Category Archives: Summer of Smiles

Summary of Smiles

I hope you have enjoyed the Summer of Smiles. In June I promised to provide you with a summary of the power of a simple smile. Thank you to everyone who left a comment. This post would not be possible without your participation.

One final assignment. This week wherever you go make a conscious effort to smile.

The final segment of the Summer of Smiles will be a 14 day program on Twitter. Every day from now through September 10 I will be tweeting about something that inspires me and makes me smile. Don’t miss out. Click @bradsmusicroom and click “Follow”. If you don’t already have a Twitter account you can create one when you get there.

Have a Nice Day


Your Thoughts on “R.I.P. Paul Hickman” 

Beautiful tribute, Brad. Hugs….

Nicely done–your dad was a humble man, but he loved boasting about his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids!

So beautifly spoken. Thank you for the reminder to connect and love.

Beautifully written by one of the coolest people I have ever known. Paul was always positive, incredibly interested and interesting and had a sense of fun in the face of everything. Someone recently said to me how proud he was of his sons and I think very deservedly so.

Wonderful to read about you Father. I hope the great memories outweigh your sorrow. Love to you and your family

Brad, Brian and Burt-it was our honor to attend your dad’s services. We didn’t have the chance to be around him that much….but when we were…it was a pleasure. Your choice of Tim’s song was perfect….he did strike us as a humble and kind man. From our brief conversations we know he loved you all much and had an incredible memory. When we visited him in the hospital…he was in much discomfort but he said, “the big catfish that David and Jason caught”! They were only about 7 years old, we were camping at my uncles farm and they were sooooo proud of this monster! He remembered because he loved and was interested in the lives of his kids and grandkids! Our prayers are with your family as we all await the time in the future see him again.

Brad I just read this. Please accept my sincere sorrow for your loss. Prayers are with you and your family.

Your beautiful remembrance cheered my heart today. For so thankful Paul T. & I spoke not long before his death, we shared love notes. He was always a dear, caring, & helpful cousin to me. Love & hugs

Your tribute & anecdotes from your Dad’s life described what I would perceive as ‘a life well lived.’ Though we have been acquainted for a relatively short time, it seems to me that you have been blessed to receive many of your Dad’s gifts and graces. Coming from personal experience and loss, I can only underscore your admonition to all of us to take the time to know and love your family members well…beginning today! Thank you, Brad! May the Light of God that you so willingly share grant you peace.

Your Thoughts on “Recalling a Special Memory”

This hit a very special string in my heart. Charles and I spent two of our vacations in the part of the country you write about. On our second trip there we took a week sail on a windjammer out of Maine. We went west to Washington and California, East to Maine and Florida, South to Louisiana and New Mexico, North to Wisconsin and Michigan and so many places in between. You are so correct to tell us to share our memories with those we love. I treasure the memories that I have of the twenty plus years of travel with him. Homes, cars, furniture, clothes…..these are all going to disappear but our memories are there for the rest of our lives.

Oh Brad! You triggered a special memory for me, too. I’ve been to Maine twice, both trips meant time in Kennebunkport and in Ogunquit. So beautiful, loved those times there. Thank you and Happy Anniversary to you and Linda!

Dear Brad & family, It is a treasure to read your gifted writings & the lovely Memories you share. Aunt Fred loved telling me about you when you were growing up, she said “that boy has a tender heart”. She was always right on the spot. ❤️

Brad-one of my favorite artist’s! What sweet memories his music brings back -classic stuff!

Congratulations on your anniversary, cherish each one as God has given us both special women to traverse this short journey with!

Brad, you continue to amaze me as you pull from your spirit —God’s spirit. Your tenderness if a gift and an inspiration. Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories of New England.

Great blog and song, Brad!

Brad thank for the wonderful memories of Kennebunkport and New England. I often miss the east coast its so beautiful. Lenny and I also vacationed right near that lighthouse when were first married. You described the sights sounds and even the smells perfectly. Happy Anniversary to you and Linda.

Your Thoughts on “Takin’ Celebrate To the Streets”

I am happy for you all. I do have one question. who served communion?

Pastor Billie from Travis Park UMC. David and Beth Stone now worship there and brought her. If we do this again would you be interested in being a guest pastor and serving communion?

Beautiful! Truly our strength is in our diversity. This brings to mind the Craig Courtney anthem – One faith, one hope, one Lord. Though we be many, we are called by one Lord and we serve Him in many different ways. I’m glad you were able to reconnect in such a beautiful way, reminds me of the New Testament believers who gathered in homes!

I was just thinking the same thing as Beth about the early believers gathering in homes, sharing a meal, etc… Very cool, Brad. I hope you can gather again.


Your Thoughts on “More Hobby–ness – My Prescription For Lifelong Happiness”

Beautiful flowers!

We love the Plumeria you gave us!

I enjoy the challenge of growing my plumeria, but they don’t bloom profusely like yours. I’m definitely missing the “green thumb”!

Thanks Brad for reminding us of some of the simpler things in life that we take so for granted-there is a tremendous beauty in life and in the Lord’s creation but….there is also a lot of work in a “hobby” but it surely is a labor of love. Hope our garden will one day look half as good as your grandma’s!

Understand about having botany in the DNA, my dad’s garden was a sight to behold! And, sorry Texans, there is NOTHING like a ripe, homegrown Kentucky (Illinois has some good ones, too) tomato! Unlike you, Brad, I have not been able to cultivate anything much in this Texas heat. Thanks for sharing your gift!

Wow! I love plumerias as cut flowers, so I found this interesting. I bemoan the fact that I don’t have a garden as my yard is small and very shady from mature oak trees, but I grew up with a gardening grandmother. Nice post!

Brad I think of you often when I see the plumeria cutting you gave me so long ago.  It is huge and blooms profusely every year. I finally got my  red one to bloom this year.  I too like you enjoy my plants.


More Hobby–ness – My Prescription For Lifelong Happiness

(To the Tune of James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”)

How sweet it is to love what we do
How sweet it is to love what we do

I wanted to share with you a life long passion – Here it is
I needed a way to share my hobby with others – Here it is
Your continued devotion
Deeply touches my emotion
I want to stop and thank you readers
I just want to stop and thank you readers

How sweet it is to love what we do
How sweet it is to love what we do

Planting the Seeds of a Lifelong Hobby

What is a hobby? The Oxford dictionary defines hobby as An activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. 

So where did the word hobby come from? In the 16th century, the term “hobyn ” had the meaning of “small horse and pony “. The term “hobby horse” was documented in a 1557 payment confirmation for a “Hobbyhorse” from Reading, England. The item, originally called a just for now”Tourney Horse”, was made of a wooden or basketwork frame with an artificial tail and head. It was designed for a child to mimic riding a real horse. By 1816 the derivative, “hobby”, was introduced into the vocabularyof a number of English people. Over the course of subsequent centuries, the term came to be associated with recreation and leisure.

You already know about my life–long love of listening to music. Today I am going to tell you about another pursuit.

Although I have been a city boy my entire life botany is in my DNA. Both parents grew up on family farms. They were raised on home grown vegetables. Granny’s garden was legendary and Mom always ate home grown tomatoes when they were in season.

I began raising house plants in college. Each time I came upon a new plant I would ask the owner for a cutting. My roommate was an agricultural major. He shared my passion and brought a plant stand and dozens of plants when we moved in together. At one point we had almost 100 plants.

The Joy Of Plumeria

I consider myself an Plumerist. “What’s that?” you say. Simply put, it is someone who enjoys the cultivation and sharing of plumeria plants. Yes I just made that word up.

Plumeria (/plˈmɛriə/) is a genus of flowering plants in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae. Most species are deciduous shrubs or small trees. The species variously are indigenous to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, and as far south as Brazil, but are grown as cosmopolitan ornamentals in warm regions. Common names for plants in the genus vary widely according to region, variety, and whim, but frangipani or variations on that theme are the most common. Plumeria also is used directly as a common name, especially in horticultural circles.

Plumeria flowers come in all colors. Whites, yellows, pinks, and hybrids. Interestingly enough flowers of plants grown from seed will not necessarily be the same color as those of the plant from whence they came.

Each fall I prune my plants and save the cuttings for spring. Stalks are removed from their pots. Stalks and cuttings last all winter as long as they  are not subject to freezing temperatures. I accomplish this by storing everything in the garage.

By early April there is no longer risk of freeze. Stalks are replanted in their original pots. Cuttings are treated with rooting powder, planted in a soil mixture formulated to encourage new roots, watered, and placed in the sun. In about a month they are ready to be given away.

Takin’ Celebrate To the Streets

This is a tale of two men. In many ways we are the same. In others, vastly different. Both sons  of the Show Me State, our family roots run deep. Music is in our veins. He produces, I consume.

I came to San Antonio in 1993. In November 1995, Coker UMC became our church home. Traditional worship has never been my thing. Too formal. In 1995, formal dress was still required at work. The last thing I wanted to do on Sunday was put on a tie and head to church for a traditional worship service. However, It was important to Linda and me that Lauren and Amanda grow up in a Christian centered world. While the girls attended Sunday school Linda and I went to traditional worship.
Celebrate in the beginning
Shortly after arriving in San Antonio in 1998, Bob joined Coker UMC. He understood contemporary worship. Under his leadership, Celebrate took flight October 2000. Held in the gym with plastic stackable chairs. The acoustics were horrible. But this service filled a void. It catered to kids who wanted to worship after Sunday school. Lauren suggested we try it. Pretty soon Linda and I found a Sunday school class and we began worshiping at Celebrate.
Celebrate matures
Its popularity grew. Construction on a new building with worship space, dubbed the “Upper Room,” was completed in 2004. Celebrate occupied the “Upper Room” from May 2004 until its abrupt cancellation in June 2016. Band members and faithful worshipers had to find new homes. Coker replaced Celebrate with a contemporary service at 9:30. Some found refuge there. Others returned to the traditional service at 11:00. But many, including some key band members found new church homes.
Celebrate Comes to My Church
Last Sunday, our far flung diaspora held a family reunion. We sang, shared inspiring stories, received holy Communion, broke bread, and worshiped Celebrate style. All in the sanctuary of my new church: My “Living Room.”