Lovely Lois,

I spent a lot of my senior year in the music room, listening to you practice, helping with harmonies, and going over the music. You were my favorite lunch buddy, and the music room was my favorite place to spend time. There were always too many people in the cafeteria, and too much bustle and noise for my liking. True, I like people, but maybe not at that capacity. I preferred sitting near the piano, talking to you about whatever topic popped into our heads. And I’m glad I got those opportunities to just sit and eat with you, maybe picking up a piece of music to go over at some point. I’m glad I didn’t have to waste my lunch time finding a seat in a crowded cafeteria, or standing in line for food that tasted like it’d been sitting for a few days. I’m grateful for those lunch time melodies, and talks about music.

You used to get so flustered over the sharps, clearly perturbed by the wrong notes that only you heard. Those were the songs we’d go over the most, not stopping until your fingers played the keys to your liking. So when I presented you with the sheet music for One Moment In Time, asking you to help me perform it for graduation, you looked over it once before thanking me for finding a song with a lot of flats. I guess I should have expected that reaction. The only thing you seemed to enjoy more then flats was taco bell, and the Baja blast that came along with it. 

You and your taco bell. I’ve never met someone who loves ‘fake Mexican food’ as much as you. That was always one of our go-to subjects at lunch time. You would either bring it up because you ate there the night before, you wanted to go there for lunch, or I had gone there at some point in the week. Sometimes, all three. If there was a treasure map made especially for you, it’d lead to every taco bell in America. X marks the spot. Of course, it’d probably also lead to the nearest box of cookies.

You were one of my favorites at Nooksack, making music class one of the finer things in life. Donut days also made it pretty great. Throughout middle and high school, you’d be seated at that piano, cracking jokes, plucking away at the keys, or just looking really bored. Either way, it was a rare occasion when you’d be absent, and Mr. Totten did not like those occasions one bit. I think you kept him sane in a room full of high schoolers, we were a rowdy bunch thanks to a few students who shall not be named. I’ll leave it up the you to figure out who I’m referring to, but I’m fairly certain you know who. 

As high school came to an end, the days of taco bell talks, music room lunches, and 15 minute music practices followed suit. I had a hard time adapting to the choir teacher in college, he reminded me too much of Kermit the frog, and his piano playing skills were subpar compared to yours. I think the music class experience I had at Nooksack only set me up for disappointment elsewhere. Choir was never quite as much fun, or even as challenging as it was in high school. Gone were the 4 part harmonies, replaced by a measly 2 part song… super boring, and not at all impressive to listen to. I never thought I’d find high school choir more challenging and enjoyable than college choir. But it was, and a lot of that had to do with the 25 year old piano player with a taco in her belly, and the music in her heart. 

Thanks for making it so very memorable,

Melissa 

(PS, Happy belated birthday to you… what is it now, 22?)

(PSS, I made the cover the taco bell logo because I figured it’d get your attention 😋)

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