Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Year Day...

I just can't let this day go by without telling my mom's story. Four years ago she called me and told me she was going to ask Dick to marry her on Leap Year Day.

"Mom," I said, "you don't have to get married, and what if he says no?"

She promptly answered that she didn't want to get coal in her stocking any longer and at her age she didn't want to wait another four years.

Who was I to stop her? She said she loved him. And, yes, she did ask him to marry her on Leap Year Day. He said yes. They were married the following New Year's Eve in England where she lives with him.

And, yes, they are living happily ever after.

P.S. My mom has more nerve than I ever had, although I did want to do it too!!

Here she is on her wedding day.

Cheers to my gutsy mom and her sweet husband.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

For some jobs, 11-year-olds fit the bill

For some jobs, 11-year-olds fit the bill: Night after night the light is on in my neighbor’s studio. Sometimes he is practicing his banjo or researching new recipes for his daughters, but this winter he is producing a coloring/activity book for children.

Jonah and Braeton with their edited copies!

Here is the link to this week's column. It is a fun story about my neighbor, Lee, and his new book and his two favorite editors. Enjoy it and thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

It's all in a winter's day...

My purple house after the storm.

It was a lovely, unexpected gift of snow that kept everyone inside with soup and homemade bread and games on the kitchen tables.

I love a good snowstorm, and we have not had too many this year so finally one came our way. I think it is the silence I love the most. When I went out walking last night, there was just silence...nothing more.

Walking through a storm is like getting lost in your own thoughts, and there aren't even enough words in the English language to speak of those thoughts.

It certainly made me think of this song by Simon and Garfunkel. We all know it so enjoy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Welcome back the Brokaw Theatre to my town!!

Following a two-year renovation project, the Brokaw Theatre will once again be open. We, the folks in my town, are forever indebted to the work of the Scott and Melissa Glaze. I have included their announcement along with a piece I wrote a while back for a show!! Enjoy and see you at the movies!!

Saturday evening my theatre company presented a new and original piece, A Look Back at Angola through Radio, 1932. My friend and theatre colleague Erin White and I researched and wrote the piece. We spent hours at the Carnegie Library here in Angola going back in time and finding all the great information from 1932. We found a whiskey raid, a lost cat, a bridge party at Pokagon, the opening of the Brokaw Theatre. My Dad told me that theatres stayed open all day on Saturday so that folks could just go to the theatre and not put the heat into their homes on Saturday. The Brokaw did just that on Saturdays from 2 until after midnight. We advertised men's overhauls for 59 cents and boys for 39 cents.

By Saturday evening we had costumes of the 30's direct from my collection of Goodwill Theatre clothes. We had a wonderful time as did the crowd. It was good to help with the United Way fund raiser. 

We ended with a late night cast party here at White Picket Gardens. No one really wanted to leave after such a successful evening. Finally the last car pulled away. I just let the champagne glasses and dishes wait until morning. I love putting a good show to rest!!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Favorite childhood books stir the memories...

Favorite childhood books stir the memories: The classroom fills up with my creative writing students. They carry heavy bags of books, bottles of water and other treasures they cannot leave home without. They also carry their favorite childhood book as per their assignment. Mine is already on my desk along with all the day’s notes and plans.

Here is the link to this week's column. Just click on the above link, and as always, enjoy
and thank you for reading!!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Some nights are made for singing....

"What do you do in your small town...?" is a question I do get quite often. The truth is I could fill my calendar with something every night of the week, and I usually do! I have a particular group of friends (there are ten regulars) who follow each other around. We have potlucks, read Hamlet and follow music around at the local pubs.

Last night was a perfect example of how to while away a winter evening. We all gathered at Six Autumns for burgers and beer and music, of course.

The musicians were not of a particular band, but a group of friends who gather twice a month to share music and songs. We (the audience) sang with them for hours. I was asked a couple of times to join the musicians and who knows, maybe next time I will take my seat with the group.

We laughed, sang, danced, clapped and didn't leave until the last song was sung. It was the perfect way to end a late winter's day. When we left the stars hung low in northern Indiana and you could literally hear the snow melting.

Yes, a good time was had by all, enough so that when we meet today we can was a good night.

See you Six Autumns in a couple of weeks!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Pokagon Area Folk Music Collective: Get Together (Jon Getz' Birthday Party)

Pokagon Area Folk Music Collective: Get Together (Jon Getz' Birthday Party): Jon Getz’ February 58 th birthday party was SO COOL, and while Jon is a LaGrange County celebrity and legend of sorts, his party and f...

This wonderful blog was written by my friend and writer, Stephen Rowe. There are lots
of great photos to also enjoy. And, yes, I am involved in the music here playing
my ukulele. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

With a call for letters arrives a mystery...

The mystery on my kitchen table.

With a call for letters arrives a mystery: “What will I find in my mailbox today?” I wonder as I wake up on this day before Valentine’s Day.

Here is the link to this week's column. It is an very interesting mystery and perhaps you might have some answers for me!  Just click on the link and enjoy, and oh yes, a very Happy Valentine's Day to you!!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Burns Night is a wrap...

We have had very little winter here in the Midwest, but our Burns Night was complete with howling winds, bitter temperatures, and swirling snow.

That did not stop the show, of course! I was a little worried about our piper, Mark, as he was traveling through some very rural areas to get to us, but alas, alas, he was there on time.

Our audience was scarce but we had the best time! The students were professional, the pipes were outstanding, and we all went home with a very happy heart.

I did try to take Mark out for a late dinner, but everything was closed because of the weather! 

Indeed it was was I call an Irish Ceilidh. Sometimes a ceilidh hosts just a few folks, and sometimes many, but always it is music, story and poetry. Even with just a few voices in the night, it is good enough so that when we meet in the morning we can declare it had been a good night.

Aye, it twas a good night.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

And then there was quiet...

This is a photo of my street!

Last night when I left the theatre I felt as if I had walked into another room. I opened the door of Taylor Hall to the quietness of winter. This quiet has been missing this winter as it has been so mild. The snow fell as if it had been shaken out of a tree. 

I loved making new footprints as I walked to my car. I didn't follow the sidewalk as it wasn't even visible. My black coat was covered with snow as was my hair. It was such a glorious feeling. I said out loud, "This is why I live here. This beauty is magical."

As I was thinking back on last night I could only think of Dylan Thomas and his story, "A Child's Christmas in Wales." The entire version is available on youtube here:

I know it is a Christmas tale, but oh how lovely for this February.
Below please find an excerpt from his writing.

Rick Bass says to enjoy the winter, all of it, or it will get the best of you. Happy lovely winter day!

"But that was not the same snow," I say. "Our snow was not only shaken from white wash buckets down the sky, it came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely -ivied the walls and settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunder-storm of white, torn Christmas cards."

Dylan Thomas

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Burns Night!

There is something magical about theater. The magic is in the rehearsing and then the show. Tonight in Taylor Hall my speech students will be sharing Burns' poetry. Along with the poetry will be Mark Gropp, bagpiper extraordinaire!

The show starts at 7:00, but come early to get a good seat. What better way to spend a cold winter's night? Bring your date or your kids or your grannie...everyone will love the evening.

Come fill up our theater's empty seats!! See you tonight!

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Let’s think about our hearts every month...

My sister, Jessie, had a heart attack in September. She called me from the hospital and told me nonchalantly, as if she were at the movies or the mall. At first it didn’t register with me. She said it again, “I’m in the hospital. I just had a heart attack.”

Here is the link to this week's column. Just click on the top headline. I wrote about February and heart health month. This column is for all of you ladies out there. Enjoy, and as always, thank you for reading. Now go get those hearts healthy!!

Lou Ann

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

My luv is like a red, red rose...

On Wednesday evening, February 10th, my students will once again take to the stage reading the poems of Robert Burns. I love this evening watching my students share these poems.

Again this year the works of Burns will be paired with the lovely tunes of my piper friend, Mark Gropp. Mark and I met years and years ago and we have a great working arrangement. We also have a standing joke that if I die first he will play the pipes at my wake; and if he dies first, I will tell stories at his!

Please join us on Wednesday evening at 7:00 in Wells Theatre on the Trine University campus. It will make a great Valentine's Day date with no expense except perhaps purchasing a red rose for her hair!

Here I am with Mark after last year's performance!

Farewell, November!

  Elizabeth Coatsworth once wrote, “November comes, and November goes with the last red berries and the first white snows…” We are certainly...