I’ve been practicing for the Easter drama most evenings. It’s been fun but also trying. We have seen the best and worst in each other as we log the hours. I’ve made a few observations along the way as well.
One thing I should mention is that our play is put on by church members. As many church bodies are we are a community within a community. A micro culture if you will. We see each other a lot as it is. Three services a week and a private school four days a week keep us in close contact. Many members are related and/or live very near to each other as well. And we live in a small city that has no strangers. Everybody knows everybody here. Add to that four two hour practices a week and I think you can safely say we are ” all up in each other’s business “.
First, I do believe we are blessed with the best. I know it’s corny and canned but I do actually believe it. We have some crazy talented people at our church. We also have a lot of regulars that just kinda want to be done already (me).
To begin with, we have struggled through practices to say the least. Some songs were new and some went unlearned and we just weren’t jiving. But I am pleased to say that through these moments I have a better appreciation for my fellow church members. We have made it to the end. We have stuck it out. We have had disagreements and frustrations and still treated one another civilly. We have joked and laughed and rolled our eyes in unison…. repeatedly. We are a team.
I have discovered a few personalities that stuck out as well-
The everyday Joe: These cast members are logging the hours, trying to not mess up and goofing around behind the curtain on off scenes. I would say about 75% of our cast are Joes.
The hot head: They are belligerent when something isn’t right with their scene and get hot pretty quick. They also like to point out what other people are doing wrong. (they are not directors)
The “Over it” : They are just fed up. They missed their nap. They are hangry and want to go home. Probably about 15% on this one….
The exhausted sideline coach: They are tired of prodding others to participate. They also want to go home but cannot. We need them.
The want-to-be sideline coach: They just showed up. They will jump in and they are there for you. They will change absolutely everything at the last second but they will get you lined out wether you need it or not.
The cautiously optimistic: Those still are hoping for the best and inviting everyone in town hoping the peer pressure will bring out the best in everyone (me).
There is one lurking non member that always seems to crop up as well. The one that waits for disaster to strike. The understudy. The one that just might put exlax in your coffee if it would better their chances.
Well, that about sums up my experience in this years Easter drama. When they said drama, they weren’t kidding! It would really help if someone had specified which side of the curtain the drama would be on though…
To my fellow cast members:
You are awesome! I love you all and if you read this understand the spirit in which it was written and take it with a grain of salt😉
This photo was taken at the airport. My hubby had just finished his 2 weeks of R&R and was headed back to Iraq. My husband and I were saying good-bye for another loooong six months.
Let’s be honest here. Marriage is hard. It’s not for the faint of heart. We believe these happily ever after fairly tales and that is such a huge set up. After that honeymoon phase it gets real. Welcome to reality.
My husband and I are polar opposites. He is more of a math/tech guy I am a craft/artsy gal. I love simple things but I want pretty things too. He could care less what anything looked like- he is color blind so that kinda makes lots of things look the same. I love to read and write and decorate and craft and take classes and learn new things and call people on the phone and meet old friends…and…the list goes on… He likes to go to work and help people and occasionally sight see. True, those three things actually take up more time than all my ANDS put together but we couldn’t be more different.
I realized as we sat there waiting for the plane that both of us had socks and sandals on. How dorky! I also realized that neither one of us cared. Like, not at all. We barely noticed that there were other passengers waiting to board. Nothing else really mattered. We had complete disregard for anything else. We were focused on the one thing we both were dreading. Saying Goodbye.
As I stared at our sandaled and socked feet I realized that I had come to a point where my love for my husband had completely leaped over and above anything else. I cared not for any stares pointed in our direction. I wore this skirt because my husband bought it for me. (I actually didn’t even really like it and it was always too big on me and it garnered way too much attention from TSA) All that mattered was spending those last few moments with the man I loved.
I had to laugh! Ordinarily I would have chosen a much cuter outfit to say good bye in and planned the hair accordingly. The problem was, none of that mattered enough that day. What mattered was that we simply wanted to hold onto each other a bit longer. So what if we looked a bit geriatric in the wardrobe department.
I snapped this picture to remind myself that love truly is blind. I can wear granny socks with sandals (and my hubby too) without even noticing. I’ve got bigger things on my mind! True love is forgetting how things appear and allowing yourself to be consumed with another person’s need. I love this man, granny socks and all!
I can’t say we have had any “perfect” days in our marriage. Since the granny sock episode we have had many trials. We endured not only the deployment but years of manic work hours after the homecoming. Oddly enough, the hardest part about deployments isn’t the separation. (although that is excruciatingly tough at times) The hardest part is learning to live together again when you both have become completely different people. It’s like you marry a new person but you already have this huge history with them. Weird, I know.
Sometimes I get angry at Iraq for what it stole from us. We were at the top of our marriage game right before the official announcement came. Then we were tossed into the whirlwind of it all and bought a new house to boot. I had to choke down the panic every day. Push down the nausea like riding a wave until I could safely smile into the three little faces looking up at me. They needed me – and I needed them. We were bound together in this strange little boat that we had to sail. People could watch us float along and wave but nobody really understood the journey because they weren’t in the boat.
I get angry at how much that year stole from us. But I am truly learning to see the good. Like how much stronger we are now because of that year. My kids are incredible. They are so much more stable than I was at their ages. If my husband had to go again they wouldn’t waste a moment whining. I remember the first training my husband had to go to after deployment. The kids were going crazy running around the house and gathering items. They insisted that we had to go to the store and pick up snacks and mail a care package to daddy. It was a 2 week training and I had to explain that 2 weeks is MUCH shorter than a year! They didn’t hesitate, they were ready for action!
I have found that I can endure. I can fight. I can hope for a better tomorrow. I can love this new man beside me and I can make peace with the person I have become. I wish I could say that I walked away from the experience a perfect woman but sadly that did not happen. Instead I gained life skills and I discovered people who were very supportive to our service members. I also found out that many could not understand my position so they were not comfortable talking about it. I had to be OK with that and know that they just weren’t going to be on my support list. I found that there was an “anti-support group” as well and I learned to avoid anyone who had a negative influence. I found that I could help others even in the midst of my trial because I had a story to share and I had time to lend an ear. I found that my God is faithful. When I woke up, each day I would put my husband’s safety in His hands. It was like the panic and anxiety that rolled through my chest evaporated as I spoke these simple words “Today, I’m going to trust you God”.
So my 12 y.o. daughter has been wanting her own room for a while. We did have a room available but the flooring was questionable. There were some soft spots so we put off housing a kid up there until we were sure it wouldn’t fall through. Well, its holding strong and her desire for a bit of independence is ever so much stronger. Let the switch begin!
In unearthing some of the things found stored up there I came across a short story I had written for my kids and my nieces and nephews. I am the story-teller. The calmer of fussy toddlers and the one given the task of regaling everyone under the age of eight at family gatherings. It’s my gift to the world, lol.
Without further ado, I give you a tale of complete and utter nonsense.
THE SILLYS OF TOWNSVILLE
Once upon a time there was a family of Sillys. Mr. Silly, Mrs.Silly, Sister Silly, Brother Silly and Baby Silly. As you can imagine they were quite a silly bunch!
For breakfast the Sillys always ate a sweet dessert followed by a steak diner. That way nobody was late to the table. For lunch they invited all of their neighbors over for sandwiches on the rooftop. That’s because, as you may know, the every best sunshine is to be had at noon and the Sillys had no intention of missing it. Dinner was always enjoyed while sitting snuggly around the fire. Even the Sillys didn’t know why it had to be so but Mr. Silly supposed it was the proper thing for a Silly family to do.
If you think the Sillys were strange about meals, you should see their home. Wonderfully wacky and quite unique, it sat high up on a hilltop with a crooked stove-pipe two stories tall. (the stove pipe, not the house) Even the windows were placed so as to appear like a smiling jack-o-lantern face to those who may have passed by at night.
In spite of, or maybe because of all their silliness the Silly family was instantly loveable. They welcomed anyone into their wild little home and always had loads of fun. Perhaps that is why the Silly house always had company. Even stray cats and dogs made their way to the Silly household. Sister Silly loved to leave trails of food for all kinds of creatures and as sure as cornflowers are blue, critters would find the Silly house by way of the treats.
One dark and dreary afternoon the lights flickered once, twice and then the power went out. Mrs. Silly was just stoking the fire so she hadn’t noticed the lights go out. The two Silly children were walking home from school and Baby Silly was napping. The whole town was without power of lights. As you already know, the Sillys never used lights for the evening anyhow. They were always huddled by the fire at that time of day.
This particular day the pound was entirely overcrowded with stray animals. Dogs, cats, iguanas, rabbits, guinea pigs and even a small donkey. The power flickered once, then twice then darkness fell in the animal shelter. (which really resembled a small zoo) The locks, being electric, all gave a chorus of clicks and quick as lightning fur, feathers, yips, yowls (and a small hee-haw) erupted from the pound. Before you could say ‘shivering polecats!’ all those critters flew the coop!
The animals weren’t the only thing running amuck. The local grocery store was having it’s fair share of troubles. Mr. Arugula had been managing the Veggie Emporium for twenty years and had never seen anything like it. “Sizzling sour kraut!” he cried, as a store full of customers bumbled around like a food filled game of blind man’s bluff. Only they weren’t playing and they weren’t bluffing! They were crashing carts into one another and knocking over towers of oranges and boxed crackers in the pitch black store.
After forty seven and a half nerve damaging minutes Mr. Arugula had managed to maneuver each customer out the door into the somewhat dim (and quickly darkening) evening. Disgruntled and ungroceried they returned to their poorly lit homes to dine on leftover meatloaf and canned beets.
With the Veggie Emporium now empty Mr. Arugula began to take stock. He stared ruefully at the freezer section where the raspberry ripple ice cream had melted into an elegant pink puddle and blended with the butterscotch truffle supreme on the floor. It would have made a lovely paint color but under the circumstances he was not impressed.
The bakery down the road, Bozo Breads, wasn’t doing much better. The power had gone out right in the middle of baking the mayor’s birthday cake. I was to be the center piece for the grand celebration as well as a feast for the opening of a new aquatic center.
Actually, the celebration was meant for the grand opening for The House of Bellyflops but the mayor was never one to let the spotlight drift too far and claimed that it was “An honor to share my special day with the House of Flops grand opening!”
Now the cake could not be finished. The inside of the cake ran like lava while the outside was just beginning to firm up like a lovely golden sponge. ‘”Fiddle sticks and funnel cakes!” cried the baker Mr. Baklava. “The celebration is tomorrow! Whatever can I do?” Dismayed and disheartened he threw down his baker’s hat in disgust.
Thinking a bit of fresh air would do him some good he stepped out onto the sidewalk, the bell over the bakery door ringing behind him. I sure wish something would ring a bell he thought as he pondered over his dilemma. Not seeing the light, Mr. Baklava walked blindly along hoping a bright idea would dawn on him.
Slowly, the downtown area began to fill with shopkeepers closing down for the day. The butcher, fondly nicknamed ‘Captain Cleaver’ had to jumpstart his emergency generator to keep the meat in the cooler from spoiling at The Meatery. The air was thick with a dense fog and their was a gloomy overcast in the night sky. The generator added an eerie buzz in the background.
All seemed desperately unhappy. All that is, except the Silly children as they skipped up the walk into the front room. Mrs. Silly had the fireplace blazing merrily by then and had a bowl of hotdogs to roast for dinner. Baby Silly with downy brown hair looked like a little bird perched merrily in his high chair. “Gaa!” He exclaimed, happily tossing Cheerios into the air.
As the Sillys sat down to roast weenies for their supper, there was a knock at the door. The baker, Mr. Baklava, stood on the front step looking a bit rumpled a forlorn. Mr. Silly kindly welcomed him in for a s’more and the baker told his tale of woe.
“No problem!” exclaimed Mr. Silly. “We will just create a new dessert! A fantastic, unbelievable and worthy of the biggest belly flop dessert!” As Daddy Silly and Mr. Baklava sketched out a plan there came a scurrying, scuffing and pawing from outside.
Sister peeped out the window to find that most of the animals from the pound had indeed found a safe home on the Silly’s front porch. The Silly children gathered the leftover hotdogs (and some oatmeal and lettuce) and went outside to feed the wandering critters. Mrs. Silly called the pound and left a message to let Mrs. Woofmier know the animals were safe with the Sillys until the power outage was over.
Shortly after, there was another knock at the door. It was Mr. Arugula from the VeggieEmporium. He was headed home but stopped by to say hello to Mr. Silly. He too began to share his troubles. Soon, Mr. Silly, Mr. Baklava and Mr. Arugula locked themselves in the kitchen as “Operation Super Dessert” really began to take off.
In the morning, the sun shone brightly over the town. Mr. Silly shone twice as bright for he had hatched a brilliant plan for the celebration of the century! The Sillys quickly got ready and hopped into the car. They drove downtown zippity quick and parked under the statue of Townsville’s founding father; the great and honorable Mr. Good Founder.
Mr. Baklava hurriedly waved Mr. Silly over to a curtained off area. Mr. Arugula was there too. The whole town of Townsville turned out for the celebration. Everyone waited with giddy expectancy as the mayor, Mr. Chatterboom, took the stage. “People of Townsville, I would like to invite you to celebrate this very special day with me! My BIRTHDAY!” The townspeople coughed, one or two gave a feeble clap. The mayor continued, “It also happens to be the opening of the..um.. what’s it? Oh yes, the Flop House! Wait ! No, the ah… the Aquatic Center! To celebrate this momentous day our town baker has created a delectable dessert! I’m sure it will be just the thing to honor my …ahem, OUR special event today.” With a flourish Mr. Chatterboom waved his hand to the curtain. Suddenly it pulled back to reveal a giant slip and slide covered in ice cream with a chocolate fountain in a pool below.
The Mayor looked quite befuddled to behold the strange sight. The children, however, knew exactly what to do. They dove in face first! They were gobbling, slipping, smiling and squealing with glee!
Mr. Silly, Mr. Baklava and Mr. Arugula clapped each other no the back and shook hands as they looked on. It was a moment the people of Townsville would never forget!
I thought was only fair that I include a post on the man of my dreams after talking about my kiddos. Ok, so this guy was really-kinda NOT going to be the man I married. I was pretty intent on that. Yup, I was positive. No small town boy for me! I was going to find the cultured and well read man that would tell witty jokes and take me to the opera and art galleries.
And then the internet happened. We ended up chatting online and the next thing I knew we had a face to face. Mind you, this was when instant messaging was BRAND NEW. I actually didn’t know how to use it and my friend was giving me my first tutorial when I met the man pictured above. Ironic, isn’t it? I’ll just agree with myself right here and say yes, it surely is.
So, one date lead to another and soon I was sporting a diamond on my left hand. I remember my college ceramics class discussing the horrors of online dating. I innocently went about my work. Then I very quietly chimed in…”That’s actually how I met my boyfriend”. They all stared at me with terrified/repulsed/indignant/ I don’t know what all stares. Awkward. Finally one asked, “So… how’s that going for you?” I held up my 1/3 carat round cut diamond for them to see. “Um, pretty good actually!” *crickets*
That was our humble beginning and just a year and two weeks later we were married. It has been a ride people. We have stuck it out for sixteen years now and I think I can safely say we are gonna make it!
Anyway, back to the man at hand. I think it is so funny that the idea of perfection I had in my mind was the complete opposite of the man I married. What I got instead was way better. Kind, humble, generous, gentle, long suffering, patient, hard working, loving… I could toss around adjectives all day and never cover them all.
What I thought I wanted was really just who I thought I should be attracted to. Who I really am is a simple country girl. God knew the man for me would match those things and that I would complement him. I am proud to be a working man’s wife. I am thankful for the food and shelter that he provides for us.
At the end of the day I may not have much in the bank account but I can call myself rich. I may never get a dozen long stemmed roses delivered to my door but I can count on a chocolate bar finding it’s way onto my bedside table every now and then.