Sunday, September 02, 2018

Home, sweet home.

House at White Picket Gardens!

The Jeep is packed. I say my goodbyes to my Fringe friends. It has been such a lovely experience for me…meeting old and new folks…but now we say farewell and head on out to cars or airports or even trains.

This day is lovely even though it is hot, and the thought of going home is always joyous for me. I take the Hamilton exit just to drive through cornfields and the late August sun still pushing the plants to grow.

Home looms and the task of unpacking is a bit daunting. Everywhere has a place, but the studio takes the brunt of the “stuff.” I stack the Mary Shelley props and scripts in a corner, but easily reachable for the next shows coming up for me.

Traveling and working out of town is such fun for me, but re-entering my life at the White Picket Gardens takes a bit of time. I need an activity, I say to myself. I cannot just sit here waiting for the re-entry process. I call Carolyn to see if she wants to go out to Powers Church with me to hear the Little River Sweet Adeline Chorus sing. Even though it is also her night off, she is game. I love that about Carolyn.

I also invite my new international student, Kumiko Kim to join us. Kimiko is from South Korea and is an English student at Trine. She is different from my other students. Kimiko is older, married, and an opera star in South Korea. I know she will be interested this music program and she quickly says “yes” so the evening will happen.

We pick up Carolyn and meander on the back roads over to the Powers Church. The image of the church against the twilight sky is breathtaking. I do not know what Kimiko is thinking, but I love this. We park in the grass and head on up to the church. Marcia Powers is at the door greeting everyone with a program and an old-fashioned fan because of the heat. We gratefully take one of each and take our seats in the front row. The church is packed, and the only air moving belongs to the multitude of fans stirring the hot air. I smile thinking about my grandmother Luella. When I went to church with her in the heat of the summer, we always had these fans. She would be very happy I was attending this program!

There is prayer and a short message before the Sweet Adelines take the stage, or should I say take most of the front of the church. The women are stunning in turquoise, and sing their hearts out without the benefit of their fans!
The program varies from gospel to patriotic, and I find myself crying. I whisper to Carolyn, “I feel as if I am attending our own memorial service for John McCain. I just cannot help but think of him while listening to these songs.
Time stands still for a while as we sit in this wonderful old church built in 1876. How many weddings, funerals, revivals have been held here over the many years?

The program is over much too fast. Folks pile out of the church to head over to the ice cream social. We take our time taking photos, greeting folks before we head out to the prairie to take Carolyn home. We pop in to watch the sunset from the deck. Elten delivers cold white summer wine as we watch the beauty on their own prairie. 

Kumiko loves the view and meeting new friends. She quickly puts Elten and Carolyn into her phone contact list. We all sit and chat a while about the Fringe and Frankenfest and life in general.

The full moon guides us back home well after dark. I do not go inside, no, not quite yet. I sit in the garden and watch the shadows in the garden deepen with the moon. It is good to be home. So much to do…so many folks to see.
And should I want to visit Powers Church again (and I do!), a Christmas program will finish out their year of programming on November 25 at 3:00. As Marcia pointed out, we will not need our fans on that day.

I am not sure what Kumiko thinks of all of this, but I do know it is just the beginning of adventures for a South Korean girl visiting Angola, Indiana.
As for me, I am home.

First published on September 1st in KPC Media.