- Martha Rasche
About four years ago, I started taking harmonica lessons from a local woman who is now 91 years old. She enjoys playing the nursing home circuit, so we generally do that a couple of times a year. (This fall we added a third member who plays not only the harmonica but also the banjo, guitar, accordion, violin, flute, clarinet, keyboard, percussion and much more — so our performances have gotten a lot more spirited!) This past Sunday, we played at a nursing home where I led Life Stories classes last year and the year before. Several of the class participants made a point to attend the show and talk with me afterward, and one shared that she is becoming a regular author. After she gave her children a copy of her life story for Christmas last year, her son asked her to write about her siblings and what she remembers about them from her youth. She has that project nearly finished and also proudly reported that she writes so much now that she can read almost all of her handwriting all of the time! This is especially gratifying because during the past year a growing lack of dexterity has caused this 88-year-old woman to give up her longtime favorite pastime of making quilts. I am thrilled that her telling her own story has led to her sharing childhood tales of her siblings for their families to enjoy not only now but for years to come.