Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

When I was growing up in Elgin, Illinois, I played clarinet in the junior high (Kimball) and high school bands (Larkin).  Besides school concerts and football games, our performances included Labor Day and Memorial Day Parades.  We only had "winter" uniforms which were wool to keep us warm during the football halftime shows so both parades often meant we were sweating and aching after our several mile march.  We played Sousa and the Marine Hymn and, on Memorial Day, marched to the local cemetary. 

Since living in Tucson, we sometimes have gone to the Tucson Pops Concert on Memorial Day, but rarely do we attend a parade.  Yesterday, we happened to be driving past the East Lawn Cemetary on Grant Rd. and saw the flags fluttering over the headstones and the larger ones posted as sentries on the main cemetary road.  In today's PARADE, I read "War and Remembrance" by Drew Gilpin Faust which also notes her new book, The Republic of Suffering, and the PBS show Death and the Civil War.  She suggests readers look up the names of Civil War soldiers in order to connect to the historical origins of Memorial Day.  Instead, I googled "names of dead soldiers in Afghanistan" and came to this photo and link:

It brings the "holiday" home to my heart to see the faces of four of the five soldiers who recently died in the name of fighting for what I hope was worth their lives.

What memories do you have of Memorial Day and how are you keeping the holiday in your heart?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

drama productions' commonalities

This week I saw two dramatic productions and what I think is common in both is the courage it takes for actors to be on stage and take risks in playing roles that may or may not connect with the audience.  Last night, we went to "The List" a home-grown muscial at The Fox Theatre.  We went to the Fox because two of the players are twenty-somethings we have come to know at Starbucks.  We only stayed through intermission--the singing was not worth another hour of our time--but I appreciated the story line ("the book"), the imaginative sets, and the overall courage it takes for actors (and all connected with creating an original musical) to put themselves "out there."  One young actor, who had to step in for the lead at the last minute, went through the scenes with all his lines in a notebook.  Amazingly, he did a pretty good job with delivery.  So my hands are clapping today for his and his colleagues' efforts.

Another simpler production was the result of the Kellond "Magnificent 7" kids I have been working with all year--one scene/chapter from one of the two books we read:  A Series of Unfortunate Events.  I was/am really proud of what they tried to do and what they did do--stretched themselves into a new experience and did it in front of an audience of 300 preK-4th grade squirming, but otherwise well-behaved, students and their teachers.  They got a good round of applause for their production and their teacher asked them to do an encore performance just for their 3rd grade class.

So, as I ponder these two different productions, I  share this reflection what I think matters about these efforts and pose a question:  when was the last time I/you took a risk and "put ourselves out there" with a role or story that was new to us? 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A nice way to start Mother's Day

I slept in a bit; had breakfast consisting of three mini powered sugar donuts with home-made Starbucks instant coffee, strawberries, and cottage cheese with trail mix.  Planted some flowers and really got my fingers full of dirt, reminding me of the deliberateness of my mom and her planting season (particularly roses) and Grandmother Dice's pansies, lilies-of-the-valley and bachelor buttons (always blue).  I miss them both but so grateful they were in my life for many years; and also grateful for my aunts and "other mothers", particularly Mark's mom, Lila, who taught me how to set a gracious table.

So, after a bit of gardening, I tried out our neighborhood pool and paddled and kicked for about 20 minutes without getting my head under the still-chilly (but refreshing) waters.  Aron called from Hacienda Del Sol where Mother's Day Brunch is in full swing and Mark made me a light lunch while we t.v. watched golfers swing their 7 and 9 irons in Florida/PGA Golf.  I am no golfer, but I enjoy the high caliber players of this sport and love the visuals of the greens and trees and birds singing along the fairway.

We're headed out soon to the UA Art Museum and meeting up with Aron's significant other, Lora, and her six-year-old to see "Jack the Giant Slayer."  Tomorrow, after volunteering at Kellond School, we're headed to Mt. Lemmon and, hopefully, Aron can join us and we'll enjoy the pines and unfurling ferns and wildflowers.  More pics from there if we make it up to the top.  Stay cool as summer beckons!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Summer winds

We go from Spring weather to Summer and what seems to bridge the two seasons is the wind.  Friday, we were a little weary of it as we walked around Reid Park Lake before going to a matinee of "42", the Jackie Robinson story, which I highly recommend.  Later, on Friday, we joined a lot of folks at the Raquet Club BBQ which was fun and we are using our three day "try us out" pass this weekend.  I got back into swimming Saturday and am off to try their Tai Chi class today.

I like to call these three birds, Larry, Curly and Moe.  The larger one (on the left) has a fluttering neck which is not quite seen here, but was interesting to observe.