The Sound of Music

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I have gotten used to the additional laundry and grocery expenses which result when my oldest OS is home from West Point. We will enjoy his company for three weeks and then he’ll be back to join the Long Gray Line.

In addition to Nate being home, my 89 year old grandma came for a visit. She wanted to see our family and my sister is going to have her third child (a long awaited GIRL!) in September. Grandma is a real kick in the pants and doesn’t let much get in her way. Not a bum knee, breast cancer, the loss of a child (my dad) or two husbands, she’s truly one of my besties. Naturally, I wanted to do something special with her but couldn’t figure out what would be fun and budget conscious. A tricky combination.

I pondered the possibilities and had an idea. It started when about a year and a half ago, my DH spent $250 on a Christmas gift for me. He was taking me to the theatre to see a play, The Spelling Bee. I
had been looking forward to this event as I am a word aficionado.

Only there was a big problem. The Spelling Bee was HORRIBLE! It was offensive, vulgar and shocking, an indulgent production completely wrong for family enjoyment. We were so appalled by the production, we left before intermission and raised Caine about it so much so that we were promised free tickets to a future show.

It’s hard to find a theatre production that is appropriate for a discerning family. I have perused the upcoming shows and not been impressed. We have outgrown Thomas the Tank Engine or the Sesame Street/Diego stuff and procrastinated about when we were going to redeem these tickets. I was determined to not waste $250. Every time I thought about The Spelling Bee, I became angry.

With our window of time dwindling, I contacted the Box Office and was offered tickets to The Sound of Music. We got the tickets and I wondered how in the world I was ever going to get my three OS, especially my Soldier/West Point cadet to actually want to see this production.

This is when God did something. First my husband accidentally booked my grandma to leave a day early. I was so disappointed because it meant that Grandma wouldn’t be able to go to the show and I had promised her. It was something she was really looking forward to but we couldn’t afford to change her plane ticket. POO!

Mark called the Box Office, told them they had an opportunity to save a marriage and to our delight, they agreed to allow us to trade the Sunday tickets for the Saturday night show instead. My sweetie dashed to pick up the tickets and y’all, they didn’t give him five tickets to the show…they gave him SIX! Mark was prepared to pay for the sixth ticket but they gave it to him FREE! Oh happy day!

We went out for dinner on Saturday night and arrived at the theatre. Grandma beamed as a passerby offered to take a family picture and when we entered the building, we discovered that our seats were perfect. Not on the front row where our necks would have been straining or too far for my VERY hearing impaired grandma to hear. We couldn’t have picked better seats if we had done it ourselves.

I can’t say Nathan loved the performance, nor can I say Isaac was enthralled but Aaron, our OS who’s been involved in drama for years now, appreciated the talent he observed on stage. It was really a wonderful show! For me, the highlight was hearing my grandma softly singing “Edelweiss” beside me. I had to hold back the tears. When will I ever get another chance for a moment like that? The Lord blessed me!

Who would have thought something so nasty could turn into something so lovely? The time we wasted at the first performance on a Sunday was more than compensated for on a treasured Saturday night.

Don’t see Spelling Bee!


Our family went to the Raleigh Memorial Theatre today for a Broadway play. I was looking forward to doing something cultural and artsy with all our boys. Instead it was a horrible disappointment and we ended up walking out of the performance before intermission. We went to see “Spelling Bee” and I wish every seat had been empty. This was supposed to be a play about a spelling bee, for goodness sake but there was an agenda that had NOTHING at all to do with it. I love words and spelling. I am the type of person who stops to take pictures of typos, this sounded like my kind of show. Instead it was disgusting. 

Several offensive comments and jokes kicked off the show. I was confused from the very start about the premise of the whole thing. We heard jokes about sexual orientation, jokes about politics, jokes about Hispanics, jokes about things I won’t write about because they are completely inappropriate and you would be offended (and rightly so). 
I heard a few people behind us, who had brought a children, groan and squirm. At times, it felt like the audience was growing cold and weary. We certainly were. But the absolute worst assault of all was when all the performers sang in unison “G-D it!” during one of the songs. All the performers sang it gleefully. Sickening! My spirit sank and I was angry. I looked over and noticed Nate’s jaw tighten and 11 year old Isaac peering over at me. Everything about staying felt wrong. But my husband had given me these tickets as a Christmas present! We had spent over $250 on these tickets! That’s a lot of money! Some of my readers might be wondering why we stayed even a second longer. I am not sure, we have since apologized to our children. They broke out in song and used the Lord’s name in vain again. There was an embarrassing joke about boy’s anatomy and it was clear to us, it was time to go. I am happy that we walked out during the performance so it was obvious five people, a family, were leaving. My prayer is that it gave permission for others to follow suit.
When we spoke to the theatre manager, he said he has heard this from other people. He totally appreciated our perspective. There was nothing glorifying about this event. They were not especially talented or funny either. We had used our Sunday afternoon for this event and had gone just after leaving church. The manager gave Mark the name of his boss and Mark has already called demanding a full refund. This was not a family oriented show. It was a disgrace. 
We walked out from the theatre and I felt like I could breathe again. 
The sun was shining, the day was not lost. I praise the Lord that those words stung so deeply because I have been delivered. Friends, for many years, I must confess, those terrible words found residence on my own tongue. 

I hate sharing this. Lord, please forgive me. But as horrible as this play and those words are, I think it would have been worse to still be sitting in those chairs with my precious husband and babies and not feel anything at all.
“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 
I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.”
Romans 6:17-19