I took a short vacation back to the land of the Mitten, back in August.
I wanted to see my Father; and since he had decided to spend a month in the cabin in the woods, I decided to join him; by way of a short visit to my younger Brother in MQT, and afterwards a visit to my older Brother near the old homestead.
Visiting family is like finally getting a deep, cleansing breath. Longed for in the pre-; lovlingly thought of in the post-.
I love the long drive; I always have. You can stop along the way at some of the old haunts. You can buy some pasties on the Mac; you can buy some fudge and some delicious chicken in Frankenmuth; you can even stop in one of those little towns along HWY 2 and buy some exquisite smoked whitefish, and top it off with one of those planet sized sweet rolls from The Hilltop in L'anse.
And that was just the Upper Peninsula.
It was so calming to spend some time at the cabin at the end of the road; yes, the ghosts still speak, and in some cases sing, along the road....and the river is still the best lullaby on the planet. The days are warm and the nights are cool.....and the tinny, static-backed broadcast of the Tiger games were a joy to listen to.....and there was a very nice tavern in Gladwin that served a great burger and had several televisions so that the Bengal Boys could show off.
At home, I had several opportunities to see old friends...some that I had not laid eyes on in multiple decades. Stories were told, smiles were shared and the heart that went pitter pat back in the days of Jimmy Carter went pitter pat again. Unapologetically.
And there was cake.
Someday, I will spend a month at the end of the road; and someday, I will get a chance to spend a bit more time with some folks in the UP, so I can tells them that my life was shaped by them; that I am who I am because they let me be a part of their lives for awhile. That I learned more about what life was about in those short years by the Great Lake that I did after I left to seek my slim fortune.
I want to buy the drinks again. Because the first time I did it was tremendous fun.
So, here I am...back in the Capitol City of the Northern State.
I'm doing a play.
Right after I got back from the trip, I went to an audition. Good, farcical play. Reminiscent of those great shows at the late, lamented Golden Eagle on the banks of the Mississippi. Four actors; many different characters. Lots of room to play and making the most of it so far.
Some issues. Some of you know what I mean; the kind of issues that make an overly experienced and equally overprotective individual to paint his face and pick up his Claymore and scream about FREEEEEDOM!
Habits die hard. I am comfortable in a rehearsal or a performance, on a stage or in a rehearsal room. I can deal with pretty much anything that has ever been thrown at me, with various stages of frustration and creativity. And if it ever gets too bad, I can always walk, but ALWAYS as a last resort. And I insist, ABSOLUTELY INSIST up respect for everybody in the cast, regardless of their personality or level of experience, and I will PROTECT them.
Especially when they allow for the suddeness of my creative insanity; the indulge my taste in comic bits; they laugh at my Popeye-like asides; and they take what I give and use it and give back and they make me work harder, and think quicker and be better. And hopefully I do the same for them.
It opens in October. Come see it.
I've been lead to believe there will be cake.