Last week was Mama week. Since the past two visits with her have been short, I stayed from Tuesday until Friday and did just about anything she wanted to do. And gained five pounds. She had been going stir-crazy, so we went for another ride. Hamburgers at one stop, cookies at another, pie at the third. When am I going to learn to just ask for carrot sticks and celery?
Oh, wait. I know the answer to that: When I develop a serious case of masochism.
I mean, really–who can watch someone indulging lavishly in chocolate meringue pie and be satisfied with carrots? Not me. So, I’m five pounds heavier. So, I started yet another diet. So what? Ya wanna make somethin’ of it???
We had a great time, though. Eating out, chatting like girlfriends. Watching fantasy movies on the Family Channel.
Hubby was already at work by the time I got home on Friday, so I had the afternoon and evening to myself. I can’t even tell you what I did with it. Probably checked my e-mail and goofed off on the internet. That’s my habit.
Saturday morning, MSB and I were up at 4:30 and hitting the bricks of downtown Nac for the annual Blueberry Festival. The photo to the left shows the line for the blueberry pancakes served every year, but we weren’t there for that (and after pigging out all last week, maybe that’s a good thing). MSB and I are members of the Red Shirts of Calvary Baptist Church, which is a service organization associated with Servolution. Our mission of the day: Hand out ice cold water to festival attendees. And considering the temps have been close to 100 around here, the water barely had a chance to get cold before we were handing it out.
We had a great time. Our crew started at 5:30, set up the canopy, and iced the water in a couple of horse troughs. Since it was slow, some friends and I wandered around to see if we could help others set up their booths. We met some wonderful people. Even though everyone was serious about their business, they were also full of the festival spirit. Seeing the products they had to offer made me sorry MSB and I only had twenty dollars between us.
The twenty was reserved for lunch since we didn’t get to have the pancake breakfast. After our shift was over, we trekked the streets looking for the best deal for our money. There was a man who made root beer out of the sassafras he grew himself, and I just had to have some. Four bucks for what amounted to a cup and a half, but let me tell ya—Yum-O! MSB and I landed at a taco stand where he got a burrito “supreme” and a soda, and I got three tacos, which turned out to be the better deal. All that was twelve dollars. Fortunately, there was a group giving away ice cream, so that served as dessert.
By the time we left the festival, it was 11:00, overwhelmingly hot, and getting more crowded by the minute. Folks, I don’t do heat. Zero tolerance. That’s why the Red Shirts agreed to let us have such an early shift. When we got home twenty minutes later and settled in for a nap, I didn’t wake up again until almost 5:00. I fixed a quick supper, watched some of the NCAA College World Series, and went right back to bed at 8:30.
Here’s a little known fact about me: I have a hernia that presses against my diaphragm. Skip all the medical implications: What it means is that I can’t always hold a note for its full count, and sometimes I can’t even hit the notes without my voice cracking up. If I don’t eat before I sing, I’m as good as gold; but even by Sunday, I was still feeling the effects of spending the week with Mom compounded by eating festival food the day before.
All afternoon, I practiced and practiced, trying to pitch the song, “I’ll Fly Away,” high enough that I could hit the low notes without my voice cracking. Just before church, though, I managed to sing it in my usual range and felt immediately relieved that I would be able to perform without problem.
Giggle! How naive!
I stepped up to the dais with confidence, started my song–going strong, going good! Then it was time to hit the low notes.
I cackled like a wicked witch.
That wasn’t my first time before a crowd. I had soloed for years in other churches and organizations. I’m nothing if not pseudo-professional, so I just kept singing. Then my earring fell off (Yes. Little known fact about me #2: I wear clip-ons. I’ll explain why someday, but meantime, blame my mom). The wide gold loop dropped onto the stage and rolled down the stairs. And I just kept on singing.
Then the microphone cut off. Don’t ask me why or how. I swear I didn’t hit the button. But all of a sudden, I’m singing to myself.
I threw my arms wide–mike in one hand, a flourish with the other–and belted out the finale. It was great.
One thing about the evening service at our church. Most of the folks are considerably older and amazingly forgiving. They gave me hugs and told me I did a wonderful job. I just blushed and giggled. We all knew better.