Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I heard it on NPR

I am an NPR listener. Before you ask, yes I am an NPR member. Today alone I learned that MOMA in NYC has acquired the symbol "@" for it's collection. I also heard about a language study on infants that used light waves to scan their brains to gather information. Carl Cassel, Scott Simon, Click and Clack, Linda Worthimer, Will Shortz, and Cokie Roberts feel like friends to me. My first recollections of hearing NPR are at my parents home in Ohio. They had a radio on a shelf in the kitchen. NPR was on quite often.

When I first lived with my parents after college, I would listen to NPR in the morning. My parents had some ministers who would stay with them occasionally when they had business at the UCC Headquarters. I enjoyed their company and have fond memories of standing at the counter drinking my coffee before leaving for work listening to "Morning Edition". I stood dressed ready to go teach, my minister pal stood in his bathrobe with maroon and blue stripes. We quietly sipped and faced each other. Sometimes we would talk about stories we heard.

It was during this time in my life that I started to listen to "Whad'ya Know?, with Michael Feldman" Even when I returned to Delaware I would have this show on in the background while lesson planning on Saturdays. Papers, ideas, books, spread all around Jack's apartment living room as I chuckled and got organized.

During my summers off I listened to NPR almost all day. In our first house, I would spend summers on projects painting and fixing things up. I even got email updates daily on topics for "Radio Times with Marty Moss -Coain". I must say, I was miffed when she did away with her open topic Fridays. I even called in once.

When Jack and I moved to our house here in Wilmington, a radio sat on the kitchen window for many years. Antenna slanted just the right way to get NPR. The power button eventually broke so when you were not listening you just turned the radio down. It just stayed tuned to the one station. Jack just smiled and put up with it because he knew this house was just like my family home.

You may wonder about my sanity talking about NPR right now. I will tell you this. As I drove across Pennsylvania this last time, I searched out the NPR stations. (always the low end of the dial) When I could not get them I listened to classical music or my ZUMBA. Mostly though, I found some NPR. I approached Cleveland in rush hour. I was scared for my mom facing surgery, for my dad if I did not get there before she started surgery, and myself not getting lost on the way to the hospital. I kept driving, focusing on my directions, listening to NPR, and then I heard it.

"From WHYY in Philadelphia, this is Terri Gross with Fresh Air" (then the intro music, which if I was more technologically savvy I would have a link to)I heard the most familiar of voice and music from my home NPR station and I teared up. Hearing that calmed me down, I felt sure that it would be alright. It was like putting on an old pair of slippers. Needless to say, I made it to the hospital on time, at the moment my mom is doing well and the only pain I actually had to suffer through was listening to Terri Gross interview Karl Rove about his new book.

When I move to Tennessee, Jack has already told me the local NPR is not as fully loaded with programming as our local WHYY. I have assured him that was fine, he just owes me a laptop so I can stream WHYY online. As far as I am concerned, once I do that, Tennessee can be one step closer to being home.

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