Monday, July 2, 2012
Last January while I was wallowing around the house in my sweatpants, watching Judge Judy, I became so sick of myself that I had to act! I decided to be my own publicity agent and started promoting myself, a difficult and novel idea for me. I am not in any stretch of the imagine a salesman or self-promoter. But unless you are James Patterson or Danielle Steele, this is a hat you must wear. Anyway, I booked a boatload of author visits for the month of July around the time that I direct a summer children's musical, and now these "visits' are upon me! I am looking forward to singing, dancing, teaching, and yes, learning with the kids. I hope I always keep inside me their enthusiasm and spirit. Now I'd better get busy, get out of these sweatpants and turn off my buddy Judy!
Monday, May 21, 2012
Recently I attended my little niece's First Communion celebration. Seeing her in her pretty white dress and veil made me think of my own First Communion a bajillion years ago. It was a lot of fun finding the perfect white dress and white patent leather shoes, but I remember being a little freaked out about the whole thing! As Sister Carla put the veil on my head she told me that I was now a "bride of Christ". Panic was starting to set in! Risking the ire of Sister Carla,(she once smacked my catechism classmate, Raymond, for not being able to recite the "Lord's Prayer" in Latin), I told her my concern that I was only seven years old and shouldn't be a bride to anyone, let alone an old (dead) guy. I was the only girl in the catechism class and I wondered what the boys in the class were if I was a "bride". She informed me that the boys were "apostles of Christ". In my seven year old brain, I thought that this was a better option. Unfortunately, Sister did not agree with me and I was told to close my mouth and stop being disrespectful or I would have to do 'confession' all over again. I did as I was told, marched up the church aisle with the little "apostles" and took the dry wafer and grape juice. The following month, I was chosen to crown the Virgin Mary in a May church celebration. I think being the only girl in the class had a little something to do with the choice. Same pretty white dress, shoes, lacy socks, and new white undies, but this time no veil. Instead I wore a wreath of fake pink roses and carried a velvet pillow with a wreath of real pink roses. Again, I marched down the church aisle and as I got close to the statue of the Virgin Mary I saw that she was standing on a large, open mouthed snake! I was (and still am) terrified of snakes...
Monday, May 14, 2012
My Mom has been gone for more than ten years but for some reason, I especially missed her on this Mother's Day. She was a gentle soul and a very sweet, sweet lady... me...not so much! Because we had different personalities, I'm sure there were times when she didn't quite know what to do with me. She thought I was too independent and outspoken for a girl, but at the same time, told me to get away from our little hometown and spread my wings. In some ways, I think she lived vicariously through me. Mom was a teacher until she married Dad, when at that time (during the Depression) she had to give up her job, as married women couldn't hold teaching positions. She helped my Dad in his various business ventures, raised five kids, and was a very good artist. A fond memory is when Mom would take me down to the river or out in the meadows where I would run wild, while she painted and sketched. She passed away before I published my first book, but I know she would have been very proud. As a tribute to my wonderful Mom, the crocodile in "Nile, Nile, Crocodile" wears a Green Bay Packer jersey with Bart Starr's number 15. I often teased her that I was her "love child" with Bart Starr, which always made her blush! :) When I became a Mom I wasn't prepared for the intense feelings I had for my boys. I love my husband with all my heart, but the love for my kids is a different animal. I understand, now, when parents say they would cut off their arm for their child. They are the best thing that's happened in my life. Although I was so happy to receive flowers and chocolate from my two teenaged sons, it's the words that mean the most to me. "I love you very much, Mom. Thanks for everything." I can't ask for more... Mom, I know you are up there watching and I just want to say, "I love you very much, Mom. Thanks for everything."
Monday, May 7, 2012
"Mary just loves to sing!" said my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Ruppenthal. I think what she was nicely telling my parents was that that was ALL I wanted to do! As a kid growing up in a tiny Wisconsin town, I never dreamed that I would sing in Chicago with some of the best talent of the day! What makes me think of this is that I was blessed to share the stage with the great Mavis Staples of The Staple Singers. Mavis, very deservedly, received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Columbia College over the weekend. "I'll Take You There" and "Respect Yourself" are two of my all time favorites! Oh, yes, back in the day, I opened for Garth Brooks and Patty Loveless, but that's another story...
Monday, April 30, 2012
Good Morning! As I sit at the computer and write this "musing" my two dogs are comfortably snoring away on the couch behind me. Bellies full, bladders and butts empty, they are probably dreaming about the beast they scared away in our backyard at 4a.m. this morning. Yes, indeed, with barks and howls and doggie screaming they banished some evil raccoon or terrorist woodchuck (actually, she's a "woodcharlene", as she has babies under our shed). What they don't know is that this caused near heart attacks for the rest of the sleeping household. Or do they? Hmmmm...scare tactics, sleep deprivation...the animal terrorists may be inside the house, not outside...