Monday, March 30, 2015

Grandma (Day 14~Year 14: 30 to 30)

 The reactions I sometimes get to going by my middle name are surprising. Some people seem truly offended, it's weird, that they've known me as 'Faith' and my first name is in fact 'Rachel'. Didn't pick the going by my middle name bit folks, just how it goes. Believe me, I've gotten confused myself when as a kid at the Dr's or something, they'd call my name several times before I realized who they meant. My favorite (but not) is when people discover this and refer to Rachel as my 'real name' as if Faith, which I've gone by since I was born, was not my 'real name'. Regardless, I'm grateful to carry my first name, as real as my middle one, because I was named after my Grandma.
 She gets this day, this year because it's when we lost her.Even now, writing so makes me tear up. At the time, for some reason, I thought 'normal' was hiding away the sad part, going and crying by yourself, and then being happy around people. I don't know where I got this except that I like being in control, and crying is not that. It wasn't until a few years after my Grandma died that my Mom and I learned we'd each been crying when we went to sleep for weeks, not knowing the other was mourning too. "Well I wish I'd known that!" said my Mom when somehow, talking late one night with Alexandra at the Burrow, it just came up. We could have cried together, which honestly probably would eventually have meant laughing together too, because of remembering together. And if not, we could at least have comforted each other. Cry together people. And remind me to as well.
 My grandma gave us kitchen sink baths when we were babies, and somehow, somehow I remember this. I remember orange measuring cups and using them as bath toys and pouring the water in and out of them. As an adult I've heard Mom say "She'd clean a big old chicken up for dinner and then fill the sink with water and plop one of you in it." Well. We none of us died from salmonella so....
 Baths were always a thing at Grandma's, even past sink bath stage. When Lukas was a toddler he had this habit of submerging face first in the water and just floating there, I don't know why, it was fun for him. So one night Grandma's giving him a bath and he's playing around and he does the dead man's float thing and Grandma waits patiently...until she didn't. She grabbed him by the white blonde hair and said "That's enough!!!" and pulled him out of the water to make sure he was still actually there. She was rather a patient woman so it was pretty hilarious.
 Grandma was also an incredible cook and no one makes mashed potatoes like she did. And chicken soup, and lemon chicken, and heaven knows, lots of things.But I really remember those mashed potatoes. I bet my Dad got his stellar cooking skills from my Grandma.
 She had seven kids including twins and as my Uncle Danny said at her funeral, when my Grandfather died (my Dad, the third, was 11 I think) she picked herself up by the bootstraps and raised those seven kids by herself. 
 My Grandma taught me to sew (not that I remember, but we made several dresses with Alexandra which was fun.) and she sewed me lots of dresses and things when I was a growing up. She also used to rock me sleep when I was a toddler which actually meant she would fall asleep and I would wriggle out and run around again. That rocking chair is now at The Burrow (aka, my families house) and has rocked so many babies. My Dad probably got his cooking AND fall asleep wherever skills from his Mom. :)
 It seems funny to write about her and to know she was wonderful to me but to not know how to say so. She was a big part of my world and I loved her dearly and I'm glad to have her name. I love you Grandma.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

That Sam I Am (Day 13~Year 13: 30 to 30)

'Mom and Dad decided for Baby number four not to find out what they were having so Devan and I had a 9 month bet going on it. I was convinced that this time I'd get a sister. So on December 20th when I woke up at Alexandra's house to hear Devan on the phone with Dad and learn we had brother number 3 I was.....ummmm....well I went in the bathroom and cried. Three of them? For serious? This ratio seemed WAY skewed.
But that was before I actually met Samuel. And when I did all of that nonsense melted away.
Sam was a lovey little guy from the start and his first word, very early I'll have you know, was "Honey" as he reached for Mom. He was also a quirky little guy from the start and he has a great many fantastic tales in our families story bank. Most I'll leave there for now Sam, don't worry.
He was a story teller too and Sam talked in a slow, deep, monotone and if ever he got somehow offtrack....he'd start over from the very beginning. And these were loooooong tales too. So you'd hold your breath hoping no one moved, though sometimes he'd get off track for no particular reason you could have foreseen and it was back to the beginning. And the thing was, it didn't matter how close to the end you were. And it didn't matter if he'd already started over 3 times. It was back to the beginning and all the way through. Devan, being Devan, learned to use this to his button-pushing, self-entertaining advantage by strategically placing one of his friends on the couch with Sam, "pushing the play button" by instigating a story topic, and then leave the room after distracting Sam near the end of some story session, thus trapping the friend (did they still call him that?) in a loop of story.
This is also the brother who said to Devan one day "Am I a fweaky widdle man?" and, I believe while sitting on the porch 'smoking' a bubble pipe with his cute little toddler Hobbit like curls, greeted him cheerfully "Devan, was your day lucky?"
What a kid! And what a sweetheart.
Sam has had a Dad's heart since he was a wee little thing. I remember a conversation with him when he was just a kid and him telling me how he was going to get married and have a family and how maybe learning to ‘plumb’ as a plumber would be a good career choice. He once drew me a picture of what he thought would be me at my wedding and it sits framed on my desk which is saying something because I don't frame much of anything.

Once when he was nine I remember talking to him on the phone and towards the end of the conversation I said "Well baby cakes, I've gotta go." and then I stopped because I had a realization I'd once had with Lukas, one where my hoped for cool sister status had perhaps been demolished because I'd forgotten how old a brother really had gotten and was treating them younger. With Lukas this was so. So with Sam I stopped and said "Sam, I'm sorry, does it bother you when I say that?" "A little." "I'm sorry Sam. I'll start over, Sam, I've gotta be getting off of here..." "Oh no, no, I don't like it when you have to go. I like it when you call me babycakes." I stayed on the phone for twenty more minutes. ~
I'm going to have to check with him before I post this because we're always telling stories on him and he doesn't always like it. But he's such a neat little guy, and not little anymore by any means, he's outgrown us all. I think I might be the craziest version of myself around him which is kind of hilarious and which he isn't quite sure what to do with. He calls me a fierce koala. And given that I smash chocolate Easter bunnies in his room at complete random I think it's probably a deserved title. Although I also freak him out by making monkey sounds and koala's are pretty quiet sooooo....
Today, I'm going to finally start reading what he sent me of a story he started. And if I get distracted, I can start myself back at the beginning. '

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Journals (Day 12~Year 12: 30 to 30)

On my twelfth birthday my Uncle Danny gave me my first real journal. He and my aunt Jen have always given awesome gifts and this is well marked in my memory. It was a leather bound cover, light brown, with a floral garland imprint surrounding the word 'Journal'. The book inside was removable from the cover so that you can get new blank books and continue to use the leather jacket as a journal cover. Quite clever and lovely and practical and meaningful all in one. Which I love.
  I'd had a Lisa Frank diary previous to this occasion, but this rightfully graduated the term 'diary' to 'journal'. I already associated Danny with journaling because when I was a little kid my Mom told me that he'd journaled about his band-following travels. This may have been my first introduction to the concept & I thought that was pretty neat. So much so that not understanding the rather personal nature of such I asked him once if I could read them. In response he gave a Danny particular chortle and said "When I'm dead!" followed by a Danny particular laugh.
 And this book, that year, was the start of a so far lifelong practice that has filled a small carry~on suitcase with filled up journals. It's something that's helped me keep records of stories, of prayers, of journeys and dreams. Even of recipes sometimes, and quotes, or passages from books and plays and movies and scripture. And it's helped me, Miss Outward Processor, dump my whirling thoughts on a page and sometimes see they're maybe not as bad as I thought, or at least maybe help me to sort them and know better how to think & talk through them.
 There was a time when I thought of separating the different things I use journaling for into different books. One for prayer, one for actual record keeping journaling, one for emotional workings out, etc. But my life is my life and I decided that my thankfulness's and joys ought be beside my frustrations and 'dammit's'. So all in one.
 As a record keeping process, I used to be much more diligent, but not as much now. I still record things that feel special, or noteworthy, or important, or simply because I haven't in a time~ but this I don't do daily. But the other bits and pieces still make their way to page, not daily as before, but frequently. It's a practice that has often served me well and one for which I'm glad.
 Often it feels, honestly like blogging here and even like this project, that perhaps journaling is something too self focused. It seems strange and maybe even narcissistic to want to put down your own personal history. There is of course more to it but the nagging doubt is there.  Yesterday I shared this concern with Devan regarding this project. And this is what he wrote back. "Don't stop in the middle...if you're concerned about it being self focused then change the perspective...Your life isn't just about you, it's about you, and the people around you and the people you affect and who affect you...It's about things you were a part of and things you missed. Just because you lived a year doesn't make it your year. You're the person who's perspective we are gaining on the last thirty years. You're a vessel for things God has done in the past thirty years. So get over it and finish your project. :)" Yeah, see, my brother is pretty cool.
 Today~ I'll purchase a new journal, as the one I'm currently in has been filled once and I'm now working in upside down/backwards on the backs of pages. So, yeah, it's probably about time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sunshine Man (Day 10 ~ Year 10: 30 to 30)

 Any form of normal didn't really come to the Whitacre house until Lukas Whitacre. Lukas was born when I was 10 and I was sooooo excited to be a big sister again and have a baby around. And this baby was suuuuper cute. He had white blonde hair, thick eyelashes, and blue blue eyes. When I was a baby my Mom had to keep a bonnet on me until I was 2 so people would know I was a girl because until then I was essentially bald. With Lukas she had to put on overtly "Boy" shirts and with his curly, golden locks people still commented on her 'girl'. It was these golden locks that caused my Mom to deem him the sunshine man and every morning we sang to Lukas,
 "Good morning merry sunshine,
   Why did you wake so soon?
   You scared the little birds away.
  And shined
                              the moon."
 Which is, yes, an actual song. 
 Along with being adorable, Lukas was, from day one, extraordinarily headstrong. I got into a fight with him when he was 18 months old. Like a battle of the wills fight. I don't remember what it was about. I do remember thinking "this is ridiculous. I'm fighting with the baby." And I do believe he won. Which is unsuprising.
 And, yeah, he was so normal. And the poor baby felt it in a sea of weirdos but perspective is a funny thing and so being the odd (normal) man out, he felt like the odd one, and with some kind of incredible intuition as a toddler. He used to cry that he "didn't fit" and he wanted brown hair. Poor kid. He got over it later. ;)
 He also used to say, with great confidence, when asked how old he was at 3 ,"46." He'd come up with a new big number each time but say it with no lag, like he actually believed it. 
 And one day, I came home from some stint away, and suddenly this golden haired child was taller than me. And that was a very strange thing. And now he knows music, and taught himself guitar and brings sunshine that way. So I wrote him on his countdown day, to say I loved him and I'm glad he's my brother. And that his defense of the pronunciation of "armadillo" would always stick in my mind (It's a cruel irony to not be able to pronounce the first letter of your own name as a toddler and Luke's 'l's' were ever 'w's' at that age. In one memorable conversation he was talking in the car about 'armadiwows'  and oh so kind and helpful older brother Devan said "Don't you mean armadiLLo's?" to which Lukas said emphatically "That's what I said. 'armadiiiiiiiiiiiiwows.'"

Sunshine, Sunshine & Pencil Points. (Days 9, 10 & 11~Years, 9, 10 & 11 : 30 to 30)

Here's what I remember about 11: the birthday party part sucked because the original plans failed and at my sleepover with Alexandra that night (that part didn't suck, also the present about to be mentioned with which we were playing didn't suck. ) at approximately the modest hour of 2 am I sat on a Very Sharp pencil and the point broke off in my foot. It's still there. (oh. The present was not a A Pencil. It was some cool fun kit full of things that kids think are fun and Grown Ups get bored by, like office memos, pencils...actually that's all I remember. Gox. what else was in there? It was like a Girl Friday, grown up office and daily life things that now I'm sure I'd want to get away from. Except that actually I like lists.) Thankfully they no longer make these out of actual lead and I've lived to see other birthdays. :) I screamed. And cried. It really, really, really hurt, and probably I was pretty freaked out too. We must have been in some healthy food phase and not a Count Chocula rules one because Mom soaked my foot in a bowl full of water and seaweed. She was really nice for being woken up at 2 in the morning. And she said that her eleventh birthday sucked too. Somehow this was helpful, felt like this is just the way this one was gonna go. So yeah, I have nothing else for this day and I'm pinning 11 and pencil tips with finishing writing up on the slacking I've done the past two days. Which is not actual slacking, I've just been Busy.
 So 9 was cool~ yes I realize I'm jumping but I wanted to write "Sunshine, Sunshine" and you'll see why but Sunshine Man's post is gonna come next round because, again and like Alexandra, I don't want him lumped in~. Anyway, 9 was cool because we went for our first Florida visit. It was me, Mom and Devan (Dad came later. Which was a surprise.) and we loaded the car up with a laundry basket full of books from the library (have I mentioned that we grew up with an Awesome library system?) Most of which I'm sure were Devan's. As a kid I remember being so much less sure of what my interests were than Devan was. His brain was like a sponge and he'd just gather facts from books about animals and weather and science generally and I felt like stuff went through my brain and didn't stick. I was like a sponge another way. I took on what I was around, who I was around, what was going on. Which much later I realized made me empathetic, relational aaand, and actress. And a storyteller. But I didn't know that then (and sometimes don't really know what that means now.) and was both in admiration of my brothers knowledge and frustration at my own lack of....topic of interest.  Anyway, laundry basket full of books, out of which I remember an ocean topic Magic School Bus~ cause you gotta love that Ms Frizz~ and probably several DK like, kid encyclopedia type ocean creature books. Oh and field guides! Like I said, Devan probably read most of these.
 We were going to visit Brother and Theresa, Lora and David~ our Uncle, Aunt, and cousins on my Mom's side. We drove the 18 hrs there and I remember that being fun. I also remember that including the now hall of Whitacre family stories fame tale of a conversation about Gator's and zig zags. It went like this: As we are discussing Alligators in Florida Mom mentions that our Aunt Donna who once lived in Florida told her that if an Alligator were to chase you, that you ought run in zig zags because it couldn't follow you well. I have mentioned that Devan and I were worrisome children. I didn't give this much thought except to log away the necessity of zig zag running were an Alligator to actually chase me. Devan, however, apparently and unbeknownst to us until half an hour later had wheels turning at this statement. At that particular time mark he let out thoughtfully from the back seat "I'm gonna buy us three of them zig zags with my allowance." LOL
 So yeah. I remember arriving and stopping at a payphone to call and ask for further directions. Yeah, they still had those then. :) It was at a gas station and we got fried Gator nuggets too. It really did taste like chicken, only fishy and tougher.
 And the next couple of weeks were a grand old sunshiny, gecko catchin, ocean loving, snorkel going, seafood eating, going fishing, lotsa swimming, trampoline jumping time. Devan had other gems too this trip including smashing with a hammer the Sand Dollars my uncle risked his life  diving for and was bleaching in the driveway, not out of malice or even mischievousness but because "It makes more!" He'd read in one of the many laundry basked books about multiplication of certain sea creatures that lose limbs. And boy did that seem true with the hammer in the driveway.
 And catching geckos? That was the best. We were taught how to make a catch with a stick and some fishing line~ essentially a noose, but not one that would harm, just make an anole catchable. Because anole's are all over the place in Florida and catch them we did. And if you happened to catch it just by the tail and not the middle or the head, sometimes it's tail would break off and it would go free. And like Devan's hopeful Sand Dollar experiment, their tail would grow back later.
 Devan's other story gem this trip was when we went fishing. Poor kid caught a huge freaking fish and it was j u s t barely under the legal limit for that particular kind. Telling a 6 year old that the fish half his size "isn't big enough", not an easy job. But we all know it happened and YOU caught it dude! :)
 We also went to an aquarium and pet stingrays for the first time and it was AWESOME. They're like puppies that feel like raw chicken. It's weird. They really, really like the attention/affection/whatever b u t they definitely feel like raw chicken.
 There was so much coolness on this trip and we loved it. And so on this day I was meant to call Theresa~ who has hosted us since and always makes it a grand time. And I haven't yet, but I will. :) Thanks for the sunshine Theresa. We love you.

And now the next Sunshine in a new post....

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Alexandra (Day 8 ~ Year 8 : 30 to 30

 It wasn't until I was into my twenties that I realized actually not everyone HAS a very best, super close, tell them everything friend. But I did. Alexandra and I met through gymnastics when we were 7 & 8 because our coach connected our Moms as the only two home-schoolers. The first day we met we went over to their house, which would become my second home and after that initial meeting the rest is history. :) She was part of my family and I was part of hers. Alexandra and I balanced each other out (I say this but honestly I don't know how she put up with me sometimes.) and our Moms sometimes wondered if they'd switched children: I often corresponded more to Joanne's personality while Alexandra corresponded more with my Moms. We grew up together and were often described as 'joined at the hip' which one Halloween we decided to take literally by going as Siamese Twins.
 And the best part was that after a childhood and adolescence filled with sleepovers, late night talks, walks in the woods, "Crabby Sisters" (our made up restaurant. We still have menus.), so much time, through so many seasons up on our little mountain, once we got older, moved away, moved back, moved away, did other things...we still keep up. And we can go for a long while without keeping up but once we're together, we pick it up again. She's my oldest friend and knows me better than most.  She's always there for me and is one of the most fiercely loyal people I know. For this amazing, beautiful, responsible, funny, intelligent, woman I'm so grateful. <3

(Day's 6, 7 & 8, Corresponding Years: 30 to 30)

Once upon a time I had or made more time for such things as this, now I find it a struggle. I've been tired this week, and busy though with what I'm not quite sure. So I've missed some posts, and honestly day 7 & 8 had either no or other "assigned task" and yet they worked out to happen anyway which was kind of neat. Also two caveats ~ My Mom just mentioned that she assumed age 4 would have been about Batman. I don't really know why it wasn't. While most little girls had princess or Barbie birthday parties my four year old celebration was indeed entirely Dark Knight. It was awesome. And my Mom made a fabulous cake. And the animated Batman series is STILL an awesome show in my book. Yes. Moving forward.
Oh, but also, after writing about Kindergarten and how I still love it as an adult I have to say I helped with two classes of Pre-K/Kindergarten and I was totally wiped out. So, just sayin. Sometimes things come out of my mouth or keyboard with much enthusiasm and then it comes to the nuts and bolts and I'm like "Lord help me."

Which brings us to 6 which is about-ish when I remember deciding to follow Christ. Up to then I'd been in church, around teaching, and don't know what that day particularly made me decide to pray with a Sunday school teacher, or if that was the moment I really became a follower, but I do think it's noteworthy that I remember it. And I do think that God works in the hearts and minds of all ages and can call us to Himself at any given time. My theology and faith since then have grown, developed and changed a lot but I do think that God was working in my heart to draw me to Himself. And I believe that He has continued that work throughout my life, and to this day and will until He calls me home. Something I found interesting was that for this day I was planning to either write out a prayer or spend some time with God acknowledging what He started in my life and heart as a child.  I was not planning to share my faith with a co-worker, and in fact tried to argue and justify myself out of doing so. But the compelling feeling that in a particular conversation I was meant to have said more than I vaguely suggested remained despite my protestations that I was emotional due to tiredness, that it could wait, that it didn't require me. And so, for once, I listened. It was taken politely, and from there I don't know. And I don't have to know~ but to listen when I'm called to take part. Which I don't always do. So for this opportunity on this day I had to smile.

 As to 7, this is when I remember becoming addicted to the Commitments & Sister Act soundtrack which I'm quite sure were both quite influential both in my music tastes and in my performance bug. My Grandma's living room and my bedroom were my usual solo karaoke stages and this was a solo activity. I apparently wanted only an imaginary audience and was mortified the day my family stood in my doorway unbeknownst to me for a good I have no idea how long as I sang my lungs out dancing on the bed. There was a first grade talent show performance this year in which I dressed in a mouse costume my Grandma made and sang "Love Makes the World Go Round" (It involves mice and cheese making the world go round first. The costume made sense. And my Mom made me a block of Styrofoam cheese.) Afterward my Mom had confetti cake for me at Grandma's which I promptly threw up in the driveway on the way to the car from nerves.
 This is also the year of Julia, an independent, free spirit, hiking, traveling Englishwoman who came our way via church friends and whom my Mom thinks was a big influence in my own desire to travel. 
 Today I looked up and re-watched an old Commitments clip. Incidentally I wasn't actually allowed to watch this movie until I was in my teens but dang did I love the soundtrack. :)

 8's gonna wait because it needs it's own because it's about.... Alexandra. And I don't want her getting lumped in to a group category. So there.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Kindergarten!!! ((Day 5~Year 5: 30 to 30)

 Tomorrow I get to go to the Science Center and help with the Preschoolers. When my supervisor Aimee called to ask if I could help her with a couple of GUGWS's (that's just fun to write and say. It actually stands for Growing Up Great With Science. Which is a mouthful.) she said "You just know how to really get down to their level!"
I'm not sure she realizes this is because I'm ON their level.
 Kindergarten and I got along very well. While Devan came home from his first week of kindergarten in tears from the boredom of "All we do is trace circles and cut them out!!!" and did not again return, I was in need of his level of intellectual stimulation and play centers, table time, snack, were a-okay with me. And still are. I love a Kindergarten classroom. Coloring books, and the Berenstain bears, and snack, and naps, and circle time, and parachute games, we've covered....Sesame Street still feel happy to me.
 I do remember really stressing out when we made Green Eggs and Ham though. I did NOT want to eat those green eggs. That was just too much for me apparently. And I believe I successfully avoided them too.
 I will not eat them Sam-I-Am.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Country Roads (Day 4 ~ Year 4: 30 to 30)

Year four we moved to West Virginia! We moved to the house my parents and 2 littlest bro's ('littlest being quite relative. They're bigger than me.) still live in. So I write this listening to John Denver's Country Roads. Naturally.
 Say what you want about my mountain state (actually I'll probably look at you funny if you do Particularly if your name begins with "Geoff" and ends with "Lake".) it's gorgeous and I was lucky to grow up there. It wasn't until I left home that I realized not everywhere was as beautiful as where I grew up. And I mean I've seen a lot of different beautiful places but I didn't realize I'd been spoiled to grow up wish so much gorgeousness just right there, and with such great opportunity to enjoy being outside. I thought that's just what people did.
 But now I know a little better and while I do enjoy city and town life too when I'm home I like to try to remember to go outside at night to get a look at the stars you can actually see. And when I go through woods & by water, I think of home and I smile.


This is also the year I started to read .I don't remember learning to read, and don't remember a time when I couldn't, Mom says I just sort of started reading. Stories and words have been an integral part of my life and I suppose it started here. So for that bit I'd best get off of here and actually do some reading before sleep tonight. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dev~ (Day 3~Year 3: 30 to 30)

 Year three, enter Devan. And life was never the same again. No really, I'm sure it wasn't but I wouldn't remember because I don't remember a whole lot pre-Devan and I'm sure it was a lot less interesting. Which is no slight to my parents, it's just a given fact that as soon as Devan is added to any mix it becomes at LEAST more interesting.

 So yesterday (because I am sort-of-ish a day behind) I wrote (or rather drafted. As aforementioned, I'm sort-of-ish a day behind.) to Devan Whitacre, brother mine, come along when I was 3 (though really it quite feels like 4 as it was closer.) a poem. Not of the sappy variety, it's just a form of communication he and I have sometimes employed out of a love for children's literature, nonsense and word play. This is one of hundreds of elements that have made not only for a fun siblingship (this is so not a word.) but also one of my best friendships.
 In trying to figure where to start on describing him or us as kids I just keep laughing. We were a neurotic, happy, worried, creative, weird little duo, and yes, all these were true at the same time. We could be a bundle of nerves worrying over something ridiculous, telling on ourselves over something guilt was eating us over("Why are you telling me this? You're not supposed to tell your Mother this!"-our poor exasperated Mother dealing with her weird little children.), having the time of our lives climbing trees, tromping creeks, swinging on vines or performing together at the OOH.
 We made up lots of games and they were pretty awesome. Mom used to tell us yes we were welcome to wrestle in the living room as long as we knew she wasn't taking us to the hospital. There was also deathball, wet paper towels at Grandma's ceiling fan (that was a great game and Grandma approved this invention for the cleanliness of her ceiling fans. Until it backfired when she was showing the house and walked in with the family viewing it to see a paper towel still caught and swinging on a fan blade... You win some, you lose some), or Slip Socks where you get a running start and slide as far as you can on Grandma's shiny linoleum floors in your socks.(Disclaimer: It didn't actually have that fancy name that's just for the reader's benefit. ) And, Dev, what was that game where we would divide up the kitchen floor and then you could lose or gain ground depending on if you got caught sneaking past the divider line?

 If it was not my bedtime past I could go on with a great many tales of misadventures with Devan. For now I'll say this: I'm so glad he's my brother and my friend. I'm so glad for the adventures and stories we share. I'm grateful for how we can keep in touch, how he brings out a side of me nobody else does, for how I've gotten to see him grow from a crazy kid to a crazy grown up who can tame, entertain and manage a room full of crazy kids and actually get them to put together a not just comprehensible but adorable and well performed show. I'm grateful for his walk with God and how that makes us double siblings. I love that I've gotten to perform with him from Who's on First as runt kids to Glass Menagerie as near grown ups. And I love that I got to see him marry his lovely bride Haley last year. And I really love that both of them after asked "Did we say our vows right? All we could really hear was the Peanuts Grown Up voices 'Wah wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah wah.' Incidentally, yes, they definitely said them right. ;)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sesame Street Love :and coffee too: (Day 2 ~ Year 2; 30 to 30)

"I feel like I would run out of things. Like, what will you do for year 2?" my friend Emily makes a valid point in the car on the way from the library when I tell her about my 30 to 30 project idea. Most of the years were actually fairly easy to find a "Something" to put in. The 20's were pretty easy although things start to seep together so the 'year' marks sometimes are more the tail end of when that time actually occurred, or maybe only just part of a longer span. The itty bitty years are sometimes harder...."I had a Sesame Street birthday party when I was two." I quip. And so I did. And given that my love of Sesame Street has continued to this day, I'd say it's a valid focus.
 In light of this today I'm listening to some of my favorite Sesame Street tunes (in fact, since knowing that this was today's subject I may or may not have woke up with Madeline Kahn and Grover in my head singing the echo song.) and posting a few favorite clips on facebook. Two things are funny to me about that last part, the first being that people who aren't aware of this project are going to wonder why the sudden spurt of SS crazy, the second being they may not wonder that so much as "Why is she being so redundant? And Crazy...." (Okay, maybe not so different.) because I have actually posted these before. Like, more than once.
 But here, in this space, let's talk about Sesame Street and how great it is and why I have posted these clips before. Because they're freaking great! Seriously, the tunes are fun, the cameos are stellar, the show stays fresh and I'm pretty sure I learned a TON from this show as a wee lass. Plus it kept my parents entertained, rushing home as if to a Soap Opera to check in on Luis and Maria's wedding plans. And this is the genius of Sesame Street, that it can entertain and instruct itty bits while being compelling and entertaining for Grown Ups. Which I think really any GOOD children's story or show ought do, at least if the Grown Up isn't Too Grown Up and interested only in sums as a book I recently began with the boy would say...
 Something I learned about Sesame Street as a Grown Up myself makes me respect it all the more. I'm not kidding when I say I have a bit of an SS love even now, and one Christmas my Mom got me a documentary on the show in it's international scope. Sesame Street, when it moves to another country, doesn't simply transplant the American material to that country's network. They gather a team of people from the area and from the organization to discuss what that particular area's issues are, what the culture is, what the social and educational issues and goals are. And then they create a new 'street' or hub from there, with new puppets, new segments, new scripts and they address what they kids of that particular area need. It's awesome.
 So cheers to the Street. :) And I posted it first so it now shows up last but this is my Now favorite even though I grew attached to it as an adult:
Also, the Cleveland International Film Festival begins this week and there's a documentary about Carol Spinney aka Big Bird. :)
What are your favorite Sesame Street bits? Or was another show or story or some such influential in your early years?
bunny trail:
I also remember at what I think was 2 stepping in my Dad's Styrofoam cup of very hot coffee at a church retreat. Today to show my quite changed relationship to that beautiful beverage  (well a- I went to work. I do make coffee for a living now.) I got a cuppa at Rising Star  while very unexpectedly reading through a script stolen from a theatre friend wanting me to come audition. We remember the weirdest things sometimes.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Day 1-Year 1; 30 to 30

This post will be short because I am stupid tired and wake up quite early~ but it was a good weekend so that's lovely.

 Today, for day one of this count, I write my Mom and Dad to say "hey. Thanks for having your kids. I love you."
 There were a few more words but really that's the gist.
 Seriously though, I'm grateful to my Mom and Dad for teaching us to value family, for giving of themselves for us, for teaching us to love and live for God, and for our stellar senses of humor. ;) But really we owe that last part to my Mom probably. No offense Dad. We'll give you teaching us about God's word. And we'll give both of you a love of movies and food and music. :) You can both take credit for our weirdness too. And all of this comes together to make our family. Love you guys. (and sorry I'm so tired that my words are not more eloquent to say so.)

30 to 30

 Through a random comment from a co-worker yesterday ("Oh, well I know you're in your early twenties...." "erm. Yeah. Except not.") it occurred to me that it was a month until I'd turn 30 years old. It seemed a happy accident to have the realization that I could do something with that sort of a timeframe, one that won't happen again, one that I hadn't given any thought to til that moment. And so after pondering what that would look like I've come up with a sort of project. From now til my birthday I'm going to do a "Something" that relates to that days corresponding year. Example: tomorrow being year one, I'll write to my parents. You know, cause they're how I was born and all that. ;) This way I can do something meaningful with that time, with saying goodbye to my 20's and hello to a new decade (!), instead of just letting it pass. I think it could be a fun, small adventure and I'll keep record of it here.
 Here goes!