Now that Labor Day is here and summer will unofficially be over, it brings back memories of getting ready for school. In order to be prepared for my first day of a new school year I had the pleasure of driving with my parents to Donald’s on Payne Avenue, a store of legendary proportions on St. Paul’s Eastside. There I would look at the frilly dresses on the first floor, only to be ushered upstairs to a serious and diligent salesperson with a measuring tape. Every couple years I grew enough to update my school wardrobe, which consisted of this:
I didn’t wear plaid for three decades after I left St. Pat’s.
Just like my school days, autumn is still a time to jump back into the swing of things. September is already busy with book signings/performances, installing and learning my new composition software I was able to purchase from the East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) grant I received, and submitting a proposal for a new stage production I have already begun to write and compose.
I look back over the last year and a lot of good things have happened both personally and professionally. I’ve reconnected with creative artists such as my college friends, David Melbye and John Helgen, made new connections with Lyric Arts as part of their creative staff, and my family has officially grown to include a new sister-in-law and grandson. I have been blessed many times over.
I’ve also lost a few people with whom I was very close, much too early in their lives. Those situations sobers up a person. A long life isn’t a guarantee for anyone. Keeping that in mind propels me forward to action. I used to waver on whether my choices were right or wrong. I don’t anymore, because even if I’m not sure I’m choosing the best path for my career, it’s better than doing nothing at all. You can’t sit on the fence for too long, otherwise all you have to show for it is an uncomfortable behind. And somehow, this world opens up the right opportunities. With every “no” I may hear, a “yes” always seems to come along.
Summer has been great and refreshing for me, but now it’s back to business. Back to business, however, doesn’t mean dullness and drudgery. I’m grateful that I’m able to do what I love doing, and I never take it for granted. Also, my “back-to-school” wear no longer includes a plaid uniform. Now, I enthusiastically open my closet doors and apparel, shoes, and accessories from every side of the spectrum scream, “Wear me today!”
Will it be contrasting patterns? Bright, vibrant colors? Or my patented leopard wear? Next time I invite you to an event, come see for yourself.
I also invite you to watch this clip of some remarkable fashionistas. I aspire to join their resplendent sorority.