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A Short Thought

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A friend’s son told her some of the most useful education he ever received came from “McDonalds University” when he spent a summer working at the local establishment. Don’t ever say “how are you” to an old person. Because they’ll tell you. While I refuse to define myself as old, I am surely circling the drain of middle age.  I find it’s easy these days to learn about new ailments for which there may, or may not, be viable assistance available. Just listen to the latest television commercials. It seems constipation is a big hoot these days and the drug they’re recently hawking days has fetching side effects.  I say, more fiber first!  

When I’m home during the day I admit to having a television on for background noise, and find the target audience for many health accoutrements are definitely women of a certain age. We really seem to need a whole lot of help for a myriad of issues. My personal offensive favorite are the women jumping around doing the twist ~ badly ~ while the lyrics commend leak proof underwear. Seriously? Men are portrayed as handsome, virile and “ready for anything when the moment is right”  because “this is the age of knowing what you’re made of “and we look like lunatics who wet our pants?

 Really?

Tena

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Life is Not for the Faint of Heart

How is it that we don’t know how hard it is to live until it’s just that?  If we’re lucky, we wander through childhood blissfully unaware. Or we’re subliminally aware something isn’t quite right but not savvy enough to know what quite right is…or isn’t. Then all of a sudden the you know what hits the fan. For some of us it happens when we’re very young. Divorce…death…harsh realities come crashing down and we’re there just living with it. Handling it…or not.

I had no idea my world was seriously off kilter until I was twenty eight. Oh, there were signs. There was an undercurrent of ugly. Yet life in an idyllic bubble was easily skewed into a variety of excuses that wound up with “me” being the problem. There is no need to get into any of that. Suffice it to say, I was a good kid. Curiously creative during a time when there was so much to create. Also, in many ways, very fortunate to live an upper middle class life in an amazingly amazing environment.  Where I grew up, from ten to twenty-one, was incredible. The sweet smell of green grass in the spring and summer. Fireflies. Croquet in the back yard. Walking home past the Fire House after school from the Valley Tea Shoppe following a ciggie and a vanilla coke.

Fire Department

Yet, reality reared its’ head from time to time. The Cuban Missile Crisis. New-York-Times-on-Cuban-Missile-Crisis

My husband grew up on the West Coast and to him it was merely a blip. To me, it was the possibility of the ultimate “duck and cover.” Seriously, we hid under our desks? To avoid nuclear obliteration. I clearly remember walking home from the Tea Shoppe during those days and hitting some leaves on a tree as I walked around the curve between the library, the fire house and our street, The Knolls. I remember thinking, “I might never do this again.”  Our family, like so many others, had put lots of Campbell soup in our basement ~ despite multiple above ground windows.

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While extinction seemed possible ~ and imminent ~ there was the underlying belief it would all turn out alright, because it always had during my lifetime to that point.  After days holding our collective breaths, it did turn out alright.  And life went on in a mostly bucolic fashion.  Yet the peace of our reality continued to run parallel to intermittent blips of national and world wide horrendous. We remember what they were ~ no need to recount again.

In the bubble we moved forward ~ got our drivers licenses and went swimming at Shu Swamp in March just because we could. Shu Swamp

Our rebellion included a few beers and the refusal to go into school one day late in the year in protest. What were we protesting? The right of boys to not wearing socks and girls to wear cullote pants. Seriously. We wearers of circle pins were true rebels.

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My life mirrored that of so many others during that time.  Smooth sailing on the surface as we paddled madly to stay afloat.  A sense of discontent that all was not what it seemed without having any idea how to change the status quo.  No one I knew was wildly problematic.  We weren’t type cast to be “flower children.”  We sat on Stehli’s beach during the summer slathering ourselves in baby oil with iodine and worked at the Pig ‘n Whistle.   stehli sign

Yet the time of real change was rapidly approaching.   What would happen next?

 

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Break a Leg…or not!

Let me first say my bones are intact. Not for lack of slipping and sliding on my part, being a “flounder foot” since childhood, but that’s a whole different conversation. I went back to work. Briefly.  At an amazing venue right here in Vista, California ~ Moonlight Amphitheatre. While I’d hoped to have some time to acclimate, I was on-stage on Day Two practicing a “curtain speech,” and in front of more than twelve hundred on Day Seven.  Gulp!!!  There I was, right up there on that stage.  Luckily, not alone.  Steve Glaudini, the amazing Creative Director ~ now starring as Mr. Banks in Moonlight’s wonderful production of Mary Poppins ~ kindly encouraged!  

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I’ve spent many hours in television studios but I am definitely a behind the scenes sort. Nonetheless, I did not fall into the Orchestra pit, but my dear husband ~ being a “front of the house” person often ~ kindly suggested we prerecord the speeches so they were as professional as the rest of the show.

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I did not take offense. The shows put on at Moonlight Amphitheatre are amazing. I knew I was the dancing popcorn box amid the preshow flurry. And I didn’t even have to ask anyone to turn off their cell-phone. Now that I think of it, no one was looking at their cell phones. They were ~ gasp! ~ interacting with one another. They were having a picnic on the lawn with their families. Or eating at the Artisan Restaurant with friends. Or meeting friends and talking before the show.

What an amazing concept!!

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My Fair Lady begins on August 13th.  If you live anywhere near North County ~ San Diego, come enjoy an amazing evening!