Tag Archives: The Music Man

How I Spent my Summer Vacation

7 Aug

To my fellow-bloggers: I hope this post explains my absence from your comments lately.   I’m looking forward to school starting in two weeks and more time for real life.

To all my faithful readers: I hope this inspires you to jump into your local community theater…because it’s worth it.

I have been asked several times over the past two and a half months, whether being in a production like The Music Man is worth my time and energy. Is it worth essentially giving up a summer? Is it worth the lost sleep, energy, and time?

The answer, without a doubt, is “yes”.

Yes, it’s like having an unpaid job. Yes, it drains you. Yes, it requires more brain power than I sometimes have at my disposal.

But it’s worth it.

It’s worth it because I get to see my husband shine on stage. I get to listen to people’s comments in the receiving line after the show and I can’t help but grin. I get to see him, hear him, watch him be Harold Hill. And, in real life, I’m his Marian.

Sadly, “Mrs. Squires” doesn’t get to kiss “Harold Hill” in the musical…so I took advantage of a moment in the wings.

It’s worth it because I get to see our three kids blossom. I get to hear compliments from our director, and see them grow and mature. What more can a mom ask for?

Yes, it’s worth it.

I know that time is a precious commodity. One of the most valuable around. It’s easy to quantify time: you simply add up the minutes and find a total. Even I, a mathematical dunce, can do that math. It is far less easy, of course, to quantify quality time, to determine, without question, whether the time you spent was worthwhile…or wasted, was well-spent…or lost moments of your life you’ll never get back again.

I am compelled to tell you today that the time I spent this summer rehearsing, thinking about, and performing in The Music Man has been, unequivocally, time that I not only will get back again – in memories and smiles and nostalgia – but also time that I am delighted to have spent.

Yes, I have had my doubts. When I’m crabby and grumpy and the production seems to be controlling my life. When the “trouble with a capital ‘T’” seems all too apropos. But then we’ll be driving into town with the family and someone says something and suddenly we’re singing “Wells Fargo Wagon” at the top of our lungs and we can’t stop laughing. And then along comes dress rehearsal week and we see everything come together and suddenly we’re in this living, thriving thing that we helped create…and it’s vibrant and funny and thrilling!

Yes, it is exhausting. I am sleeping too long in the morning, and going to bed too late at night. I have bags under my eyes and my hair is all weird from the vast amounts of hairspray I’m using. My kids are tired, too, and I don’t know how on earth they’re going to be back on the right schedules by the time school begins in two weeks.


The whole family!

It’s worth it because my whole family is together, every night, having fun at the auditorium. It’s worth it because we’re working on a project, perfecting it, experiencing it, making it happen together. We’re making friends, deepening relationships, learning, expanding our horizons, getting out of our “box” together.

Our kids are getting to know other kids, but they’re also getting to know teenagers and adults who are kind to them, helpful to them, encouraging to them. They’re getting to see their dad goof around, work hard, and excel. They’re getting to see cast-mates mess up and learning that it’s okay to not be perfect. They’re learning to look out for each other but not to be bossy.

They’re learning to work together – sometimes with people vastly different from themselves – and to do so with dignity and respect.

They’re learning, I hope, to love a little more, listen a little closer, be patient a little longer.

Yes. It’s worth it. A million times over.

So, if you’re anywhere in the vicinity of Southwest Minnesota, please, come to see The Music Man at the Memorial Auditorium this coming Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Support family-friendly events like this in our community by attending. And THANK YOU so much to those businesses and individuals who have supported the production with your generous donations.

And please, think about participating in such an event in the future with your family.

Because, in spite of everything, it’s worth it.


Good Morning, Stranger

17 Jul

It’s funny how little things make a huge difference. One tiny circle can be the difference between one hundred and a thousand. One tiny straw broke the camel’s back. One wee little pea kept a princess awake all night.

And, in our house last night, one moment meant the difference between normal and totally bizarre.

Don’t worry, we’re all fine…it’s just that…my husband shaved off his beard.

At our wedding rehearsal…we got married at the camp where we met.

I’ve known my husband, The Sailboat King, for 18 years, almost exactly. We met at the end of summer, 1994, when he came up to a College and Career retreat at the Bible camp where I worked and where he spent parts of every summer as a kid. Lots of my friends were excited that he was coming – they’d grown up with him and they liked him. I remember one friend dragging me over to the dining hall because she wanted to say “hi” to him. I couldn’t care less, but I followed along. I can’t remember if she introduced us, but I do remember that he and his pals were being crazy and loud (an indicator of things to come) and I was eager to get out of there as quickly as I could.

Two days later, when packing up for the journey home, an hour away, the guy I was hitching a ride with told me, “I’m going to go with S, M, and C out on S’s parent’s pontoon boat, wanna come?” Well, as I had no other ride, the obvious answer was, “Yes,” despite the fact that my sister and her family had arrived that afternoon at my parent’s and I hadn’t seen them in like three years.

I had one distinct thought as I sat on the boat, watching three grown boys tubing in the water and having a fantastic time: “I can’t believe how obnoxious these people are.”

I’m pretty sure this is from that summer we met.

Six months later, I was sitting down with the camp director looking at applications for camp staff for the upcoming summer. He mentioned The Sailboat King’s name and I had to ask him who he was talking about. He told me, and images of an afternoon spent on S’s boat came to mind and I think I literally cringed. Ten minutes later I had to be reminded of his name yet again when we were discussing the available maintenance position. My one comment about him, “He’s kind of obnoxious, isn’t he?”

A few months later I shook his hand as I walked past him, on my way to ring the bell on our first day of staff training. “Glad to have you with us,” I said, weirdly and officiously.

He still teases me about that.

The two of us…somewhere around the time of this story!

So, the summer progressed. I remember wondering why he joined us for our Fourth of July party at someone’s house. Even though he’d been invited, it seemed funny because his best friend hadn’t been able to join us. Why would he bother to come? I mean, we’re his friends…but he doesn’t usually hang out with us! I enjoyed him, though. Discovered that there was more to him than most obnoxious twenty-one year-olds.

We started to talk more after that and I began to revise my opinions of him.

We went canoeing a couple times. Ate lunch at the same table. And then, after I’d been sick one week and feeling pretty awful, I stumbled out on the last day of camp, took down the flag from the flag pole, and brought it to the drawer where we kept it, folded nicely in its triangle of red, white and blue.

I opened the drawer. And found a bouquet of roses.

“Whose roses are these and why are they in my drawer?” I asked out loud, and, looking up, discovered that many of my friends were standing around – comrades in some secret scheme – watching me, even photographing this momentous occasion.

“They’re yours, dummy,” one supportive friend replied.

And, sure enough, The Sailboat King had gotten me roses.

I continued to revise my opinions of said King.

The actual, scanned photo from The Moment in Time when I knew…he likes me!

A few months later, engaged and madly in love, I asked him to shave off his beard, just so I could see what he looked like without it.

He agreed.

The first words out of my mouth when he emerged from the shaving?

“Okay. You can grow it back, now.”

The drastic event…one small moment in time.

Nearly 16 years of marriage later, he has once again shaved if off. But this time he did it for someone else. My dearest Sailboat King is playing Harold Hill in our local community theater production of The Music Man and our director – I say “our” because our entire family is in the musical – has asked him to shave so he can see which version of “Harold” he likes best.

I like the bearded version best.

The clean-shaven version stresses me out. It’s like waking up beside a stranger. Like kissing sandpaper…because, of course, his beard is already growing back.

Which means my stress is temporary.

Which is nice.

A facebook friend told me I should just enjoy it. Go with it. Have fun with this stranger.

The truth, of course, is that he’s still my Sailboat King, shave or no shave. He still makes me smile even when I’m cross and he still gets my heart beating faster with a single glance.

And that’s good.

So long as it doesn’t lead to a heart attack or something.

The truth is, after 15 years and 11 months of marriage, I love him so much more than I did that day I found my roses. And he, I am thrilled to say, loves me, too.

And puts up with my imperfections

Which are myriad.

Beard or no beard, there’s no one else I’d rather wake up with.

Before. He’d been working the beard down over the past few days…to make it less drastic. It still was.

A look that says it all.

I Join the Theater

19 May

We spent two hours this morning doing something I wasn’t sure I’d ever do again. We auditioned for a local Community Theater production this August here in Worthington, Minnesota.

I didn’t think I’d do this again for several reasons…many of which I wrote about below last summer and you can read about them as I’m reposting the the first post for you today. Another reason I didn’t think I’d do it again is that it’s a LOT of work…and time…to be in a production like this. HOWEVER…it’s worth it. It’s fun, it’s a great time to make new friends and deepen old friendships, and it’s something we can do all together as a family. Even five year-old Boo might be in on the action this year.
to top of our reasons for doing this again, it’s The Music Man…a favorite of our entire family. And so we’re diving in again. Stay tuned!!!

A fine day for an epiphany

Ok, so there are some things in life which sound better than they, in reality, are. Turkish Delight is one of these things. (I was brutally devastated when I first tasted real Turkish Delight, which I found in The Netherlands and bought with exceeding great joy. “WHAT?” I almost exclaimed outloud, trying hard to conceal my near-tears state of mind. “Edmund turned traitor for THIS?”) Lavender Ice Cream (from a cute little shop on Bainbridge Island, WA) is another. (“Ummm…WAY overrated!”) Asking Gretchen O’Donnell to dance and sing in a local theater version of Beauty and the Beast is another. And it’s a big one.

Now, I must admit, it’s possible that the powers that be who allowed me into this production never thought that seeing me dance was a good idea to begin with. I haven’t had the courage to ask them and I probably never will. But to…

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