Overtaken by Offspring (A Serial Theatrical Production)

Overtaken by Offspring
(A theatrical comedy about family get-togethers)

ACT ONE, SCENE ONE:

Lights come up on the family Matriarch as she sits in her recliner, nodding off to sleep. Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door. Matriarch awakens in a startled fashion, and makes her way groggily to the door. Opens door to Delivery Boy.

Delivery Boy: Telegram for Mom
Matriarch: (Yawns rudely) That’s me.
Delivery Boy: Sign here, Mom….ummm, I mean Ma’am.
(Matriarch signs)
Delivery Boy: Thank you, have a “good one!”
*{Please note: “Have a good one” is NOT an acceptable way to wish people a good day (if that is, indeed, what you are attempting to convey). “Have a good one” is a useless, grammatically incorrect statement….a good what?! A good lunch? A good commute to work? A good cry? A good laugh? A good report from my doctor…? A good nervous breakdown?! WHAT THE HECK do you mean by “one?”}

Matriarch closes door, fumbles around for reading glasses so she can focus on delivered telegram she holds in her hands, finally finds a pair and gets them correctly positioned on her face, and reads: “Extended family members to arrive next Tues (stop); Driving down from MN with camper (stop); Will camp out with you and rest of family (stop); Will expect all siblings, in-laws, and nephews to be in attendance (stop); Get EVERYTHING ready.”

Tired Matriarch looks at calendar and collapses.
Lights fade for end of Scene One

ACT ONE, SCENE TWO:
Scene opens on Matriarch with pile of papers in front of her, as she writes frantically on one of the papers.

Matriarch (talking to herself, as usual): “Okay….meal list complete; packing list complete; time to work on my shopping list, and then a detailed plan of action for the next four days so that I can be ready to go when the family camping reunion commences. Friday….at work all day; husband & I out with friends in the evening. Saturday…at work all day; to grocery store in the evening; Sunday…to Church in morning; get busy preparing all the meals we will need while on our campout. Monday….work all day; in evening, start packing my personal needs for the campout, also, clean the ENTIRE house and prepare to house numerous lodgers (i.e, twelve people, counting me) in case heavy rains come and we are forced to bail out (literally and figuratively) and head home for dry and comfortable housing. Tuesday…finish any last-minute housing and food details, pack personal belongings and food, rent moving van, head out to our Indiana property for the family camping adventure.

Lights fade as Matriarch climbs into bed and immediately falls asleep, murmuring something about bug spray, bubble wands, and big bottles of wine. The director thinks it best not to disturb her for a curtain call. Check back late next week when this delightful, dramatic comedy presentation continues with ACT ONE, SCENE THREE, when the Matriarch waves good-bye to her older daughters, sons-in-law, and five grandchildren as the visit (finally) comes to an end. 😄

Advertisements

Thirty-six Years of Adventure

On this day in 1982, I set sail on an Ocean of Blue. It was the beginning of a great venture of discovery on the Great Sea of Life and Love. My first mate was my husband, Ron, and we … Continue reading

The Prolonged Pernicious Pollen Fog (a sequel)

It seems we are having a “late spring,” or so says the omniscient “they.” This is why the pollen release of death continues to stalk some of us so menacingly, with its cloudy claws unsheathed and its treacherous teeth bared. … Continue reading

Close Encounters of the Spiritual Kind (Elder Care, Part II)

In my last post, I shared my personal views on elder care. There are many reasons for finding ourselves in this mess. First of all, let’s be honest, a lot of us are just too busy (or, too far away, … Continue reading

Beyond Lullabies (Part 2 of the Family Saga)

In my last post, I rustled up the courage to share the painful truth of my childhood. I prefer not to leave it at that. I want you to know about the perceptible (albeit modest) healing that came to pass … Continue reading

Lightening Bug Lullaby

I grew up in conditions that were….shall we say, less than ideal? There was alcoholism, abuse, and neglect. My parents were two very broken people who came together to form an extremely dysfunctional relationship, and then brought forth children in … Continue reading

Hold, On – Time is Flying By!

I can’t believe it’s 2018 already. Heck, I’m still trying to process the fact that we’re in the third millennium! Remember way back in 1999, when folks were all worried about the Y2k computer problem? Special committees were set up … Continue reading

Where Love Has Led

When I was young, and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would usually say, “A comedian!” And, although I never made it to the big stage, I am definitely a full-fledged, freelance (read, “unpaid”) comedian. If you need proof, just ask my friends. Everyone I know (with a respectable sense of humor) thinks that I am funny. Or….maybe they just laugh at me because they don’t know what else to do with me. Either way, I’m happy – as long as I can get folks laughing, or at least cracking a smile.

IMG_3067.JPG

As the years went on, though, the what do you wanna be question was answered rather randomly, just because: a) I really had no idea what all of my options were, or b) I was basing my answer on my current preoccupation. So my response would jump around, from comedian to veterinarian, from bakery chef to writer, from actress to librarian, and finally to photographer, because that was where my interest was when the time came to choose a school. The truth is, though, that I had only one true longing for my life, and it was this….getting married and having/raising children. I can hear the collective GASP! Who would have guessed that a child of the 60’s and 70’s could harbor such a traditional longing? This was the age of women’s liberation, the dawning of Aquarius, the far-out, groovy era of turning your back on the established order of home-life, job, and family. A sacramental, life-long commitment to one person?! Bah! Being open to children, when “free-love,” contraception, and abortion-on-demand was all the rage?! Humbug! I know….what was I thinking?! But, you see, despite the flagrant distractions of the modern culture, my ongoing confusion, and a lack of parental guidance, I still had a great advantage. Because of my baptism, I had the Holy Spirit and my Guardian Angel watching out for me, and leading me gently on, a million missteps notwithstanding.

IMG_3073.JPG

All that time, when I was wandering around as a young woman, mixed-up by what the culture was telling me and by what I thought I should be, God (who is Love) was guiding me gently along, there to pick me up when my poor choices had me meandering off of the trail, dangling off of cliffs, or stranded in deep crevasses.

IMG_3068.JPG

While in photography school, Love led me to my husband. Almost right away, the Holy Spirit whispered into my ear, “This is the one I have chosen for you.” I listened to those words from Love, and flirted and joked my way right into that crazy man’s heart. (He had a wacky sense of humor, too, one of the first things that attracted me to him. That, and….he was quite handsome!) Even though we were both still caught up in the “misleadings” of our time, we traveled on together, while Love walked closely beside, his hand ever upon us, his wise counsel silently piloting our steps.

We were married in 1982, with a dispensation from the Catholic Church (of which my husband-to-be was a member) to be married in a Baptist Church, in which I had spent almost my entire childhood. Less than two years later, when I realized we weren’t really making it to church every week (my plan had been to switch back and forth, one week at a Baptist Church, next week at Catholic Mass, and so on), I convinced myself (through Love’s inspiration) that I would be willing to attend a Catholic church every week, if it meant we would actually get to church every Sunday. It worked, and, after eight months or so of full immersion, I was hooked. I wanted to learn about the Catholic faith, and be able to receive Holy Communion every Sunday, with my husband (who had now embraced his faith as an adult, and was living it fully). In the summer of 1984, I received the sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion. From there, it was parish retreats (and Love, of course!) that led us deeper into our faith and gifted us with new, Catholic friends. Three years later, we were excitedly awaiting the birth of our first daughter. Even with serious medical complications, we went on to have two more daughters, trusting in Love for protection and aid.

IMG_2472.JPG

Because motherhood had been my deepest longing, I was one of those “all-hands-on-deck” kind of moms – staying home most days with them, while working a couple of days a week with my husband in his (by then) own photo studio. The two older girls went off to school before our third one had joined us, and I did everything – room mom, cupcake baker, party planner, you-name-it. I was at the school almost every day, willing to stay and help if needed…until the end of the fifth year, because Love began calling me to an ever deeper level. We pulled the girls out of school to follow the counter-cultural call to home schooling. (It’s hard to pick the absolute best thing about this choice, there were so many – no more rushed mornings, or piles of paperwork and fundraising efforts from the school; we could work at each child’s own pace, using my creativity and problem-solving skills at full-throttle; we met other Catholic homeschoolers and became more deeply immersed in the study of our faith….the list goes on and on!) We loved every minute of it (well, okay…you got me – almost every minute!). When people would ask me (and they did, often), “How can you stand spending all that time with your kids?!” I was left uncharacteristically speechless. It had never occurred to me that moms would not want to be with their children as much as possible! But, Love had called me to this life choice, and through it all, he was there, closer than ever before, still nudging us ever forward.

FullSizeRender-2.jpg

And, now, thanks to Love never giving up on me, my husband and I have celebrated 35 years of marriage. We have raised three incredibly awesome daughters, and are blessed with 5 grandchildren (two of whom are already in heaven, due to miscarriage in early pregnancy). Our sixth grandchild is due in late October (from our “northern contingent), and we just returned from four glorious days of visiting with them. Such sweet joy our family gives to us!

FullSizeRender-1.jpg

Some days, when I am not distracted by worldly concerns (like continued breast cancer survival and related health issues, paying the bills, worrying about my children, arguing with my husband about something stupid, etc), I can spend the entire day just basking in the glow of “my” success. But, right about the time I’m busy patting myself on the back, I’ll find myself falling off another of those pesky cliffs, making a hard and painful landing, right into the arms of Love. And with that harsh reminder, I will once again swallow my pride, and allow Love to lead, because his plan has always proved to be better than mine, and will always be best in the future. Lead on, Love – I’m right behind you! (Ummmm…on second thought, knowing me, maybe you’d better just push from behind, where you can keep your eye on me!)

FullSizeRender-3.jpg