Monday, May 15, 2017

The Merry Old Month of May

A Moment. A very short moment, but a moment. 

All Works of Love are Works of Peace--our choral service

Early Spring View

A Low Moment of Dishwasher Failure

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Sweet Woodruff Sneaking into the Lily of the Valley

Mr. Highum reading the Poem Mary wrote about him. . sniff, sniff

If you don't clear the pines needles. . . the flowers grow anyway

Pink Lily of the Valley

The Prayer Tree for Cousin Stacey and Kris's Mom survived another winter. 
The Merry Old Month of May
I'm wishing for the bottomless pot of decaf coffee and an afternoon to write to my hearts content. Alas, the days go by, filled to the brim, without an hour to write.

One daytime student asked me, as they were leaving--what do you DO all day when you are not teaching?

Dear one, I sit around and eat little chocolates and paint my toenails and make sure there are no smudges on the chrome kitchen faucet.

It's called triage. May is the month of making sure we all stay alive, people first, then pets then plants. This requires food and water and deer spray. And gas in the car.

It's final SAM and SPTG meetings and marching band kick-off (bring your checkbook, please). It's circus shows and recitals and entertaining and good-bye parties and your niece's graduation recital and some straggling choir commitments. Band concerts for everyone. It's the Wirth Center Gala and SAT subject tests. It's Nickelodeon Universe field trips which require lunch bags and cash for treats. It's trying to let Calvin drive as much as possible without a Valium prescription. For me, not him.

It's the dishwasher breaking down and leaking all into the bedroom below. It's the fountain pump getting all hooked up and then not actually pumping any water. It's the credit card getting hacked, AGAIN. It's the una corda squeaking in a way that really can't go more than a day without the technician, thank you Mark for making emergency calls.

One mom said, you must love sitting out on your lovely screen porch in the mornings. Should I be honest and tell her this moment is the first moment we have sat down on the porch instead of scrubbing it and washing the cushions and cleaning the bird feeders and fixing the hinges on the doors?

Mary gave me one of those fill in the blank what I love about you books for Mother's Day. I'm gonna read this every morning for the rest of my life. Here are a few highlights:

5. I'm humbled by. . . your beautiful choir playing (she doesn't know about the full blown anxiety attack I had at the choral service)
7. I'm thankful I got your. . . sense of humor. (not my dark sarcastic side?)
8. I love that you still. . . song songs for me.
9. I hope to be as. . .sure footed as you (I guess I am dependable in her eyes)
11. I love how you never. . . let weeds grow in the garden (all I see is weeds)
35. If you want to, you could easily. . . teach 100 students (I am obviously super woman)
42. I love to play. . . the Three Footed Giant piano duet with you (Thanks Annette for this duet that will NEVER go away now. . . )
45. I love how you have such strong. . . ideas (here I spend so much time working out, just to have strong ideas. . . )
47. It makes me smile when. . . you smile at me.
48. I love to. . put your earrings in. . . for you. (I can't do this yet. . . she's taking care of me)
49. Nobody else can play. . . expressively like you. (Pretty sure this isn't true. . . but I'll take it.)

What we are feeling inside is very rarely the full reality.

May brings out the perfectionist in me. And the sarcasm. So little to do and so much time to do it. Weeds. Wrong notes. Kids scrambling to get ready for recitals. Residual hives. And Calvin is always hungry. Everybody wants something.

May in her eyes is a little different. I'm a little different in her eyes.

So. . . if we didn't have recitals and parties we would never sit on the porch. Extra practice brings huge growth. Children bring life to the backyard, not the fountain running. A warped kitchen floor where I stand cutting cantaloupes and making coffee is a home well used and well loved. Balancing the detail with the big picture is part of the dance. Work hard right up to the last moment and then enjoy the show.

Lastly, here is a shout out to my mother and all the mothers for mother's day:

This is the true joy of life--
being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one;
being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap;
being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances.
George Bernard Shaw. 

Here's to giving life our best shot. I'm gonna throw myself on the scrap heap June 4.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Bravo 2017

Viva Las Vegas

Luck Be a Lady

Alexander Hamilton

Who Loves You


Magic to Do

Born this Way

Finale Act One

More Costumes

What a Voice

Guys can sing and dance!

Great kid, great actor, great singer. 
Bravo to the Bravo kids!

Lots of thought about Bravo, that's for sure. Where to begin?

This was Calvin's first Bravo season and he had so much fun. These shows are huge. I don't know if there are five hundred costumes or 800. Eighty-five singers. Eighty-eight in the children's chorus. The full jazz ensemble. Huge crews.

Calvin played drum set on the first act of the show. In the second act he played keyboards. It's like the final exam of drumming. You get to go from swing to country to hip hop to rap to Broadway show tune.  It took Bill about three shows to get his heart rate down--he was so nervous for Calvin. Stage dad. . .

I wanted to shout out--hey--that's my kid up there playing in front of a full house for eight nights. That's my kid jamming on the piano on Crocodile Rock. The other gal who played keyboards is Calvin's friend and she did a wonderful job. Piano players are the unsung heroes of these shows.

I was so proud. Proud of Calvin. Proud of everybody and every body's kid. They are up there on stage putting it out there. I can't believe the depth of talent our school district has. (Two other high schools in our district do similarly impressive shows) I can't believe how the directors pick the right kids for the right solos and the right dancers. The chemistry between the singers in the small ensembles. The musical maturity of these students.

I'm proud of Eastview that when one of the lead singers skipped school on Thursday she didn't get to sing Friday night. It hurt. It hurt her. It hurt her ensembles. It hurt the show. But it was the right thing. And she got back up there Saturday night and redeemed herself to a standing ovation. I don't think any of the sophomores or juniors will be skipping school when their senioritis comes along during the show season. It took courage for her parents not to write the note. It took courage for the director to back it all up. Kudos to all.

Highlights? Of course Calvin's drum solo on St. Thomas. The Sinatra group--in case you were wondering, Calvin did swing the band up to his dad's approval. Alexander Hamilton from Hamilton--Calvin's friend from drum line Joey put out a rap that was amazing--what a talented kid. Joey also did the vocal percussion on Hallelujah. Amazing. Goosebumps.

Bill and I each went to four shows. Mary went to five. My mom got to see two, Bill's folks came from Nisswa for the final show. Uncle Dave got to see it with a standby ticket. I was dreaming Bravo tunes.

Thank you Eastview and District 196 for making the huge effort to give the kids this experience.
Thanks directors for your complete awesomeness making something from nothing, the ultimate act of creativity. Thanks to the players, singers and dancers for giving us the gift of entertainment.

Tonight I'm not gonna drive back to Eastview high. Bittersweet.
Bravo to the Bravo kids!