Which got me thinking about the best days of my life.
The births of children and grandchildren, weddings, Christmases, birthdays, the accomplishments of my children along the way, recitals, awards, honors, scholarships, jobs landed, all the good news days that gave me rushes of happiness straight to the heart. Add all the trips and parties and celebrations and good times with friends and family over the years. All the good days.
But if I had to choose the best and happiest year in my life I think I'd choose the school year of 1997-98.
That was the year when Maria was a high school senior, Claire was a sophmore, Tommy was in 7th grade and Theresa in 4th. And it was the year we had Judy, our 16-year-old Austrian exchange student.
There was the fun and initial delight of having a new addition to the family for whom everything was new and different, which made everything new and different for us as we re-experienced it through Judy's eyes.
There was the bittersweet prospect of Maria being our first child to graduate high school, the excitement of our first experience with college visits, college applications, the agony of waiting for the thin letter of rejection or the thick envelope of acceptance.
It was the year when I loved to go around saying, "I have four teen-agers and a 10-year-old", though it seemed I had the most opportunity to say it to the amazed check-out cashier at Kroger's, where I constantly was, stockpiling food for five kids, all of them in sports.
That was the year they loved me at Krogers.
So that year ours was a house full of people, activity, and food. And music.
Those were the days, when the common place quotidian things, day after day, gave me such a life-is-good feeling of well-being.
And those were also the days when, like a cherry on top of everything else, I was working on writing a musical.
My friend Elmer Cabotage ( a concert pianist and gifted composer about whom I blogged previously: see the post from February 13, 2014) and I decided to write a musical. Though we were writing a comedy we were serious about it; every morning he came to my house and we worked from 9 to noon, me on the words, he on the music. We worked on our musical, a western called "The Town of Hard Times", for a few years. We wrote a whole book and score. We even produced a sound track.
Though I still have a head full of dreams and a heart full of hope. Though not for my musical anymore. 8)