Tag Archives: author

Empty chairs…

This theatre season, my cast worked through enormous obstacles to perform Les Miserables.

And then .. on opening night?

Covid-19 starting shutting down all assembling of groups.

So 10 weeks of hard work.. and the kids were only allowed to perform for their families. The cast was heartbroken… but they wiped their tears… and performed an awe-inspiring opening night.

I could NOT have been more proud.

For me?

This experience is a little surreal…

Surreal in the sense that everything was so different from where we were 2 weeks ago. 2 weeks ago, I was reminding the kids to hang up their costumes and to clean up their own messes.. and to turn in tee shirt money.

And today… I am JUST praying that each of my cast members stays safe and healthy..

And alive…

But it is also surreal for me in the sense… that ALL of my life I have been studying Plagues and epidemics .. and pandemics. The Black Death.. the Spanish flu (that started in The US)… siege sicknesses, the viruses that wiped out the Natives, etc..

Not so much for the illnesses or the deaths… because death and suffering saddens me…

…but how those illnesses.. and the fear… and the chaos affected the people. And how those effects changed the course of history.

How poor people could suddenly own land…

…How our children still sing “Ring around the rosies”.. to ward off evil spirits…

And here we are… smack in the middle of what WILL BECOME history. Someday, kids will be studying about the Covid-19 pandemic of 2019.. and wonder how the “population coped with the terror” and the isolation..

I wonder if the history books will tell how we had a shortage of toilet paper… and no shortage of the conspiracy theories?

Or will the future history books say that the “population” learned from the history books of the past? Will the history books state how we all chose to obey isolation and quarantined ourselves at home?

Will the history books say how we banded together to give each other hope for a future?

Because we WILL have a future.

Even the worst plagues… the survivors dusted off their hats.. picked up the pieces of their lives.. and made a future for themselves.

And little by little?

We learned from them. From the survivors. We learned to wash our hands. We learned to quarantine ourselves if we have been exposed. We learned not to panic.. and not to take the virus to the next town in our panic.

We HAVE so much knowledge at our fingertips THANKS to the records and observations kept of those pandemics in history.

Because we have learned from our history? We find ourselves in quarantine BEFORE it gets too bad. We find ourselves bored and creating funny memes about isolation “cabin fever”.. while we wait for the virus to run it’s course.

But … we will ALSO find ourselves with a better future.

A future that MAY hold graduations later in the summer. A future with delayed vacations.. delayed celebrations ..

A future with strange new school routines.

A future that has changed us all in small ways…

For me? I’m praying that my future has our cast performing Les Miserables when the crisis is over.

And I’m praying that when we hear Marius sing about empty chairs and empty tables… that there are no empty chairs in our community..

I’m praying there are no empty chairs in our cast…

And I’m definitely praying that we did our part enough.. that I won’t have ANY empty chairs in my family.

But even if we never hear our cast sing a song rejoicing in “one day more”… ?

I’m happy that our nation and our schools gave them their best chance at being able to sing another day.

Stay safe everyone! And God be with you!

Marinade…

I love to make my own homemade soaps and scrubs… but sometimes?

Sometimes the writer in me comes out.. and my imagination gets the best of me..

… rosemary… thyme.. holy basil… lime…

… wild orange peel…

.. ALL in a coconut oil base…

Let’s face it.. it’s practically a marinade…

If Earth is invaded by predators or aliens? Would they think that I’ve already been marinaded in advance?

Will their mouths water at the smell of the Rosemary and thyme?

…will the Holy Basil be enough to keep me safe if they are demonic invaders?

Ha… as I stir the sugar scrub I’m sending to my daughter? I could write a whole book on whether I’m saving her .. or preparing her marinade!!

But really this isn’t unlike any other parenting question…

I often wonder if I’ve given my daughter the tools to be confident and stand out..

.. does she have the confidence and understanding to avoid predators in her life?

… does my son have the discipline and coping mechanisms to succeed in a workplace?

… Did we teach enough skills to let his light shine brighter than the Autism?

… did I fill my daughter full of enough empowerment.. that she knows she is more than her pretty face and her waistline?

Sometimes I worry that I didn’t put enough Holy Basil in their marinade…

But then?

Then I see their smile.. I see them laugh..

I see them confidently go into the world to meet their alien invaders…

.. and I know it’s enough for now..

.. and I’ll be here if they fall.. to help them up..

Ha… then add another ingredient into their marinade before sending them back into the world…

No one ever tells you how dangerous parenting can be…

Thankful ..

This is the first year in a long time that I have not done the 30 days of thankfulness.. (At least not on Facebook).. 
..but every day .. I wake up in this crazy life of mine and thank God for my Blessings.. The picture lists so many of my Blessings and is so fitting.. 
Today I am so thankful for everyone in my life.. I am thankful for God in my life .. Thankful that He forgives me so that I may forgive others.. I am thankful for 2 less than perfect parents that were perfect for me and taught me so much in life.. I am thankful for 6 real biological siblings that were my first friends and defenders.. Without them I could not imagine my life.. I am thankful for my many cousins.. My second friends and the foundation of so many memories .. I am thankful for my aunts, who steered me and guided me with love and laughter.. Especially my Aunt Dianne who I miss daily.. I am thankful for uncles who sheltered me and showed me what to look for in a spouse .. 
I am thankful for adopted sisters .. My sisters of the heart.. Without them life on this earth would not be as bright.. I am thankful for friends far and near.. Friends I see every day.. And friends I rarely talk to.
I am thankful for my husband who provides for his family without fail and strives for perfection.. I am thankful for my oldest child.. Sabrina is strong willed, sassy, smart, loving and simply amazing.. I am thank ful for Simon.. Smart, artistic, and so helpful.. Sy’s life is NOT easy at all, YET he has a smile on his face every day and strives to be successful.. We could all learn something from him. I am thank ful for my Mariam and Olimpia!! These girls are daughters in my heart.. The time they spent in our home has forever engraved them in my life .. I am thank ful for my 17 nieces and nephews.. Each one of them are unique and amazing.. I could not possibly love them more.. 
I am thankful for my second parents, Carol and Barry .. I could not have asked for more loving and supportive people to take me into their family. I am thankful for my little sister Kate! My world traveling sister.. An amazing, giving soul who is as beautiful on the inside as on the outside .. I am thankful for the whole NELSON clan who are a wonderful group of people to know and call family. 
I am thankful for the ability to write.. And the opportunity to publish a book.. I am thankful for the many hats I wear.. I love helping exchange students feel comfortable during their stay in the US.. I love watching preschoolers grow and learn during music and movement classes each week.. I am so thankful for my theatre group at MV.. Past and present.. These performers are beautiful souls that amaze me every time I see them in action.. I am so blessed to be their director .. 
And tomorrow we leave on a family vacation.. The last vacation before my daughter graduates from high school. I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend this time with my kids .. And for the financial security to make it happen.. 

Today I pray that you feel Blessed and loved.. I am thankful for each and every one of you!!!