The last event we went to before the world shut down was Courtyard Theatre’s production of Bright Star. It was a beautiful story of redemption, and I wound up going to all three showings. My then-senior was the lighting designer, and he and his class were sad to be doing their last performance together and excited by the thought of their next endeavors.Then the world shut down, and everything stopped, leaving our Class of 2020 unable to take ACTs, visit colleges, finish their classes in person, or celebrate their accomplishments with hundreds of friends and relatives. Their normal was stolen.
But this past weekend, Courtyard returned to the theater, in a musical called Curtains. Some of my students were in the cast, and my now-college son helped train a new lighting team. I was thrilled to see all of them display the skills hinted at in the classroom. Mostly, I was thrilled to be doing something normal. Well, it wasn’t completely normal. The audience was distanced by more than six feet between family groups, and masks were absolutely required. No congregating was allowed in the aisles or lobby. But our community was gathered for the purpose of enjoying a story and some music together. The kids and their directors killed it, and Curtains was hilarious. But mostly, it was a taste of the future, when the world recovers and the theater thrives again. I needed a taste of normal.
Speaking of things to come, this bush that lost its leaves months ago has new buds. Oklahoma is swathed in ice this week, but once it warms up, we may be free from freezing temperatures until late November. Spring will come quickly, bringing thunderstorms, flowers, and windy warmth, and we’ll all be tempted to plant annuals before Easter. The promise of Newness is good for my soul.
However, this very cold week, I’m breaking my step streak. I’m not equipped for walking in slick streets, freezing temperatures, and colder windchills. My wardrobe doesn’t accommodate that, and it’s so rare here that it doesn’t make sense to buy appropriate gear. I’ll try to get some exercise inside, and I’ll get back to the habit of walking when it warms up.
This week in the kitchen
I like recipes from both HalfBakedHarvest and A Spicy Perspective. A few weeks ago, I made this Chopped Steak with Mushroom Gravy and mashed potatoes for my men, and this weekend I used the same meat mixture to make stuffed peppers for the Super Bowl. The meal of the week was a super-sized version of this Sheet Pan Salmon. The men loved it, and the picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s what I snapped while the boys were running down the stairs to dinner.
This week in the library
I didn’t read all of each of these books this week. I read FROM all of them. I finished one (noted below). *
- Madeleine L’Engle’s A Circle of Quiet (beautiful; I’m savoring it, but I’ll finish this month and move to the next volume of her journals.)
- Francis Schaeffer’s The God Who is There (reviews the history of Western Civ and philosophy)
- Vishal Mangalwadi’s The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization (such an intriguing work. Completely worth the time and maybe free from Audible?)
- Kristan Hannah’s The Four Winds (a new novel about the dustbowl sounds good to me.)
- Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has been making it into our pastor’s sermons this month. (Almost finished)
- Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace (via audio, but I have a pretty copy, and I’m on page 162)
- Schweikart & Dougherty’s A Patriot’s History of the Modern World, volume 1
*All links are Amazon affiliate links.