Ruth SeiwellThis article written by Ruth Seiwell, Area 9 Past Chair

Wow! The end of August and the beginning of September have been weeks we will not soon forget. A large part of Area 9 has been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Now our friends in Florida, Georgia, and along the east coast are dealing with Hurricane Irma. I live in Lake Jackson [Texas], an area where many people have lost their homes and possessions and have a total disruption of their lives. I am fortunate that my home is intact; we lost only one car. The business I manage is even back to a semi-normal routine.

Not only have homes been lost, but churches have been flooded, musical instruments lost, and music libraries destroyed. Music is a universal soother, and I hope we can all look to our love of handbells and music in general to soothe wounded souls. Houston Chamber Ringers has stepped forward to assist in cleaning handbells, finding handbell cases to replace ruined, ones and requesting assistance in replacing music libraries. We have indeed found a unifying force in the music world.

I write this article on September 11, 2017 – sixteen years after the tragedies of 9-11-2001. Remembering this horrific event and also seeing so many people attempt to recover from hurricane damage makes my soul hurt. I hope that the love of music can help us through these troubled times as well as those which will be a part of our futures. Turn on the music and let it flow through your mind and body.

I love handbells and our handbell community! I have met such wonderful people in my years involved with bells, and seeing people come together to help one another makes me love my choice of the musical instrument even more.

I am honored to be a part of Area 9 and the handbell world in general. Thanks for being such good friends!