Monday, September 28, 2009

lights out

The other night I came home, and my neighbor was out in the street, waving around a flashlight. So I stopped. While I stopped, I hit the button for my garage-door opener. 'Cause that's what I do when I pull into my street. And my neighbor was very nice.
He said, "That won't work".

Huh.

"Did you say that won't work? (pause for my brain to work for a moment). "Why?"

" 'Cause the power is out. (pause for me to comprehend) We don't have any power."

So I said thanks, and idled there for a minute, totally thrown by the fact that I didn't have any power.

I eventually parked in the driveway, and made my way up to the the door and into my house. It was a little weird, but I made it. Had to use my cell phone to get up the stairs, but I made it. I found a flashlight that I keep on the upstairs landing for this purpose, and found my way around. I lighted one of those "jar candles", and put it on my dresser, so I could see in the bedroom. Then I used that candle, and the flashlight to find my way around and light some other candles, and eventually it looked like I was having a seance with all the candles. It looked like the "talking to the dead" scene in Ghost. I hope I DID NOT look like Whoopie Goldberg, though...

I had a nice time, being quiet, and doing a sudoku, and I turned on my laptop and played games on the computer for a little bit. It was nice.

But it got me to thinking, as I took my candle into the bathroom, to brush my teeth, that this must have been how Laura Ingalls Wilder felt, and how she did everything back in the day. I totally felt like Little House On The Prairie!

It was a good feeling, to be able to do everything I needed to do, but still conquer the lack of electricity. Maybe I am flexible after all...

Turn out your lights once in awhile.
K

Saturday, September 19, 2009

singing

I LOVE to sing. When I was little, I was constantly singing around the house. Usually it was the jingle from a commercial, or the theme song from a TV show. You can ask my Mom - it drove her crazy. We had a rule in the house growing up: no singing at the dinner table. Guess who that rule was made for???

This is a cool video that a friend of mine sent me.
Hope you enjoy it!
K



video

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the Ya-Ya's

I am re-re-re-reading The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I absolutely LOVE this book, and am convinced that I would have fit perfectly in Garnet, Louisiana. If you haven't had the pleasure, it is all about a family in Louisiana with a playwright daughter, outdoorsy father, crazy and out-there mother, and the mother's 3 friends that she grew up with. They called themselves the Ya-Yas.

The entire book is about that family, and even if it is a totally dysfunctional family, it is about all of the things that tie them together. It is about Vivi sending the Ya-Ya-rebelia to Sidda, and learning about her past, and her mother's past, and her mother's friends past. How they were willing to call each other out when they did something wrong, how they took care of each other and their families. How they were family to each other. The Ya-Yas.

I got a call from my sister today. She's out in Oregon for Grandpa Jack's funeral. She just called to see how I was doing, but I have a feeling it was a check in for her too. Sometimes it is nice to talk to someone who understands, even if they are annoying sometimes! (Me, not her.) It is nice to talk to someone who knows how it feels to have lost all the same Grandparents. It was nice to talk to her.

We are like those beautiful quilts that my Mom makes. She takes little bits of fabric, and makes them into beautiful quilts. Her most recent project was to take different pieces of Grandma Bev's and Grandpa Larry's clothes, and make them into a quilt for my cousin Christina's wedding present.

I think that that's a good way to look at family. All of out imperfections are woven into the fabric that is our family, but if you step back and look at the whole thing, it's beautiful. And keeps you warm on a cold night. Family can do that for your soul.

So, I'm off to read about the Ya-Yas. Again. And crawl under a flannel quilt that my Mom made. I think I'll sleep well tonight.

K

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

and the hits just keep on comin'

OK, maybe I'm bring dramatic, but I think you'll agree with me in a minute.

But first, I have to share about my friend Jen. Jen has an unnatural attachment to the Bon Jovi song, "Livin' On a Prayer". I don't often tease her about this, 'cause i don't want her to feel bad, and all. She's not even from New Jersey. But she DOES love this song. So, in honor of her little quirk, I set her ringtone on my new phone to "Livin' On a Prayer". So that's not the good part. The best part was when I told her about it. She laughed so loud and hard that it made me laugh too. That was the best feeling. It made me happy that she was happy.

So that brings us around to today. This evening she called and said it makes her sad that I'm sad. You see, my Grandpa Jack died today. Don't get me wrong - I have some tears. But I'm not really sad for Grandpa Jack. He loved Jesus, possibly more than anyone I've ever known. Grandpa Jack has been sick for awhile now, and he was not doing so hot lately, so I'm actually relieved for him. I'm most sad for Grandma Betty, 'cause she will have to live for awhile without him. Now, I know eventually that they will be together, but for the immediate future, she's going to have a rough go of it.

It just makes me sad for all the missing: I've been missing my other grandparents lately, and now I'm missing Grandpa Jack too. I drove home from rehearsal tonight in tears. I know they will stop eventually, but they kinda hurt right now.

Here's a picture of Grandpa Jack, Grandma Bev, and my Dad when he was really little:



I think this picture was taken around Christmas of 1949. Grandma Bev passed away about 2 and a half years ago - she's beautiful in this picture. Dad's not this cute anymore.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go get a Kleenex.
K

Monday, September 7, 2009

the chain letter



This is my favorite picture of Grandma Annie and Grandpa Glen (my mom's parents). I think it was taken when I was really little, like 3 or 4.

Back when I was in my 20's, and Grandma Annie was still alive, and all of us girls lived in different places in the country, my mom, sister, grandma and I had what we called the chain letter. It wasn't a chain letter, per se, but more like a layered-type letter that we passed around in a circle. I would get the chain letter, take out whatever I wrote last time, add my note for this time, and see if there was anything included for me. Then I would mail it to Grandma, then she would do the same and mail to my sis, then she would do the same and mail it to Mom. And around and around it would go. Sometimes, mom or grandma Annie would make 3 copies of a good recipe and send it out so everyone could have a copy. Sometimes it would have a recipe that was just for me. (That's how I got Grandma Annie's Potato Salad recipe!) But the chain letter kept going around, and about once a month it would arrive in the mail, always with something new and exciting.

Don't get me wrong, there was usually nothing "exciting" in the chain letter. We are not terribly exciting people. But getting a note from everyone was great, and the best ones would be where Gram put something in just for me.

I miss the chain letter.

I think that it's really Gram and Gramp that I miss. But the other day I thought about the chain letter, and the infinite connections that we had with each other. I am sad that they are gone. I'm sad that they can't be here to love on my nephews like I can. And they WOULD, if they were here.

But such is life. I will move on, and live life. I will still have those kind of connections with my other family. But it will never be the same as it was with Grammy and Grumpy Gramp.

I love you both.
K

Friday, September 4, 2009

Opera!

I am totally serious about that title needing a capital and an exclamation point! Now, I realize that I could very well be ticketed by the grammar police for "excessive use of an exclamation point", and "overcapitalization", but this deserves it.

I am singing in an Opera!

A momentous occasion, to be sure. Because, really, how often does one get to be in an actual opera? In my case, the answer is 4, because when I lived halfway across the country, I was lucky enough to sing for the Athens Master Chorale. (Athens, GA, NOT Athens, Greece. I wish...) Anyway, the AMC was the "house chorus" for the Athena Grand Opera Company. While I sang with them, I was able to be in the chorus for 3 operas: La Boheme, The Marriage of Figaro, and Madame Butterfly. These were defining moments in my life, and I LOVED every minute of them. The playing cards backstage, the hideous Boheme "carpet dress", the corset that accompanied the first 2 costumes and the Japanese paper umbrella and wig that accompanied the last one. LOVED them!

Well, now I am singing with the Colorado Springs Chorale. A very fine organization that has over a 50 year history, and has performed some of the greatest choral works of all time. Very well. So, now the CSC is going to be the chorus for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic's performance of La Boheme.

In THREE WEEKS!

I'm kind of wigging out, no Butterfly pun intended...

I think that my age-riddled brain is to fault for this recent panic. We've been rehearsing Boheme for several weeks now, and it's been going well. But, every so often, the wrong words will go flying out of my mouth. Or, I will, at random, start singing the other women's' part. I guess it wouldn't be noticeable, except that they are sitting ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM! The last time I sang Boheme, all the parts had to be memorized, so we could freely move on and off stage in the carpet dress, singing about Musetta, and how she is not very nice. So THAT's the part that keeps coming out of my mouth. Even though it's not my part now.

Here's a picture of the last time I sang in La Boheme:



I guess should get off the computer, and go practice my Italian. And singing the correct lines...

I'll let you know how it goes later.

Opera!
K :)