It starts as the typical actor’s nightmare. I am on stage, I don’t know the show, don’t know my lines. Unlike the usual version, this time I don’t know the theatre or my fellow actors. It is clear that it is some sort of avant garde thing, where the people on stage are reacting to things coming from actors in the audience, so I wing it.
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When March rolls around and Spring begins peeking at us from behind the trees, I begin to long for fields of green. Soon enough the flowers begin to raise their heads from their long winter naps and the signs of the turn of the season become impossible to ignore. It is about this time that one of my favorite holiday’s rolls around, when everyone gets to put on the green and pretend that they are one of the blessed people, if only for a day. For me, St. Patrick‘s Day is not about drinking and carousing, although I have been known to do my fair share of that, it is really about the change of the year, a celebration that we have made it through another winter and that the time of bounty is ready to begin again, the polar opposite of Thanksgiving, if you will. A time to consider what lies ahead and what this new year will bring. Of course, if you would like to celebrate that with a raised pint, well as long as the beer is black and stout, then who am I too judge.
I often get up while the sun is still low in the sky and go for walks around our farm, enjoying the peacefulness of early morning and that beautiful low angle light. Sometimes my wife and I walk with the dog in the afternoon, there is just something about those long shadows we love, the golden hour of the day. Our farm is dotted with equipment left over from my grandfather’s past, old tractors, trucks from his shipping company and all kinds of farming equipment. It always brings a smile to my face to look at these testimonies to a life well-lived, they are reminders of my childhood riding in these trucks with him or helping to work on these tractors. From fully-restored showpieces to little more than junk, Pa collects it all, and he taught me to look beyond the surface rust to see the potential sitting there waiting for a caring hand to bring it back to life. So these walks are a good time for me. Lately, I have taken to snapping photos with the camera in my iPhone and then using the CameraBag app to process them in the phone, to try and capture a little of the beauty I see and the pieces of Pa’s soul sitting in our fields.
A couple of weeks ago, I put out a call to friends far and near to send me pictures of their Christmas Trees, Menorahs, Festivus Poles, or whatever they do to celebrate during the holiday season. It has been fascinating to see the many different ways my frioends celebrate during this great time of year. We have Currier and Ives scenes, the Nativity, Menorahs, playful elves, homemade ornaments, a tree composed entirely of botox bottles, Charlie Brown’s tree, the old aluminum classic and even an “implant” tree. Thank you to everyone who played along, I have really enjoyed getting to take a peek into your lives and family traditions. I hope that you all have the Merriest of Christmases, the Happiest of Chanukkahs, a Grievance filled Festivus or any other thing you wish to have. The holidays are a time to stop and think about the things that are most important to you and for me that is my friends and family, so consider this Holiday Collage my gift to you, and please overlook the fact that since you sent these to me in the first place, I am essentailly regifting you all. Anyway, it’s the thought that counts, right.
With the snow coming down outside it looks like this will be a good night to curl up with some cocoa, turn the lights on the tree and relax with a great Christmas movie. Folks have been bugging me to do a top ten list, apparently all good blogs have top ten lists, so I figured this was as good a time as any, especially since when I made my list of favorite Christmas movies, there happened to be ten, so here are my top ten Christmas movies, in no particular order.
I am not a fan of television in general, I would rather go out and do something than watch other people doing things. However, I have found that my midday break which may or may not include a meal is an excellent time to decompress and go in for some mainstream entertainment. I used to fill this time watching documentaries trying to further my education and expand my horizons and all that. Then, we discovered Netflix.
I went off to college to study Pre-Law and Psychology and that went fairly well, until that fateful day when I noticed an audition call on the board at the Student Union. Although, I had done high-school drama, I had never considered myself an actor or artist, but a buddy talked me into going with him and I ended up getting the part. A couple of years later I found myself with several shows under my belt making a living in professional theatre as an actor and designer. A few years later and I was doing design work for big clients and making a living as an “artist”, still doing some acting, but mostly designing. Fast forward ten years, when my sister-in-law points out an item in the local paper that a new theatre group is having auditions for Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town”, and I suddenly realize I haven’t trod the boards in a very long time…
Two weeks later, I am on the poster and deep into rehearsals to play the part I have always loved, The Stage Manager.
Last December I had the honor of being chosen as the final interview of the year for the Cache-a-Maniacs podcast. We set things up and one night last November we talked for about an hour about my experiences geocaching. It was interesting to get to tell some of the stories first hand, but what was really great was the incredible response I got from it. I was truly amazed at how many people listened to the podcast and contacted me directly to comment on it. I have also been surprised to find that as we travel the country attending Geo-events, just how many people introduce themselves and compliment the interview. I have to give all the credit to DarrylW4 and Firefly03 who host the podcast, they did a great job of making me sound like I knew what I was talking about. So many thanks to them for the interview and for hosting this great podcast. Rather than having me type on and on about how much I enjoyed this, and how great it was, why not check it out yourself, and after you listen to me ramble, check out some of the other interviews, there is some great stuff in there.
For the last six years, Laura and I have hosted a “Haunted Hayride and Caching Cookout” on our farm, the first Saturday after Halloween. Themes have ranged from Pirates to the Wizard of Oz and most everything in between. For our fourth annual event we chose a Civil War themed mystery that we titled, McGuffin’s Bluff. Click to continue »