Let's work backwards.

Summer break. It's here and I don't know what in the world I was doing between February and now. I must have been doing something. All of a sudden they are filling the pool, the kids are home, I'm still going to work and the sky lights up with spring lightning and it's time to put the tomatoes in the ground. Our blackberry bushes are flowering, the irises are in bloom and the peonies came out in all their pinky passion yesterday. It's beautiful around here. I walk to the grocery store for dinner supplies, I send the kids on their bikes to find friends, Jon walks to work and is off carbs. Life is good.

The melodrama. There is a melodrama that happens every year. It started in the small town of Goehner, but moved seven years ago into the Playhouse in Seward. I was invited to join the cast this year and this week is dress rehearsal before opening weekend. It's pretty cool. I haven't been in a theatrical production since college. Thankfully, I'm just a singer. All the acting stuff I've left up to the real players and there are some great ones.

A new song. I wrote one on Friday and Saturday and recorded a rough draft of it on Sunday morning before church. It kinda fell out of the sky, it's not anything like any other song I have and I am in love with it. Songwriting is magic, it's exploration, it's finding something you didn't even know was there and it's allowing yourself to let go and see where you end up. It's like getting to summer break and wondering how you got there. I love the process. I really love performing and singing my songs, but the best part of this job is the writing. The sitting and the thinking and the strumming and the quiet and the discovery of songwriting never gets old. It's awesome.

You know who's really awesome? Tom Petty. That guy is for real. There is a documentary on Netflix about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and it is amazing. Why is it amazing? It's amazing because the show is about the work. It's about the albums, the songs and the creative process that wasn't ever compromised by the world of fame or crap. It was about artists seeking out other great artists, challenging themselves and never letting each other off the hook because they were famous enough to get away with crap. No. There's this great behind the scenes moment where the band is rehearsing for their induction into the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame and the keyboardist rips into the whole band yelling, "Play your (sorry) fucking guitars!!" That might be my favorite part of the movie. How great is it to see a band mate, 25 years into playing with a group of guys, and he's yelling at them because they're not bringing their best selves to the table. That shows the integrity of the work right there. The albums aren't happy accident after happy accident. Those albums are hard work and artistry. We need more of that, please. It was a huge inspiration. I'm so glad I clicked.

On the horizon I see a melodrama dress rehearsal, a band practice and a gig, a speech I have to write for a Memorial Day ceremony (I am the first woman to ever speak at this particular Memorial Day gathering), Vacation Bible School music and rehearsal and the day the pool finally opens. Peace. Go work real hard and make your world better because of it. Love, Hope

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