Monday, November 12, 2018

The Saga of the Handbell Tree

Those of you who have followed my blog for roughly 12 years know that I am a man of many talents. Those of you who have come to know me more recently (shout out to Korn Kob) are still trying to process all the many levels of my talent and are mostly still just sitting back in shocked awe.  But let me let you in on a little-known aspect of my persona.

I play in a handbell choir.

That's right.  You can try to close your slacked jaw now.  Maybe see if you can get the drooling under control. 

Oh?  That's just how you are most of the time?  I feel like I would have remembered something like that.  But we can play pretend if it makes you more comfortable.

It all started innocently enough.  The Mrs. decided to check out the local franchise of her favorite church chain, oh, something like 11 years after we moved here.  One can guess at the impetus for that appearing out of the blue, but that's not really the point of my narrative.  The point is that said church had a handbell choir.

The Mrs., of course, is a conservatory-trained musician.  Thus, she is uniquely susceptible to anything music-related. 

Not sharing in that particular foible, I liken it to this:  Imagine, if you will, that you decide to drop by your local church one Sunday, just to check it out.  As luck would have it, the prime rib choir is performing that day.  They are performing a prime rib eating exhibition during the intro, and another during the offering.  Upon further inquiry, you are informed that they meet every Sunday for an hour to practice cooking and eating prime rib, and then four or five times a year, they put on an exhibition for the congregation where they eat prime rib up there on the dais while the congregation looks on in awe and applauds.

And, they are looking for more members for the Prime Rib Choir. 

You'd be all over that.  "Sign me the F- up!"

This is what music is like to a musician.  It's never, "Oh, prime riiiib.  I really only do NY Strip.  Not for me, bruh.  Not for me."  It's more like, "Well, I play viola, and violin, and piano, and bagpipes, and a little ukulele.  How hard can handbells be?  Sign me the F- up!"

And thus, my wife became a member of the local church's handbell choir.

But does it stop there?  No.  Of course not.  No one's wife signs up for something and then just keeps it to herself.  Because in her mind, she's just signed up for Prime Rib Choir, and what kind of jerk wife wouldn't want to share that with her loving husband and children?

So now, The Mrs., HannahC, and I are all in a handbell choir.  My inability to ever not do whatever is necessary to please my wife shall be left for other threads.  I am, shall we say, the best husband anyone could ever imagine.  Really.  Ask around.  You'll see.

Not content, however, with just eating prime rib on Sundays, The Mrs. auditioned for another prime rib, errr, I mean handbell choir.  And, owing to her intense musical talent or obsession or what-have-you, she got in to that, too.

I start a lot of sentences with conjunctions on this blog.  I always have.  Feel free to stop reading if that bothers you, but be aware that I know I am doing it, and I don't give a flying <> at a rolling donut that it is considered "wrong".  When I get my book deal, I can clean all that up.

Now, fast forward to last weekend.  Innocently enough, The Mrs. says, "I need you to make me a bell tree."

OK, like any normal, red-blooded American man, I have no idea what that is. 

But, if you Google(R) it, you find stuff like this.  The lady on the left is using a bell tree.  Now, I've learned that "bell tree" is somewhat non-specific in that most of your hits will be to little Christmas trees that are constructed of sleigh bells. So, I mostly try to say "handbell tree" now.

The design was largely left up to me, though the following requirements were specified:

  • It had to have four horizontal "branches" from which to hang the handbells
  • Each of the branches had to be individually adjustable for height and radial angle
  • It had to cost a lot less than a commercial one ($350-$550, depending upon model)
  • It could not be white
Your ten minute design window

I spent a good deal of time pondering this challenge and executing the first iteration of the design.  Not as much time as I spent editing the video of it, mind you, but still a good deal of time.  I knocked out the first attempt this weekend, and I am in the process of preparing a "serious" post about it that includes lists of material and tools and such.  In the mean time, I'll put a link to the YouTube video of it here.  The real multi-media experience post with embedded video, photos, and instructions is still WIP.  In the end, it'll look like this:

I hope to finish the post soon.

1 comment:

Big Sister said...

Terry said that I posted a snarky comment about your video. He thinks spell checker got the best of me. I can’t get back to that comment, but meant to say that you are an amazing crafter - or something like that.