A Mini Vacation

So, here I am, riding in the backseat of a Dodge pick up truck. The reason? Well, I guess it must be stated, I’m off to see my niece perform in a musical. Am I excited? I don’t know, do fifty year olds get excited? I’m certainly proud and happy. And right now, I’m at peace with the world.

I’m with my sister and her husband, their young son alongside me. So far, as I survey the rolling Wisconsin countryside, tagging along has been fine. At the onset of the trip, as we left Green Bay behind, we played a guessing game. It was actually fun. My sister, my nephew and I took turns sticking an item inside a fabric lunch box. Then we passed it around, shaking, pressing and feeling what was inside. Most of my guesses were way off.

Besides that, being that the game got old, and, quite frankly, we ran out of items to place inside the box, we stopped. Now, all is quiet, save for my nephew asking how much longer we have to travel…not in those words. The exact phrase is, “Mom, how many more Sponge Bobs?” But even he has been resigned to eating a bag of chips, as we all silently watch snowy fields, and clusters of bare forests, pass.


Hours have passed, and my tense sister drove through snowy weather, trying to pay attention to both the road and her GPS, as she traveled towards the hotel.

How was the show?

It was quite impressive, and my niece earned a few adoring fans.

Many were young girls who might, one day, aspire to find their own prince. She pulled off Cinderella amazingly well. Actually, the entire cast, especially the female performers, was sensational.

The mice and cat were plush toys on sticks, and each had its own costumed puppeteer. The prince seemed to sing off key, but his performance at the ball, and his looks of awkward confusion, ones from dancing with women who possessed interesting courting styles, made the second act fun.

And heck, the girls who played Cinderella’s step sisters were very comical, being overtly crass and hardly graceful…not saying these young ladies couldn’t be graceful, they just played their parts really well. In addition, the girl playing the despised step mother, a rather domineering and slightly depraved woman, excelled in her role.

It wasn’t simply something I had to sit through, it was quality entertainment. I can’t wait to see tomorrow’s show, and I’ll keep an eye out for things I missed tonight.

Also upcoming tomorrow, my younger nieces have hockey games. Yup, I said nieces and hockey in the same sentence! If you have to ask, yes, my sister married a Minneapolis native.

I should also mention, because it’s quite impressive, that my nephew put together a vlog about spots in Arizona, which finishes up with shots of the Grand Canyon…I wish I had a YouTube address.

Reminiscing the end of the Visit

It’s Sunday morning. I have girls hockey on the brain. The second and third graders, that’s Lille’s age group, were fun to watch. Lille scored a couple goals. Though, as her body language suggested, she was tired by the second game.

Clara, on the other hand, had started as defenseman. Yet, this middle grade girl was pushing the puck, with excellent handling skills I might add, through the opposition’s defense like a seasoned pro. So, by the end of the first period, she was playing forward. She didn’t score a goal, but wound up with the player of the game award.

The game ended in a tie, which, considering the other team was 28-0-0, was a minor victory. The only minor blemish to that team’s incredible record, as the season ended with this game, was dealt by the young ladies of Armstrong-Cooper.

I can’t forget Isaiah. He’s Shannon’s youngest, and was the character asking how many SpongeBobs were left during Friday’s road trip. Yesterday, although it was slightly premature, we celebrated his sixth birthday. It was a short celebration, but there was cake and a few presents.

The second showing of the musical felt more energetic. It was as if the stiffness, like a set of shoes, not a set of glass slippers though, but it was as if the cast members were more comfortable in their roles, and, consequently, hit the ground running.

I had started watching the show in the balcony. But…the acoustics were horrible. The second act I found myself a few rows from the stage, just like the night before, and enjoyed the electricity, one that the combination of a good set, a live orchestra pit and vibrant actors can provide.

Watching Maddy pull it off, as she certainly puts her own personal touches on this ageless character, it’s hard to believe. I still remember, only a few days after her birth, braving a very hot and humid day. That was at the state fair, where many humans had gathered for the festival. I remember the tension in my chest, as I nervously assessed that vulnerable baby girl. Never would I have guessed that she, my sister’s first born, would be such a talented young woman.

Granted it was only a high-school musical, but Miss Orstad nailed it.

Winding Down

I’m home now, and mission accomplished. I sit on my sofa, a triumphant sun is descending towards the earth, as I recollect the enormous array of emotions that occurred during my trip. None stand out. Except for a state of mind…simply being there, spectating moments that will define my sisters’ children. And I understand why we pass the torch. It’s fundamental. God wills it. But there’s much more than that, right now, I feel I do not need to explain.

Throughout human history, our flight path has been altered, changed. Yet, many men with foresight knew the path before it was forged. If we are to continue, we must carefully construct the tools that will bring us towards smoother roads. It’s my wish, it’s man’s obligation…but it is God’s plan.

P.S. Drew and Cole, I miss you guys!!

Take Care and Safe Travels!!

2 responses to “A Mini Vacation”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: