Saturday, June 27, 2009

An American Idol Experience

What do you get when you don't get what you want?


That's what I told Rose before she began the American Idol audition process. Although she was not sure she wanted what she sought, we decided beforehand that the trouble was worth the egalitarian experience.

An aphorism that applies when things fail to turn out the way we hope, I had to admit that everyone there had their hopes, if not dreams, of a "golden ticket." American Idol has tapped into a vein of desire in enough people to produce 9 seasons of the number one show in television.

People will stand in lines, sleep in parking lots and come from all parts of the country for the slice of a chance at a recording contract, a glorified emblem of the American Dream. A compressed cattle call audition, typical in New York and L.A., is how I would describe the process. But hey, nobody made anybody suffer for their art.

We can always choose to take with us something that contributes, informs or otherwise enhances subsequent experiences, each forming a portion of our unique stories.

Rose and I sat in the crowd of 10,000, among the first persons to occupy the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium, an experience in itself. Since I cannot foresee myself attending one of the upcoming football season's games, taking pictures inside made my day.

When the towering glass doors opened, sliding and stacked to the sides like a hero sandwich, massive amounts of air conditioning poured into the atmosphere.

Rose said, "That was cool."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Waiting Experience

At 6:30 a.m. yesterday, Rose and I found our way to the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Arlington to wait for wristbands so that she can, hopefully, audition tomorrow for American Idol.

I said, "I can't believe there are this many people who think they can sing."

But the huge crowd was well-behaved, and standing in line felt more like waiting to enjoy a ride at Six Flags or Disneyworld rather than the masses crowded into cattle cars or waiting for the gas chambers at Auschwitz, mainly because we had a choice about being there.

So after a couple of hours, all but the last 10 minutes in the swelling heat under a red alert air advisory, we left with two tickets for tomorrow's main event (each contestant can bring only one person with them), wearing paper wristbands that we cannot get wet.

So until tomorrow …

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wonder Packers

My daughter's four kids watch a cartoon called "Wonder Pets" and even the 2-year-old twins sing along with the theme song.

I've changed the words a bit to accommodate our current situation, "Wonder Packers," which means, too, I wonder where I packed that thing.

But the refrain rings in my head throughout the day as my friend, Sandra--we've been friends since high school--came from Albuquerque when I called her for help. She is the Master Wonder Packer who works all day and into the night, organizing, directing and telling me, my husband and my daughter what to do next.

Sandra made a lanyard to wear around her neck, attached scissors and a marker, and she walks around with pieces of tape stuck to the front of her shirt so she's ready for the next box. She's always looking to find just the right item to fit into the box she's packing: "there's something we can use and it's right in front of us."

"What's gonna work? TEAMWORK.
What's gonna work? TEAMWORK …
We're not too big and we're not tough
But when we work together we've got the right stuff …"

We're the Wonder Packers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Mercy laughed in her sleep"

My title references The Pilgrim’s Progress.

This pilgrim girl, however, does not feel she is making progress, much less laughing in her sleep.

Disrupted nights with stretches of the wide-awakes seem the norm these days as the house where we have lived for the last six years fills with boxes, towering around me the way I used to build with cardboard blocks in nursery school.

Yet a devotional I read minutes ago inspired me to write, to remind myself, and to make myself accountable to others that the “hardship” of making a big move might actually display something good.

So here’s my prayer, edited from the aforementioned devo:

“I want to surprise my family with my abundant peace; I want to delight my friends with my ever-increasing happiness; I want to edify the church with my grateful confessions, and even impress the world with the cheerfulness of my daily conversation.”

This also reminds me of words to an old hymn, “A Worthy Goal Have I.”

If I will remember mercy during the night watches, maybe I can laugh in my sleep.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ava Falava at the Beach

As soon as Ava Falava gets home from the beach, she starts packing for next year. A packer of suitcases, a slammer of drawers, Ava Falava knows what she likes.

Leaving Alavama tomorrow, I know that Ava will pack her red suitcase as soon as her clothes get washed. She will talk about the beach to everyone who will listen.

Ava loves the sand on her body, the sun bleaching her hair and the salt on her face. Last summer when she was four-years-old, she said, "Gran, the beach was yummy this year."

As soon as we got here, Ava said, "I wonder what the beach will taste like this year."

Maybe next year, my book will get published.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

From Orange Beach, Alabama

My granddaughter, Ava, says "AlaVama" and it stuck, just like the nickname Ava Falava. I wrote and illustrated with original photos a story called Ava Falava at the Beach, an idea that struck me during a thunderstorm the last time we visited here two years ago.

Making new memories with family and their good friends, I told my daughter "Time wasted at the beach is not time wasted." I read that in a book.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

D-Day, the 6th of June

Yesterday took on a new meaning for my husband and me. D-day turned into decision day as our house in Coppell sold and we have to be out by June 30. 

Our final answer: the deal was inked and the lot is cast into the lap and we trust its every decision is from the LORD (Proverbs 16:33). 

Now it's westward Ho the Conestoga Wagon only now we're headed east, spending tonight in Shreveport, Louisiana on the way to Orange Beach, Alabama for the rest of this week. We were in Lubbock two days ago. 

But Big-D, aka. Dallas has been home for the last 6 years, a footnote in the larger story of a place where I have known the good hand of my God upon me (Nehemiah 2:8). My husband and I graduated from W.W. Samuell High School oh so many years ago and our class reunion is next Saturday in Mesquite, a wistful way to conclude this part of our story. 

Miles to go before I sleep …