Friday, August 25, 2006

Back to School Meme

1. What is your earliest memory of school?
Walking to school with my cousin Jimmy. My sister was the same age as Jimmy, but she refused to be seen with me. Jimmy actually introduced me to his friends and was very cool about his baby cousin.

2. Who was a favorite teacher in your early education?
My fourth grade teacher Mr. Hay was profound influence. He really cared about kids. I visited him every year while still in school, and many times after as an adult. I invited him to our ten year highschool reunion picnic, and when he showed up, he drew a crowd among my classmates. We all loved Mr. Hay. On the day we got lots of snow and school wasn't cancelled, we worked together as a class to build an eight-foot snowman on the playground. We had a class picnic at my best-friend's family farm. He encouraged us to write with weekly creative writing assignments. He read scary books to us in a sinister voice. He made us excited about math and science.

3. What do you remember about school “back then” that is different from what you know about schools now?
We NEVER had snow days! The first snow day we ever had was when I was a junior in high school. It just happened to be the same day as the funeral of the school board president's wife which was very well-attended. To this day, I believe that had more to do with the snow day than the snow did.

4. Did you have to memorize in school? If so, share a poem or song you learned.
2nd grade:
If Nancy Hanks came back as a ghost,
Seeking news of whom she loved most,
She'd ask first, "Where's my son?
What's happened to Abe? What's he done?"
That's all I remember. We had to memorize lots of pieces of the Courtship of Miles Standish in 7th grade, but that's all gone now.

5. Did you ever get in trouble at school? Were there any embarrassing moments you can share?
Never really got into any trouble. I was a good kid that everyone went out of their way to smooth the path for. I was very fortunate.

Once, while playing soccer with the boys at lunch, I was running along and my pants fell down. I stopped, pulled them up, and kept going, glancing around to see if anyone noticed. NO ONE DID! (Or at least nobody said anything...) One of those potentially embarassing moments from which I was saved.

Precious memories, how they linger!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Still waiting on the doors and roof, but definitely making progress!

Barn Building

Much of July and August has been spent building a barn! We had an old fashioned barn-raising on July 29, the day before Steve left for a week at Scout camp. Here's a picture from the barn raising. The guy in the pink shirt and the large white hat is my brother-in-law Daniel. My husband Steve is behind him, next to the guy in the white baseball cap.

We purchased a roast pig to serve to the 50 or so folks that came to help with the barn-raising. It was really pretty amazing. We invited people, and they showed up in droves! There were people from both of my new churches, friends from our home church, people from both mine and Steve's workplaces, and neighbors. A real community spirit prevailed. The people that we bought the timber-frame kit from didn't think that the barn could be raised without a crane, but we proved them wrong in short order. It was an exciting and joyful experience. Some people came just to watch, but they were the cheerleading section. Daniel chided them saying they should be chanting, "Rah, Rah, Team! Lift that BEAM!" More pictures from the day and before can be found at

During the next few weeks, the carpenters made great progress. Here are some before and after pictures from before and after my trip to Chicago. I've tried to get more or less the same angle on the pix.

More to come....(Blogger isn't letting me load all of them into one post.)

Friday, August 04, 2006

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five Musical edition

1. Describe the last play or musical you saw. (At least provide the what, when, where, and why). What was your opinion of it?
I went with my UMW circle from church to see "Menopause." The music was fun and the actresses were good, but my sem friend and I couldn't completely relate having not yet "gone there."
2. All time favorite play? Musical?

I absolutely adore Julie Andrews in both The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. Dick VanDyke ain't half bad in the latter, either. But truly, I enjoy just about any musical.
3. “The Producers,” “The Philadelphia Story,” “Hairspray,” “The Wedding Singer”…all were movies before they were musicals (okay “The Philadelphia Story” was a play and then a movie, and they changed its name when it became a musical, but whatever). What non-musical movie do you think should next get the musical treatment?

Memoir of a Geisha. Has Our Town ever been turned into a musical? If not, why not? How about, "It's a Wonderful Life"? No. It could never live up to the movie.
4. Favorite song from a musical? Why?
"You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel. Why? The lyrics have long been a part of my personal philosophy: Walk on through the wind; walk on through the rain, though your dreams be tossed and blown. Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart and you'll never walk alone.
5. The most recent trend in Broadway musical revues is to construct a show around the oeuvre of a particular super-group or composer, where existing songs are woven together with some kind of through story. The most successful of these (“Jersey Boys” (The Four Seasons), “Mamma Mia” (ABBA), “Movin’ Out” (Billy Joel)) have made a mint, but many (“All Shook Up” (Elvis), “Hot Feet” (Earth, Wind and Fire)) have bombed. What great pop/rock singer/composer or super-group should be the next to be featured, and what might the story-line be for such a show?

Elton John, Harry Chapin, Cat Stevens all come immediately to mind. Storyline and plot? I have absolutely NO IDEA!

RevGalBlogPals also asked if I'd ever been in a musical. I've been in two in high school. Guys & Dolls and Camelot. Guys & Dolls was great fun! - I was one of the dancers (and I don't dance, but it fit the part). Years later one of the girls in my youth group was in the same musical, and I found a memento I had from 20 years earlier and passed it on to her. Camelot was a big disappointment because the new choir director chose leads for their popularity rather than for their talent and previous hard work in the choir. Bitter? Who? Me? Naaahhhh. I'm over it now.

I've done many other plays, too. Directed a production of The Curious Savage while in high school. It is a nice play with a good message, too. Basically takes a group of institutionalized people and depicts them as much saner and more caring than the "normal" people on the outside. Emphasis is on the little things we do daily that let people know that we love them...things like saying, "Take an umbrella, it's raining."

Enough nostalgia for one day. Thanks. This was fun.