If you live in Morgan County, if you live anywhere remotely near Morgan County —
You don’t want to miss this.
Tuesday night, April 28 at 7 p.m. the MCHS gym will be transformed into a theatrical venue for a Patriotic Fine Arts Extravaganza featuring over 600 Morgan County students grades PreK – 12.
Karisa Seymour, Morgan County Middle School Band Director, came up with the ambitious idea after seeing a event by an Avon, Indiana student fine arts program. “This performance has been in the works for over a year,” said Seymour. “It’s designed to showcase the outstanding work being taught every day in the four Morgan County schools.”
The patriotic Extravaganza will feature Pre-K through 12th grade performances including: Middle and High School Bands, Chorus, Dance, Drama, Art, R.O.T.C. and Color Guard. Special lighting and sound will transform the gym into a theatrical venue. A prism performance allows for seamless transitions without waiting for performer or set changes. One act flows into the next with entertainment positioned around the venue. A dramatic monologue might follow a swinging jazz quartet, which leads into lyrical dance. Student art banners will serve as backdrops enhancing the red, white and blue theme.
The high caliber of the system wide fine art instruction and programming not only enriches student life, it brings recognition to the schools and profits the community as a whole. MCMS Art Teacher Marjean Meadow pointed out that many Morgan County students go on to fine arts studies at the collegiate level earning degrees in all areas of: theater, dance, music, graphic and studio arts, voice, art education and architecture — just to name a few. As for long-reaching effects of the Extravaganza, Seymour hopes a dreamed-for performing art center would come a little closer to reality. “Having a state-of-the-art performing arts center would not only benefit the student population, it would allow us to bring in other quality performing and visual arts for the entire community.”
See you there!
Okay, maybe I won’t actually see you there because there are gonna be a TON of folks.
Get there early. Not like 6 a.m. early, but you can figure it out.
I was at the bank making a deposit. Searching for my account number sifting through all the little slips of paper tucked away in the pockets of my billfold.
A friend standing at the teller turned around to speak and she asked the above question.
Coincidentally, I had indeed decided to swim this afternoon. I needed to get back in the pool after an extended break.
We are very fortunate to have a new aquatics center while living in a fairly rural county. Such a boon for us aging athletes. Take my mother — please. No silly. My mother is a loyal water aerobics devotee.
And there is an assorted tribe of us who like to swim laps.
I hadn’t been swimming for a few months and needed to start back.
Paula’s question at the bank made me pause. “Have you been to the pool today?”
Was that code for the water is FREEZING? Dear Great God in Heaven, please no. I can’t take that.
Just then while I was still filling out my deposit slip, up walked another friend, Brillo, who answered the question bouncing around in my head.
“It was hot. Like 92 degrees hot.”
Ninety-two degrees? At the county pool? Is that even possible?
We spent a few pleasant seconds chatting how it was so nice to get into a warm pool but that after a few minutes . . . you broil.
It occurred to me all of us — the county swimmers, water aerobics participants and dog paddlers — would benefit having a finger on pulse of the water temperature at the pool.
Then I thought of a plan. I thought it up quick. A great one in fact. A great plan and quickly. Unusual for me.
We needed to form a Facebook group.
Or even better, a text alert system. Anyone in the pool early in the day, say the 6 a.m. crowd — Emily, David or Joe. This front line could send out a TEMP OF THE DAY text to the People of the Pool.
Something like this:
WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE
Like today. Though it was too warm, by slowing my pace and going heavy on the backstroke, I was okay.
So if I saw red, I would proceed to the pool as planned.
If I received this alert — NO WAY — would I take my little #BreakTheInternet swim trunks to the pool.
A few times the heater has been out and I’ve swam. Never gets warm. One time it was so bad I would have left but the guy in the next lane got in —
I didn’t want to perpetuate a stereotype and let TEAM GIRL down; so I swam in misery.
But the vast majority of times,
It’s just right.
Any swimmers out there? Hot, cold — what can you tolerate?
Watching the checkout girl ring up my lunch and salad ingredients, the old me would have pulled a nail to my mouth but the new go-with-the-flow entertainer me loved this. No pressure at all. Just enjoy my friends.
Got home. Opened door and warmly greeted said friends, then buzzed into the kitchen to start my salad.
Stopped to put sunflowers in vase. Unloaded my groceries. Refereed children fighting in front of company.
Then remembered I must start the broccoli salad so it could chill by lunch.
That’s when I looked for the ingredients.
No bacon. No Miracle Whip, no potato salad. The potato salad was for people who didn’t like spur-of-the-second broccoli salad.
Leaving a bag at the store. Major Martha Stewart fail.
Trying to do more than my God-given allotment of hosting-people-with-food genetics. This last minute broccoli salad was a risk but thought I could pull it together — calmly — like my sister who entertains hundreds while darting away in five minute intervals to complete her clients’ tax returns.
I could use mayo instead of Miracle Whip. Ditch the bacon. But I needed the potato salad for those who didn’t like broccoli (but not for my husband who won’t come with in 10 feet of either).
Back to the store.
I figured best approach was to go the cashier.
“Did I leave a bag of things when I was here?” No recognition whatsoever.
We talked about the beautiful day. I thought we had bonded.
“There’s no bag here. Try the service desk.”
I made my way to the counter and peered up at the assistant manager. ‘I got home without my potato salad.” And then I pulled the desperation card. “I’ve got people at my home waiting for lunch.”
He looked all around and found nothing but a bag containing a box of frozen corn.
“Just go get what you need.”
I smiled my best forlorn grin in thanks and grabbed the items and headed home.
Entering the kitchen — that’s when I saw them. The lost Miracle Whip and bacon sitting on my counter. Then I opened my refrigerator to find the potato salad.
People. I’m crazy.
I calmly made my salad all the while thinking that I really shouldn’t attempt walking and talking at the same time. Way too much cognitive function needed.
With the salad done, I walked into the room with my company and said, “The good news is that the salad is made. The bad news is that I found the lost items and have to take them back to the store.”
To which my husband broke into Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life.” A reference to my superior organization habits over the course of 25 years of marriage.
Back at the store, I walked up to the assistant manager. “I know everyday you have a crazy person to deal with and today it’s me.”
He replied, “Oh no. We deal with lots of crazy people everyday.” Smiling, he offered to re-shelve my items.
Ever had a day when you’re the crazy person at the grocery store?
I have a wonderful life. Not perfect – but I have no reason to ever be in a foul mood.
But today at 2 p.m. I was.
It had been building all day. No all week.
Through the morning rush to football games, keeping aging parents happy on their visit. Spending time with college son home for weekend — and making all his favorite foods. Running around for birthday surprises for husband tomorrow.
Then to Madison’s Chili Cook-off with children.
Only to find all the tasting tickets . . . gone. Sold out.
The result: disappointed children and a mama that couldn’t hid her displeasure.
Why wouldn’t they have enough tickets for everyone? Good grief.
But in small towns wisdom does not make a public fuss and only complains in the sanctuary of her car.
“Did I sound a little short with that lady?” I asked my daughter.
“Yes,” she replied. “But I’m glad.”
Now to be completely honest, we did look around the festival and settled on a substitute lunch of boiled peanuts and a coke.
But later in the afternoon, at the bakery counter at Walmart, I still wore a furrowed brow on the inside.
No. My whole insides were scrunched up in a deep furrowy trench.
Wanda behind the bakery counter asked, “Did you get to the Chili Cookoff today?’
“Funny you should ask that Wanda.”
The next few minutes, we spent trading stories of being turned away without the ability to purchase a chili-tasting wristband.
Pout. Pout and More Pout.
Then she offered, “You know what is free and the best show around — Zeke’s sunflowers up there on the corner. I see them every morning coming to work. Today four cars were pulled over. Folks stopping for pictures.”
A little voice whispered take that way home.
Zeke Lambert is part farmer, part banker and known to all the men — and women — in Madison. For some reason late summer, he sowed sunflower seeds in many of his fields around town.
So on the way home, I pulled into the dirt road of the highway and got out.
Had to share all the splendor on Instagram.
Yes, while I was out frolicking with and inhaling the fresh, wide-open, forever-flowered space, my daughter got my other camera.
Getting back in the car to my tween paparazzi.
Do you see it?
Sure I look worn, ragged, tired — all that I was before.
But I look happy.
I was happy. So happy. A healthy-perspective-of-life happy.
A moment in a sunflower field healed a sour-puss mood that a full morning of positive self talk couldn’t budge.
Before we left another car drove up.
Once I built a bridge and got over my pouty self, I realized the great truth.
Small towns are blessed places.
Second only in the blessings to a field of sunflowers.
What do yo think? What snaps you out of a bad mood?