Are you all getting ready for Christmas? For some reason it doesn't feel like Christmas yet. Perhaps it is because we really haven't had any real cold weather. I mean when it is in the 70s on the 2nd of December, you just don't feel much like Christmas. At least I don't. I want cold! I want snow, not just a little dusting, but a real snow fall. I want to go sledding, build a snowman, take a tramp through the snow with my two best friends one more time before one of them gets married. I want to curl up with a hot drink, a blanket over my lap and watch the snow falling outside while I listen to Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." I've read two Christmas books, but they didn't put me in the Christmas mood. Probably because we had the windows open when I read one.
I haven't had much time for writing in the evenings though I did manage to get a little bit written. A little on TCR and a little on yet another Christmas story. Here are my evenings.
Last Friday my sister and I babysat 11 children ages 7 and under.
Saturday I wrote some.
Sunday we watched a Christmas movie and then I read a little while.
Monday I read.
Tuesday we watched a Christmas movie, then I wrote.
Wednesday S and I babysat Pickle Puss, Goofball, Funny Boy and Doodle Bug.
Last night Grandpa and I went to a Christmas concert. Well, as he put it, "a quirky concert." It was a string quartette and they jazzed up every song they played. Not my type.
Tonight we celebrate my Dad's birthday with J & M coming over with the kids and eating pizza and playing Kansas City Dominoes. (If you've never played Kansas City Dominoes, you're missing out.)
Not sure about tomorrow evening since we're babysitting during the day for some friends.
This week I did make a Moravian Star. It was such fun and quite easy, so I think I'll make some other ones. :) If you want to make one, just go here for the instructions.
And now the next part of your Christmas story.
A Christmas Disaster
Last time . . .Placing his shoes side by side with the toes lined up on a certain mark on the floor and shoes laces tucked inside like he always did, Bennett frowned. “Well, what if Dilly decides to panic and tries to knock the town houses down?”
“She won’t if you are with her. Why all these questions? You’re not worrying about the play are you?”
Bennett didn’t answer until he had climbed into bed and pulled the covers up under his chin. “Nope. Just wanting to be prepared for anything.”
As Derek snapped off the light, he couldn’t help laughing. Between Bennett with his orderly routines, always wanting to know what was going to happen or could happen so he could plan ahead, and Mia with her new, often strange, ideas popping up every time you turned around, life was never dull. But as he crawled between his own sheets and pulled the blankets up over his shoulders he wondered, “What am I like? Could I come up with any great ideas? All I can think of are the logical things. What would we do if something happened to ruin the play? But besides power outage, I can’t think of anything that could happen? Not unless the lead actors all got sick and so did their substitutes. But that’s improbable.” With that he yawned, pulled the covers almost over his head and fell asleep.
Practice the following day went well. The last scenes were gone over and polished. Mr. Sheets nodded and smiled.
Mr. Simcox had opened the windows some thereby causing most people to want their coats on. “You know, don’t you,” he had told the actors, “that when we do the play for an audience, and even when we practice with the orchestra tomorrow, the windows must remain shut.”
“I guess we’ll just have to get used to roasting,” Alex said.
“Or boiling,” Bennett added. “I’m sweating so much I’ll probably simmer for a while.”
The others on stage laughed.
On Friday the entire production had a run through with cast, lights and orchestra. It went better than anyone expected and after twice running through it, Mr. Sheets and Mr. Hocker conferred with Mr. Simcox, Mrs. Hocker and Mrs. Brown. There was much whispering among the actors, stage hands and musicians. They could tell something was up.
At last Mr. Sheets shouted, “All hands on stage!”
The students all knew that cry and hurried from their various positions to join the cast on the stage in the main street of their pretend western town.
“All right.” Mr. Sheets snorted. “I know some of you can act, but what I don’t know is if you all can sing.”
Glances were exchanged among the students. Sing? What was their drama teacher talking about?
“Yes, I said sing,” he went on. “Those of you who like to hide behind curtains and do your work in the dark are going to have to come forth and be seen. Every one of you. Hear? It’s been decided that after the last curtain call, the curtains will open once more and everyone who is not in the orchestra will come out on stage for one grand finale finish.” He turned to the conductor. “Mr. Hocker, it’s all yours now.”
Mr. Hocker didn’t bellow or shout to be heard because the entire theater was so quiet that Uno’s whine back stage in her box could be heard. “Once everyone is on stage, we will treat the audience to a song of farewell. We will sing ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas.’ You all know it, but Mrs. Hocker has re-written some of the words. They aren’t hard, and I expect you all to have them memorized for tomorrow’s practice. Sing parts, those of you who can, and—” he glanced around. “Did I cover everything?”
“One more thing,” Mr. Sheets said. “Derek, when the last verse is almost over, you slip out and shut the curtains at the end of the song. And whatever happens, don’t open them again!”
A general laugh sounded, for only last year, the crowd had figured out that if they began applauding and cheering after the curtain closed, it would be opened again and the cast had to take another bow. One night the crowd wanted to see how many times they could make the cast bow, for they kept on applauding and cheering until the curtain had been opened twenty times, and Mr. Sheets had hustled backstage to made sure they stayed shut.
“So, Mia,” Bennett asked as the three siblings drove home in the car, “who has the puppies?”
Mia laughed. “There were so many kids who wanted them that I’m not sure there’ll be enough nights. Let’s see, Chloe has Dos, Megan took Uno and Joe has Tres. I don’t know who will have them tomorrow night.”
Saturday was a busy day for the Marley children. Not only did they have their usual Saturday chores to do, but they also had a long afternoon of practice. That day Mr. Sheets wasn’t satisfied with rehearsal. “No, no, no!” he bellowed for the twentieth time. “This is not a comedy! And why aren’t you background people pretending to talk? You aren’t statues. No, Alex! You must wait for the music before you come in with the gifts!” And so it went for five long hours. At last, after going twice through the entire play, Mr. Sheets turned to the other teachers and shrugged.
“I wouldn’t worry too much, Mr. Sheets,” Mrs. Brown said. “In all my years of acting and teaching I’ve noticed that the last or next to last rehearsals always seem terrible, but the play turns out just fine.”
“All right!” Mr. Simcox called, “Last curtain call!”
Everyone gathered on stage and the next fifteen minutes were spent going over the song for the end. Mr. Hocker was easier to please and at last they were all dismissed.
“Whew!” Derek sighed. “There’s no way I want to be an actor now! It’s hard enough running backstage.”
Bennett grinned. “Well, we were a mess today.” He sobered. “I sure hope Monday’s practice goes better. If not, the play is likely to be the worst ever instead of the best.”
“You know if won’t be the worst ever,” Mia said confidently. “It can’t be.”
Will you be back?
Do you think you know what happens?