WInding Down July and Looking Ahead

So -- July is winding down.
Its been a very full month for me.

There has been the 2015 Capital Fringe and five performances of The Hello Girls,
my 79th birthday - which has not fully settled in yet, and the blasted heat that falls on Washington every July and August.

There have also been a few decisions to agonize over - like should I drive to Jonesborough or take a plane. I finally decided to drive. I will be there for a week and to settle in, work and be happy I want to have my laptop, ofcourse, and my printer too. For me, its always a good idea to set up a small office in the hotel room - keeps me feeling comfortably at home where-ever I am. Do you do that?
And - - just saying - - driving keeps me from changing planes in Atlanta on Labor Day week-end.

Trips are better for me if I take my toys with me. First the office supplies that I need to keep my business underway. Fortunately with laptops and iPads, files stored in Drop-box, and books on my Kindle, I don't have nearly as much to pack as I used to that's true, and it leaves space to put in my familiar quilt - - jus saying.

Astrology says that a "Cancer" is a home-body and I run true to that description but I also like to go places, meet people and see the world. So - toys help me go, go, go.

There is a lot of travel in store for me until December. September I have the week in Jonesborough telling five shows at the International Storytelling Center and then another drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to tell the Arlington Story in Bridgeville, DE which will be followed by a couple of days on a sister-trip to Staunton, VA with my sister, Kathy. We are staying at an intertesting B and B so that we can tour, the town see a Shakespeare play and re-visit the Woodrow Wilson home.

The Hello Girls story keeps my head focused a lot of the time on the WWI period. When Jim and I visited the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library we did not see the exhibit of WWI trenches ---
have you seen them? This is the discription on the website - "Immerse yourself in the new, state-of–the-art World War I trench exhibit complete with lights and sound to experience what life was like for soldiers as they engaged in battle. See authentic weapons and uniforms as you discover the unforgettable story of the doughboys." Don't want to miss that.

In October I will be telling The Hello Girls at the National World War One Museum and Memorial -
makes sense to me to see the trenches in Staunton - and then see more and more about "the Great War" when I get to the museum.

Late October I will be in Anderson, SC telling The Hello Girls at the Starburst Storytelling Festival along with four Flesh on Old Bones Workshops - all good to me.

November 13 The Hello Girls and I will be in Hagerstown, MD for the Maryland State BPW Meeting.

Then I go to California to visit with my daughter Robin and I suspect we will use some of that time to do more of the sleuthing about a group of the first Hello Girls that  we started last August.

I love this kind of research - its the Putting Flesh back on Old Bones and making stories as we go along. What's not to love?????


A Gardinia and a Bit of WWI History.

Two surprises today.

The first is this  - -

The bud which had a tightly closed fist, ot showing any petals, for a few weeks, has bloomed.  Lovely soft white petals and a pungent sweet fragrance that brings back many memories.
But more - this feels like a hug from Jim - a gift for the mid-run performance tonight of The Hello Girls. A hug I have needed.

And the second -

received this selfie from my son Jim this morning. In Paris for a few days on business he took took the time to find the Hotel Petrograd on Rue des Naples - the YWCA hotel where the Hello Girls stayed on their first nights in France.

Tired they fell deeply asleep and were rudely awakened several hours later by the screaming air raid sirens. They spent the rest of the night in the air raid shelter in the basement. Next morning they saw a pile of rubble across the street which had been a building when they walked into their hotel.

The bombed building across the street was rebuilt in 1926.

Today when I tell The Hello Girls at the Capital Fringe I know have a real-time image of that time and place during WWI.

Thank you, Jimmy.

I am so grateful for these and all the other blessing in my life.


Keeping Busy

Is it really almost a month since I have written on this blog? Well, yes!

My apologies to anyone who has stopped by and found no one at home.

There was a time, only a year ago, when I was unsettled if I missed a day.
Its not that I don't have anything to say - its that I don't have anything to share. Does that happen sometimes in your own life? I am so focused on the Capital Fringe where I am performing The Hello Girls that think about anything but that .... and Jim.

Jim is rarely off my mind. I miss him and wish he was here!

I know he would love the Hello Girls story. I often want to turn and talk to him about it - - which then shakes me back to the real world. Jim is not here and what's more - he has never heard this story. Drat! Drat! Drat!

When grief washes me with tears and sets memories flowing it can be a good thing - and sometimes not  - - because it becomes a knife that cuts right through me.

I wish I were a writer like Anne Lamott who takes off on a topic, weaves in bits, and finishes up with insights that inspire and stay with her readers.

All right. All right. My life has a hole in it right now - but I also have so much to be grateful for.

My family: I am grateful they take time out of their busy lives to support me and my storytelling. Jim knew that I would need something when he died. The last five years before he died he was my other right hand to support the storytelling so that I would have something sure to build on after he left.

He was right  - - - storytelling. Believe me I know how lucky I am.

People often tease me about or jibe me a bit about being "too busy." Maybe I am. Its been my way as long as I can remember. Today "being busy" is my survival.

I have a show tomorrow evening - the 3rd of five in the run for the Hello Girls in the 2015 Capital Fringe. Today I am rehearsing with a video my son made last week and it is a tremendous help.

When something like the Fringe comes along my family steps up beside me. They are all excellent coaches. My daughter Robin lends her marketing advice, talent with words and social media to get the word out about the show. Daughter Karen works the shows, shares ideas about the story and continues to listen hours and hours. Jimmy listens and has feed-back for performances and run throughs. All that along with the support and advice from my sister Kathy who is close by even though she lives miles away. I call myself a solo-preneur - but I am not alone.

When a friend came to the show last week-end - she called us "Team Schoettler." I know Jim is somewhere loving that.

Ok, here you have it.  This is where I am and what I am doing.

"Keeping Busy!" 

I thank God for these gifts in my life!!!