-o-o-w-wly, my playing improved.

Happiness the uke has given me:
1. Good: A number of interesting email friends across the UU universe.
2. Better: Entry into the world of playing music, where there is no limit to how much you can learn or how well you can do.
3. Best: A rewarding shared hobby with Mr.T (a first in 38 years of marriage!). Though we play different ways in different rooms, we're always talking about ukes and UU postings. We don't even read the same books, and this weekend we're taking a uke workshop together.

caukulele
03-21-2012, 06:17 AM
This is a wonderful thread Stan. Thanks for thinking of it. For me music and art have always been essential since I was a small child for keeping me sane through numerous crisis's and tragedies, in a seemingly, sometimes insane or unkind world. I have found that through all the many struggles in my life, music and art have kept me grounded and hopeful. I think that the ukulele has helped to refuel my creative side again (it had began to burn low), and it has given me more energy and allowed me, once again, to rediscover the child inside, and let myself to be more playful to make more discoveries. Also, it has introduced me to a great new bunch of people and friends.

fitncrafty
03-21-2012, 08:44 AM
My relatively short life has been a sequence of less than desirable events that would take too long to recount here. General overview, my family is in a rough spot right now due in part to my father's substance abuse issues that have been around for most of my life that I can remember. I've dealt with all the typical teenage issues, insecurity and whatnot. But music is something I can do for me, without having to worry about fitting in or competition. I'm not the best player, I'm certainly not the best singer (borderline worst ;) ...), but music is something that can make me happy when almost nothing else can. I can play my ukulele and everything's okay, just for a little while. I believe that the ability to create music is one of God's greatest gifts to us. It's an almost magical thing.

On top of that, I have memories attached to my Kamaka. It was a year from last October that my grandmother encouraged me to buy it, and in fact loaned me the money to make the purchase when a good deal presented itself. This past summer while I was on an extended backpacking trip, my grandmother (a smoker of 55 years) was diagnosed with lung cancer. By the time they diagnosed it, there were already tumors in her brain. When I got back from my trip, she wasn't the same energetic person I had always known. She was in a wheelchair, and seemingly for the first time in her life, tired. I was able to play for her days before she passed away suddenly, much sooner than expected. She loved it, and was glad she had urged me to buy it.

As a result of my grandmother being diagnosed and passing, my grandfather was moved into a nursing home. It was about December when we received a call that he wasn't doing well and they didn't expect him to make it much longer. We stayed with him all week, and I was able to play for him on his deathbed.

As hard as it was to lose them, I'm glad I have those memories attached to my music. It gives me a reason to play. I love making music, I've met so many awesome people through the ukulele, and I've been able to change people's opinions of an instrument. All of those things mean the ukulele has totally changed my life.

Phil you are about the same age as my oldest son, he is a guitar player. I have enjoyed watching you and your passion for you ukulele! I want to encourage you through these difficult times for you and your family to continue to have the passion for music and the mature attitude you have towards life. Life is never easy, but choices we make to make ourselves better for sure are worth it! I am sorry to hear of your grandparents passing, never easy but it sounds like you have great memories and brought them a lot of joy!
On another note you are not the worst singer because you haven't heard 'me' I compete with dying walrus for that worst singer title, you can't have it! Keep having fun with the uke, the teens years will pass soon enough!

angusdegraosta
03-21-2012, 09:26 AM
These are such good reflections. Ukulele is the first instrument I can play while singing at the same time. Every new song I learn on it adds to my knowledge of music. I feel inspired to try new chord progressions and compose my own instrumental pieces.

mybote
03-21-2012, 10:14 AM
Enriched my life?......Enriched "my" life? Yea, if constantly coming up with new explanations of where I got the last uke and why I had to have it. And why it is going to make "our" lives "richer". They're investments....yea...that's it. Special sale ..had to get it now or it will be gone...forever. They are bringing music and joy to our lives. All 16 of these beautiful ukes. No two alike. Found it in the attic. The mailman had an extra one and he gave it to me.
It followed me home. Neighbors gave it to me when they moved. (no more room on the moving truck). I put my tooth under the pillow last night and look what I got. Geezzz.......The aliens that abducted me last year don't even think I'm credible anymore. My life was consumed with playing the uke. It brings a tranquility to my life. I'd be playing one now if I could just get out of this straight jacket. .........Enriched?.......I'll show you Enri....Hey!!!...Doc, c'm here.
In here...Is that a Komoa Evolve in your hands? Wanna trade for a nice jacket?

wickedwahine11
03-21-2012, 10:31 AM
So many of you have such important, sentimental and even life altering reasons the ukulele has enriched your life. For me, it is a lot simpler and less important. My family and I have traveled to Hawaii frequently (at least once a year) since I was a kid. My grandparents actually loved it so much that my grandfather contemplated moving there. When my grandmother passed away suddenly from pancreatic cancer, it was actually in the waters off Kauai where we chose to spread her ashes.

Hawaii has always held a special place in my heart, and I can never seem to visit it enough. Some (my friends and spouse certainly) would say I'm addicted. All I know is that it is only when I am in Hawaii (Kauai specifically) that my soul feels complete. I know it is corny and lame, but I feel like when I'm away, I am walking around with one of those heavy aprons they put on you at the dentist office when you get xrays. When my plane touches down at Lihue, I literally feel a weight lifted off of me, and happiness comes pouring in to me.

So the ukulele is a way to stay connected to a place that I really love and cannot live in full time. It is a physical manifestation of a place where my heart resides.

mm stan
03-21-2012, 12:08 PM
Great thread Stan. I've heard from customers and friends so many very positive things too. When you hold something so close to your heart it's gotta be good
Aloha Mike,
I know the uke has enriched your life many times over....and it is a big part in your daily life...thank you for spreading the ukulele love around and affecting so many.....

mm stan
03-21-2012, 12:12 PM
Aloha Plainsong,
Yes I know about your grandfather's passing...and know it was deeply hard on you too...as he did not see the fruits of his gift to you, I am sure he knows but. I betcha when you strum
that ukulele, the memories flood your mind...isn't that a precious gift in itself.....I wish my parents or grandparents could see me now...

mm stan
03-21-2012, 12:15 PM
Aloha Gary,
You're right...it is nice to share our most personal ukulele thoughs and to hear so much positive things from our personal experience...hope they keep coming.. love you all..

molokinirum
03-21-2012, 12:17 PM
Aloha Bruddah,
...to learn and appreciate its simpleness, and to marvel at uke masters and our own progression.
Most important, it allowed me to meet great people who share a common bond with our beloved instruments. I've learned so much from you as well as from my other UU Ohana members............................BO............. ....

Right on!!! Same for me, many, many GREAT people here at the UU. I give to all who have offered help and encouragement not only to me but the rest of the UU ohana a SUPER DUPER MAHALO!!!!!!!!!

mm stan
03-21-2012, 12:20 PM
Aloha G,
It is great to hear that while you and your hubby have a great common intrest and even at different levels...you both have a creative outlet that you both can share daily....Doesn't the ukulele provide real happy moments in all our lives. I am so glad it is part of my life again....hope you will be back in hawaii soon....Happy Strummings....

mm stan
03-21-2012, 12:28 PM
Aloha D,
Yes yes the ukulele has really helped me a lot...I played some instruments it my life and was not able to connect to music like with the ukulele...it had given me a deep understanding
of many things...even things that are not connected... couple is my creative aspect and joy...we keep learning, and it's good to do something you love...there are so many side
benefits to mention, but I'm sure you can relate...Keep strumming them strings....as artist there is an indefinete discoveries to be made....I call happy moments

mm stan
03-21-2012, 12:32 PM
@fitncrafty and phil,
Keep at it and keep playing....I am the worst singer here, but I believe the ukulele has helped that.. (not all would agree with that though) yes the ukulele has inspired and motivated
to understand singing a lot deeper and delve in the rhythm and timing...it will come, believe me...not good for me, but better....

mm stan
03-21-2012, 12:38 PM
Aloha Angusdegraosta,
I hear you man...there is no end, all you just need the passion, practice, perseverence, patience....and every new day, there is new discoveries and ah ha moments..even songs just
pop up in your mind and your pencil starts to write....or riffs just come to mind just like that...what a gift the ukulele gives and keeps giving...

mm stan
03-21-2012, 12:45 PM
Aloha Mybote...
You mention .."They're Investments" yes yes in more ways than you can think of now I bet....wow you sound like your life is consumed with tranquility with the ukulele....arn't we all..ha ha
Gee gotta try that tooth under the pillow thingie...he he...but I hope not to lose any teeth..ha ha in away the ukulele has kept me away from owning a jacket...who knew..hee hee
Play till your heart is content..which with the uke, you may need just a few strums but cannot stop to play and enjoy.. thank you for sharing....Keep Strumming them strings..what a life eh...

mm stan
03-21-2012, 12:57 PM
Aloha S,
Sorry to hear you grandfather has passed away too....and my condolences to you and your family.....I am sure one day, you will move here...life is too short, do what makes you happy and
don't wait...or you'll miss alot... for me I got confused with surfing and traded my uke when I was young, that surfboard lasted maybe 6 months, when my uke would have lasted a lifetime.
that was over 40 years ago..now reaquainted, I look back and see and understand...yes changes in you life, reevaluate them NOW...precious moments that you can never get back...but
there is always the future to take advantage of.... I know you are very much consumed with the ukulele and hawaii and your lifestyle and home shows that....go for it girl...you can do it..
your dreams is not only in your heart and mind , but make them into reality...Today.... live for the special moments..

mm stan
03-21-2012, 01:32 PM
Right on!!! Same for me, many, many GREAT people here at the UU. I give to all who have offered help and encouragement not only to me but the rest of the UU ohana a SUPER DUPER MAHALO!!!!!!!!!
Aloha F,
+1 the UU community is the best around...have made many friends and I am so grateful....woo hoo Plenty Mahalo's to all...

ksiegel
03-21-2012, 01:47 PM
On another note you are not the worst singer because you haven't heard 'me' I compete with dying walrus for that worst singer title, you can't have it!

Carrie protests WAY too much! I like her singing!



-Kurt

whit
03-21-2012, 03:17 PM
While fairly (very) new here, this thread struck a chord (bazinga!)

In my job I work with a group of talented, creative people. When I am doing my job very well, everything runs smoothly and my contributions aren't noticed. When things don't run so well, I'm in the front lines taking the flak - thankfully not very often. The 'ukulele has helped me to fill a void where I am able to create something - many would say noise - and at the same time forces my mind to not think about work and other sources of stress. It has provided me with a constructive, not destructive, outlet that enriches those around me.

What is funny is that the 'ukulele wasn't my first choice for instruments. While poking about a local music store (and one remarkably connected to the uke world) I picked up one as a lark and found that I wasn't able to let it go. Finding such a passionate and giving community behind this instrument has only confirmed that I have made the right decision.

mm stan
03-21-2012, 03:31 PM
Aloha Whit,
A belated Welcome to the UU and our forums...thank you for your response and I hope you will be more active here...the ukulele and UU forums work hand in hand to give us a positive feeling
in this world when things are not...sorta of a distraction you may say for the good... and let out your positive creative juices...and it's a good stress reliever. It almost always cheers up my
moody moods, ha ha... Happy Strummings and thank you for sharing.....