Tag Archives: play

Intermission

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I love a break in the action, no matter what the action is.

An evening of euchre? Let’s take intermission at some point, to finish up all the threads of conversation that were left dangling as cards were played. Let’s cut into that pie.

A good book? Chapters provide an ideal pause. The characters take shape, the tension deepens and the motivations become clearer in the time between putting a book down, and picking it up again.

A play? Intermission is time to get a snack or run to the rest room, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to turn to the folks on either side. A short exchange of “Isn’t this wonderful?!” or “He is hysterical!” and something that was going on between the stage and each individual member of the audience now feels like shared experience.

A major project at work or home? Goals can change once underway. Perspectives are different in the middle of a project than they are at the start. A short intermission, maybe with a cup of coffee or an apple,  allows for an assessment of progress, and a reevaluation of the direction forward.

An evening of watching TV? I swear, my house has never gotten the attention that it did when I had television! There was one evening a week when I liked every show on the air from 7 to 10 PM. That was also my housekeeping night. During every commercial break, I’d jump up and furiously tackle a project: change loads from washer to dryer; wipe down the stove and counter tops; sweep a room; dust a shelf; clean a window. It’s amazing how much can be accomplished in five-minute increments!

There were times that I combined housekeeping night with exercise night. Then, the commercial intermissions were spent cleaning house, and the shows were watched while standing on one foot in “tree pose,” holding a plank position or getting in a few sit-ups. When handled correctly, TV – and the intermissions it provides – can be quite worthwhile!

A meal. I think it’s a good idea to take a little intermission before taking a second helping of anything. Time to reflect on the flavors of the meal. Time to decide if I’m still hungry, or just wanting more because it tastes good. Sometimes I take a second helping anyway, but at least I’ve made myself more aware of my motivation. If I’m over-eating because it is delicious, it’s good to know that, and better appreciate the experience.

Sometimes, eight hours in bed can seem like a very long time. After a couple hours of good sleep, I often find myself wide awake. I used to struggle to fall back asleep, concerned about what the following day would be like if I weren’t rested. It seemed the more I worried about it, the more sleep evaded me. Now, I just take a little intermission. I get a glass of water. I read a little bit, make a grocery list or write a letter. If I simply give in to the need for a pause, sleep comes easy.

Then there are vacations: magical breaks from normal life that shake up our senses and help us to see everything clearer. A change in environment or routine gives a basis for comparison, and helps to clarify what we know. With a little distance from the usual day-to-day sights and sounds, it’s easier to appreciate them, on return.

Most days, I enjoy whatever I’m doing. Still, I think every experience is made better by a little intermission!

 

 

A Couple Things…

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In the middle of the night, when – for one reason or another – I find myself awake, the thoughts that come calling make falling back to sleep impossible.

That would be a good time for counting blessings…or even for counting sheep, but, no.

Worrisome rather than positive are most of my middle of the night musings.

Last night these thoughts entertained me:

Weeks ago, when the first advertisements for the “It’s a Wonderful Life” show went up, I suggested to my cousin Pam that we should go. I suggested dinner beforehand, and said it would be my treat, for her birthday. We’d make an evening of it, a rarity for each of us.

For my birthday in August, Pam and I and a couple others go out together every year for dinner. It always results in lots of good wishes and presents for me. The other participants are often away on their birthdays, so I am unable to reciprocate. This was a good opportunity to do something nice for Pam, even though her birthday is not until December.

Unfortunately, that is the last I thought of it.

I did not get tickets to the play.

I did not make dinner reservations.

Even when Judi called to say she had an extra ticket, and would I like to join her for the play, and I said sure, and let’s go to dinner first, and let that be my treat…even then, it didn’t occur to me that I had already made plans.

Even when one of the players came through the hardware store the day of the show and told me all seats were sold out, I didn’t remember.

When Pam called, near the end of the day, to say, “Are we still on for tonight, cuz?” I remembered.

Only then.

When there were no seats left for the play.

When I’d made other plans.

All I could do was admit to my awful and thoughtless forgetfulness, explain, apologize and beg forgiveness…

“Don’t worry,” she said, graciously, “I’m in for the day. We’ll do something closer to my birthday.”

Ugh.

Then, I recalled a conversation over dinner with Judi.

I was telling her about my new diet and exercise regimen, and about the high protein shakes that are a part of it. “Not bad tasting, really,” I told her, “but gritty in texture. Still they sure seem to work. I have energy, I don’t get hungry between meals and I lost three pounds in the first week.”

I went on to say that I didn’t really trust the weight loss, as the shakes seem to have diuretic properties.

In the middle of the night, I thought, “Did I say diuretic? I know that’s what I meant…”

In the middle of the night, it really seemed like what I had actually said was depilatory properties.

That could be true…the shakes are quite gritty.

Still, I hope I didn’t leave her with the picture of me rubbing the vegan strawberry shake onto my upper lip to remove unwanted hair!

Ugh.

It’s no wonder I can’t sleep!

A Wonderful Life

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Today was a great day at work, with friendly customers, impressive progress on ambitious projects, nice dogs (my boss is also a veterinarian) and good laughs.

After work I dropped in on a friend. I wanted to see how his house painting was coming along. He poured me a glass of port wine. We had a nice visit.

I then met my friend, Judi, at the restaurant for a tasty perch dinner. We don’t see much of each other lately, and it was wonderful to be able to catch up. I’m afraid I did most of the talking, but she was very gracious about it.

After dinner we went to town, to see a play.

It was not a live action play of the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, but a play depicting a live radio performance of It’s a Wonderful Life. Think of Our Town combined with Garrison Keillor’s Radio Show with one of my all time favorite Christmas movies as material, and performed by folks I know and love.

The characters sat in chairs across the stage. Each played many roles. with dramatic voice changes and hats or halos put on and removed as the only costume changes. Expressions were marvelous! It was an outstanding performance!

It was an all-around exemplary day.

Sometimes it really is a wonderful life!

Generating Our Own Warmth

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I took some photos of skunk cabbage last week.

It’s not the most attractive of plants…and it truly does smell like skunk…but it’s one of the first things to show green up here in northern Michigan, well insulated by the big lake.

Now I hate to say too much, for I’ll surely get it wrong, but there is something about skunk cabbage that is mammal-like, in that it has the ability to generate its own warmth. It wakes up at just about the same time each Spring, whether it is warm or cold. I’ve seen it push up through the deep snow, actually melting the snow in a small circle around itself. I’m pretty sure it is unique in the plant world. It is always a welcome sight, letting us know that better weather is coming.

Last weekend, three nieces, three sisters and I pulled off a similar feat.

We were all, in our own way, dreading this first Mother’s Day without our mother.

My baby sister, Amy, spoke it out loud, and her lovely daughters arranged a trip. They generously invited all of us to join them, and seven of us made the trip. We traveled by train to Chicago, we boarded at 6:45 Friday morning and arrived in the city early in the afternoon. We took taxis when necessary, but were able to walk most places.

We dined, shopped and enjoyed the art and architecture. We played cards and drank martinis together. We talked about ex-husbands, current husbands and future husbands, and the generations fell away in laughter and sharing. We saw a wonderful play.

Mostly we relished the time together. We sent postcards to the brother and sisters who weren’t there, and reminisced about those who would never again be with us. There were moments of melancholia, but many more laughs than tears. We are building a foundation of memories to move forward on. Like the skunk cabbage, we’re creating our own little circle of warmth.

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In order of age – as we’ve posed for pictures our entire lives – four sisters: Brenda, Cindy, Robin and Amy.