Day 90 – Come From Away

I know I’ve written at length about my love of theatre before, so I won’t spend too much time rehashing it again. Just know that when I say I’m obsessed with live theatre, I’m not exaggerating, particularly musicals. I’m mesmerized by the talent of the actors and musicians, and absolutely astounded by the sets and lighting and costumes that make the productions come to life. If I had unlimited funds, I’d buy a seat at a different show every night–Broadway, Off-Broadway, community playhouses–I’m in for it all.

When I first saw ads and TV spots for the new show Come From Away, I knew I needed to see it. I’m always drawn to stories of the “helpers”–the people who show up in the face of loss and tragedy to help recover and rebuild. If you’ve looked at any of my social media feeds in the last two weeks, you’ll see the dozens of stories I’ve been posting of exactly this type of selfless compassion taking place right here in my home state in the wake of the devastating Midwest floods.

But even more than that, it’s the story of Beverley Bass, the first female captain of an American Airlines aircraft–a woman whose persistence and tenacity helped break down barriers, a woman whose dream of flying led her to the sky. And with a long line of strong women in my own family (including my Grandma Kay who was one of the first females to fly for US Airways), this was a story that spoke to me on a very personal level.

Mom got us tickets and we headed to the Orpheum this afternoon for the show.

And I gotta say, folks…I might have a new favorite show.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not an overly-emotional person. I tend to let a lot of things roll off, and it’s not often that my emotions really get the best of me. But every now and then, something that hits really close to home will choke me up, and there were several moments during Come From Away that I found myself tearing up and taking deep breaths to keep it under control. Anything 9/11 related always hits me hard, and in the opening moments of the show when they sing about remembering exactly where they were when the news broke. Yep, that got me. Then later when the beautiful souls in Gander, Newfoundland began to open their lives and their doors and their homes to the airplanes full of strangers without a second thought or a moment’s hesitation. Yeah, you know that got me too.

It just seemed fitting (one of those moments when the universe perfectly aligns) that I was watching this show today while this same sort of selfless compassion is happening all around me right here in Nebraska in the wake of the devastating floods just as it happened in the hours and days and months that followed the attacks in 2001.

And it’s moments like these that make me really happy to be alive and be a member of this human race.

If you believe everything you see on TV, you might have a pretty grim view of humanity. But if you can tear yourself away from the 24-hour news cycle and get a glimpse of the things that are happening right outside your front door and in communities around the world (you know, the every day sort of things most people aren’t going to bother to mention on the nightly news because it doesn’t have a flashy headline) you just might see that most of us are just regular people trying to do our best and squeeze a little happiness out of this life while we’re here.

And what a blessing to have a chance to love and connect with others at the same time.

If you get a chance to see Come From Away, DO IT!! And in the meantime, be kind to each other every chance you get.

P.S. The amazing folks from the show (including several Nebraska & Iowa natives) donated a portion of the ticket sales totaling more than $30,000 to flood relief. And many of us in attendance donated even more to the collection buckets on our way out the door. What a great way to spend the day!

#NebraskaStrong #WeComeFromAway

Project Life 365 – Day 82 – Musical

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I am ridiculously excited about the new Les Miserables movie/musical. Saw it in the theater (well, most of it…Cadence just couldn’t quite make it to the end), and made sure we pre-ordered it so it would be delivered to our doorstep as soon as it was released. Worth every penny.

PL365Day82Musical

Excavation 2012 – Day #47 – The Great Photo Organizing Extravaganza (part 2)

Today, my dining room exploded…

Hey, I warned you didn’t I? No one said this photo organization business was going to be a clean, streamlined adventure. Quite the contrary. With so many boxes and bins (and even boxes inside of bins) full of photos and cards and letters and programs and ticket stubs and about a dozen other categories of miscellaneous stuff collected over the years, it was bound to get worse before it got better. But, boy oh boy did I find some fun stuff today. Here are just a few of my favorites…

I found my Mom’s first Valentine card…

A bunch of leftover Thank You’s and RSVP cards from our wedding. You can’t go wrong with lampshades…

An old Kit Kat wrapper that I saved from my study tour to Turkiye in 2000. Because nothing says great souvenir like an American candy bar with Turkish writing on it…

A photo of my crazy husband from our college days, which reminded me of just how I fell in love with him in the first place…

And some of the notes I wrote him when we were dating, that apparently he saved…

Photos of me and Lindy growing up, celebrating our birthdays at Grandma and Grandpa Luethje’s cabin at Johnson Lake (and yeah, I am rockin’ that headband and legwarmers). And, of course, the first of many awkward “First Day of School” photos…

Photos from my elementary school years, carrying flowers for the Queen of Courts Ceremony (think Homecoming King and Queen, but during basketball season). And a photo from my one (and only) dance recital. I wonder if my waning interest in dance had anything do to with the outfit or the amount of makeup I had to wear…

Photos of Steven and I both apparently going through a denim phase (and my sweet dog Angel aka “Stinky”)…

Followed shortly by the purple hair phase…

I smiled when I saw photos of some of my dearest college friends–Above: my purple-haired compadre Anette and favorite Roomie ever Miss Katie. Below: the one and only Aaron, who managed to get himself kicked out of the men’s volleyball game shortly after this photo was taken for yelling a little too overzealously into a 4-foot tall traffic cone. “Aw Ref! C’mon Ref! That call was hoooorible! YOU’RE HOOOOOORIBLE!!!”

Then, there were photos of my favorite cat, the sweet Baby Gray (Look away from the perm. Look away!)…

My favorite car, the Peacock…

And a random moment captured on International Cheese Day in Mr. Uribe’s freshman Geography class…

There were stacks of old family photos…

And lots of new family photos…

I even found a box full of playbills and ticket stubs from all the shows I saw while living in New York…

But as much as I loved the Broadway and Off-Broadway productions I saw over the years, my favorite shows were always those when I got to watch my favorite Roomie strut her stuff and sing. I heard she she sang the National Anthem at a women’s basketball game in Ohio tonight, and I wish I could have been there to hear it. Girl’s got a voice that I could never get tired listening to, and just opening this old program and seeing her name, I can close my eyes and almost hear it. 🙂

So, in spite of the mess, and in spite of the boxes and piles that are still littering my dining room, today’s decluttering was definitely a success. I already have four photo boxes sorted and filled, and have a pile of miscellaneous items (like the old wedding RSVP’s and Turkish Kit Kat wrapper) headed for the garbage bin.

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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