Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hello. Chirping birds, popping dandelions and backhoes...a view from the kitchen table.

Last Saturday, we made a trip to the Evelyn Larson Theater, a small, midtown storefront-turned-theater operated by Shot in the Dark Productions. The evening began with a tasty stuffed chicken dinner, a bottle of Merlot, which we brought with us, and a view of the locals wandering on the city sidewalk. As we licked up the last drop of Merlot, the director signaled for everyone to enter the black box. In the darkness of the small, musty room, I was taken away from Sioux City. It had a feel unlike anything I've experienced in town. The play is a Frank McGuinness piece called "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me." The entire production takes place on a one set stage, a Lebanese prison cell. It is a study of an Englishman, an Irishman and an American, chained to a prison wall by radical Arab captors. I was surprised at the talent of these actors. They did a fine job with the heavy dialogue and the range of emotions they portrayed.

It's cool that some local folks are practicing their love of theater and producing a show like this. I'm all for it! I have been trying to enlighten the fine citizens of this cowtown for over a decade, so I know the struggles they face. I'm convinced that you have to find a way to satisfy your dream without draining the wallet. Unfortunately I've drained the wallet more than once trying to realize the dream. But, I say continue trying my friends. Seeing a room full of people... or just a handful of people with joy on their faces is worth it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hello. A view from the kitchen...sunflowers leaning towards sunlight, even though they're fake, greening grass and a clean house.

We moved into this house over 10 years ago. The lots behind us have been big empty fields of weeds and occasionally alfalfa. It's nice having the open spaces. The end is near however. Big machines started digging a hole directly behind our property last week. The hole has turned into large piles of dirt. I have to share my father-in-laws perspective..."Well, it might be better than a field of weeds." Time will tell. I'd rather have the most obnoxious weeds known to man in the lot to the west of me instead of the neighbor I have.

Neighborhoods aren't like they were when I was young. The neighborhood I grew up in was a close knit "family". The parents kept an eye on all of the neighborhood kids. Sometimes that was annoying as a kid with a "creative" mind. All of the kids did everything together. You tried to find your "gal" amongst the neighbor-girls. It was like a bonanza when the elderly couple living next to my parents moved out and a young family with 3 fairly "HOT" daughters moved in. They also had 2 brothers which helped fill the roster on the neighborhood ball team.

Times were good in the 60's and 70's. At the time we didn't realize how good we had it. I hope my grandbabies will be able to experience childhood with the innocence and peace that I remember.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Hello. A view from the kitchen...floating snowflakes, greening grass and a cat sleeping on a vent.

I'm stimulated! As I sat at the round table this week, I was treated to another religious conversation. Yeah, the usual suspects were there, the atheist, the conservative catholic and a new contestant, the redneck loudmouth cath-aholic. It was great! A central point became, "What is faith?" Is faith and belief the same? Well according to Webster, faith means, "something that is believed especially with strong conviction; belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion; firm belief in something for which there is no proof". So, I guess faith is belief. If we believe something, we have faith in it. My mind is not ready for that this morning.

The atheist likes to hang his hat on the fact that faith is believing in something you can't prove. "How can you believe in something you can't prove?" Boy, that narrows down what we can believe in! The redneck says that his faith has allowed him to, "dig ditches, write estimates, do plumbing...blah, blah, blah,...take care of my family, I don't need nothing from those, f***ers!" HUH! What does that have to do with faith? Another of his arguments was "Dogs don't know they're gonna die." Me thinks this guy has been in the well a little too long.

If we don't have faith what do we have? I have struggled with this question many times and I've always come up empty...hmmm, empty? If believing with strong conviction is faith, I think most of us have faith in something or someone. I feel sorry for those who don't have something they believe in with conviction. What meaning would your life have?