It's windy, chilly and dark out. If Mr. Moon were not in Canada, I would have soup simmering on the stove. Maybe something like mixed bean with collards and chunks of sweet potato with a little bit of deer sausage in it. I'd have bread rising and the kitchen would smell good and the dogs would be waiting at the door, knowing that he is coming soon.
Somehow they know that he's not coming home tonight. I don't know how dogs know such things, but they do. Even stupid dogs, like my own.
And so it doesn't seem as cozy here tonight. And my kitchen is chaos because I left in a huge hurry this morning after finishing up the food I was making for Billy and Shayla. I have a special post-partum meal that I make for new mothers. It goes like this: A huge salad made with spinach and Chinese cabbage and snow peas and sliced steak and red onions and mushrooms and boiled eggs and sesame seeds and cherry tomatoes. I got this recipe years and years ago from a Southern Living magazine and the dressing has a CUP of oil in it as well as chili sauce and vinegar and soy sauce. It's a completely sinful salad but has iron in the form of greens and animal protein and is just what a woman who has given birth needs. Or at least that's how I rationalize it and it's a tradition with me now. I also make a loaf of bread and a prune cake which is a heavy, dense spice cake with a caramel icing on it and as we all know, prunes are good for a newly-made mother.
Anyway, the kitchen is a mess. I've been gone all day and just got home from Monticello where we had our last rehearsal before this weekend's Live Radio Theater as the Opera House calls what we do onstage for these radio shows. They're a hoot and I do enjoy them. Since all scripts are read instead of memorized, the stress level is pretty nil. This is the third year I've gotten to work Foley, which is sound effects, with Kathleen. We've got our act down fairly well although my skills suck as a sound effects person. I don't make the door open with enough squeakiness and I forget to do things because I sit there and go off into Owen-Zone or who-knows-where and Kathleen has to hiss at me.
"Door! Knock on the door!" Etc.
We have a huge wind machine, a miniature door, a new miniature screen door which Colin made (whenever we need anything we just say, "Oh, Colin can make it and he does) which slaps nicely, just the way a screen door should. We have pots and pans to rattle and twigs to snap and a phone bell to ring and heads of cabbages to beat with sticks to replicate the sound of someone getting beat up and water to pour and chimes to ring and chains to rattle and paper bags to blow up and pop for explosions and wheelbarrows full of rocks to dump over the side of the stage for avalanches. I was told tonight that my avalanche was not so good. I don't care about good so much as funny but I understand that I need to do it better. I think it's going to be a hoot, though, to see a woman dressed in heels and a hat dumping a wheelbarrow full of rocks over the edge of the stage. Actually, Kathleen and I both get to do an avalanche this year. Her's are better than mine. I admit it.
Actually, I can't believe they keep letting me keep coming back to do this. I think it's because they think that if I got fired, Kathleen might not come back and she's wonderful and they need her. But honestly, the Opera House is so open and loving and friendly that they probably just let me come back because I want to. Plus, I amuse them sometimes.
Tonight when we were practicing our bows, our director said, "And now acknowledge the girls," meaning me and Kathleen and I grabbed my breasts and pushed them up and everyone laughed.
Let's face it- we do this to amuse ourselves as much as we do it for any other reason.
As I have said so many times I am a hermit at heart and it takes a lot to get me out of the house. Going to the Opera House is definitely worth leaving home for. I love the people there so much. We range from a sixteen-year old home-schooled girl who is a tremendous actor, to two boys who are like 19 and 21 who show up to audition for shows and I'm not sure why, but we sure do love them and they're great and I think we amuse them, to a Methodist minister and his beautiful, funny wife to other folks who do I know not what but who just love being in that old theater.
And as I have also said so many times before, there is something magical about that place. Some say it's haunted. I don't know. I just know the costume/prop room is a place I avoid going alone and I also know that the Opera House is my happy place.
I go there and I feel welcome and I feel as if I fit in. I don't know why. I just do and am grateful.
So very, very grateful.
And now I better clean the kitchen, try to create order out of chaos which is a never-ending job and not as creative as what I do in the Opera House but it's satisfying in its own way. I will find something to eat. It's just me so who cares? I'm sure I'll make myself something wonderful that I love to eat before Mr. Moon gets home but tonight is not that night. It's been a long, busy day and I got to see all of my children, my grandson, and a lot of people I love. I got to play at the Opera House and now I'm home in my own beloved house and even though Mr. Moon is not here to be cozy with, it's still a fine place to be.
I hope that you, too, are cozy and that you have a place you can play sometimes with people you love. There is a time to be serious and there is a time to be silly and both are important.
Don't forget that.
Gather your toys, whatever they may be, and play with them. And by all means- share with your friends.
That's the advice I have tonight from Lloyd, Florida.
Go play. And remember to get enough iron. And do not forget your prunes.