Jan 2008

Digging Up Memories

There is a famous story in my family.

It goes something like this: My Oma, who was known her firm hand as much as her hearty laugh, decided that my Aunt Heidi would play the accordion. It didn’t matter that Heidi wanted to play the violin. It didn’t matter that Heidi hated the accordion. It didn’t matter that my mother, Greta, didn’t have to take music lessons of any kind. My Oma waved this off with a flick of her wrist. “Greta has no ear for music.”

So, there sat Heidi, on the couch, hour after hour, and played. That damn accordion.

It became the stuff of legends. Heidi and her dreaded accordion.

This week, my aunt was digging through her old albums and found this gem.

I don’t expect you all to laugh as much as my aunt, my mother, my sister and in turn, me, when I got the email, did. But the look on my aunt’s face is priceless. It tells such a story from her childhood. And that damn accordion.

I have to imagine that when Oma heard all the laughter, she smiled too.

Leave a Reply



  1. Anonymous

    As the person on the couch, I have to tell you the picture speaks volumes! I did hate that thing but I still have it – hidden in the deepest, darkest park of the basement. I keep threatening Bryan that I will bring it to Denver one day and play until my ears bleed……AAAAHHHH the memories.

    Thanks Aim – even though I didn’t like it – it brings back a lot of memories of your Oma.

    Love you
    Aunt Heidi

  2. That is hysterical! And do you believe my dad sent out a “family band” picture this week too? I might have to post it now!

  3. Anonymous

    AND in reading what I just wrote, the word park is supposed to be part!

    My spelling is another ‘big’ laugh in my family !!


  4. Syndi

    Priceless. Absolutely priceless.

  5. A picture says a thousand words…and in this case, I think 999 of them are unfit for print. ; ) Poor kid!

  6. zipper

    Now that is one GREAT photo.

  7. I love it!! i want you to bring it to denver for bryan!
    we have a friend who makes a living as a one-man-band and plays the accordian!!

  8. oh – that is priceless. How many kids give that exact same look to their families every day when forced into an unwanted task. I’m sure you’ll see the resemblance on your own, your mom’s, your sister’s and your son’s face.

  9. Alpha DogMa

    Man, if looks could kill…

    On the other hand the accordion does distract from the fugly wallpaper.

  10. WiredMonkey

    If only They Might Be Giants and Weird Al Yankovic were around and doing music when she was a child…perhaps their fun stylings with the accordion might have inspired her to get wacky with it.

  11. i feel like the caption should be, “heidi plots her revenge”- too funny!

  12. Sue at eLuckypacket

    Syndi took the words right out of my mouth.

  13. Becky

    Incredible picture that captured the “mood.” What’s the deal with accordians anyway? My cousin had to play one too.

  14. Stacy

    Oh my I am still laughing! And Oma is definitely smiling too! Now, why have Aunt Heidi and I never played a duet together after all these years?

  15. Christina

    That photo sends shivers up my spine!! Why? Because there is one of ME at a similar age with my own instrument from hell accordion and my own expression of disgust. Stupid door to door salesman convincing my mom to buy it!! 3 years of hell until I finally wont the arguments and was able to switch to piano.
    I feel your pain Aunt Heidi – oh so deeply!!

  16. soccer mom in denial

    So does she fall in screeming fits when she hears a polka?

    And how cool that Aunt Heidi commented!!

  17. samantha jo campen

    Nope, I burst out laughing. Because that is just SO AWESOME.

  18. painted maypole

    ha ha

    we had an accordian in our pit band for fiddler. it was fun.

  19. blogapotamus, that is SERIOUSLY hilarious. I just thought of another of my favorite famous family stories… I think I will have to post that one sometime soon.

  20. blogapotamus

    I LOVE old photos like that! The past really comes to life. She’s all, “SCREW THIS.” My in-laws have a very old wedding photo on their wall from some set of ancestors and you could make up an entire soap opera from the expressions on all of their faces.

    Every family has got that story that gets told when everyone gets together. 🙂 One of ours is the time my great uncle Charles cornered my brother-in-law in the men’s room at my wedding and told him about his time in the South Pacific during the war when the padre of his unit tried to get the native girls to cover up with t-shirts.

    “You know what they did to those t-shirts?” he asked conspiratorially, “They cut the titties out.”

    Good times.

  21. I agree, she doesn’t look happy AT ALL, but that doesn’t diminish my desire for an accordion, or a banjo, or a tuba. 🙂

  22. TFO

    I so wish someone had made me learn the accordion.

  23. carrie

    Oh – the LOOK on her face!

    I think I’ve made that face before . . . probably while playing the piano! 🙂