The word for today is WELCOME.
Dena heard about it and shared the event information with me. Somehow we both garnered enough courage and adventurous spirit and decided to go for it. We signed up, and this morning we were out the door, in the van, and down the road.
Our families told us we were welcome to go. They were thrilled to see us set out on this journey, a new one for both of us to be sure.
When I got to Dena’s, I was welcomed by the smells of breakfast and a beautiful smile on the face of my friend’s sweet daughter. It seemed that the world welcomed this journey, as traffic was clear and easy, and we made the trip in what seemed like no time–good conversations, laughter shared, and stories whispered from our hearts.
When we parked in the public parking lot, we gathered our thoughts, our stories, our bags, and took deep breaths. We were really there. We were actually going to do this.
How about that?
A happenin’, as my Mama would say. All for the fun of it.
And it was fun.
We walked in this small, quaint coffee shop with all the rustic charm it could muster, and we were greeted by a friendly woman who was in the show last year. She was engaging and welcoming, making me feel like YES, I did belong here. I wasn’t an impostor. That was an amazing feeling. Expected. Welcomed.
That. Was. Huge.
The auditions were around two coffee tables with the two organizers of the Atlanta show, one of whom was a friend from years ago. An unexpected and welcome surprise. In the moment where she grabbed me in a big bear hug, almost before I could register whose face I was seeing, my heart leapt. WELCOMED. WANTED. EXPECTED.
It was laid back and fun. Sharing stories and catching up. Before I knew it, my audition was over, and it was Dena’s turn. She wrote a fabulous story that I won’t soon forget. And I’ll leave it at that. (I’m hoping you will hear it at the show in April–fingers crossed!)
While I waited for my friend, I visited with the one who had greeted us in the beginning. The organizers had asked some of them from the first show to come and welcome people. And they chose well. While I was there, a guy came in who was also in the cast last year. They were funny as they shared from their experiences from last year. I love seeing good friends interact and share their stories. It made me want to pull up a chair and sit for hours, listening.
Soon Dena was done as well. We thanked those who had welcomed us and headed out into the cool of the gray Sunday morning. We walked around the charming square, peering in windows, looking at the iron critters that seemed to be so popular, and biding our time until the place we’d chosen to eat was open.
Walking. With all the others who were enjoying their day. Runners. Retired couples with dogs. Parents with children. Best friends. Young couples. We were a part of the cosmos of this Sunday morning, sharing in each other’s stories if only for a nod or an “awwww” over a cute child or puppy.
We had a delightful lunch where we were welcomed among the first of those hoping to get a bite to eat. The food, which was surprisingly locally sourced (and they made their own carrot and green bean pickles–OH MY LAND, SO GOOD!), was absolutely delicious. I made a promise to myself and to Dena that this would not be the last time I sat in one of their booths and ate there. It was wonderful. And the glowing light and warmth inside the old English interior soothed my soul. It took me back to places I haven’t been in so long, and we shared our own stories of our love of that country.
All too soon and yet right on time, we were done and it was time to head home. Back to our lives as Mamas and wives and people who are needed and loved and welcomed.
Oh, those welcome homes! The happy text from my oldest that she heard my car outside. The smiles in the text from Mess Cat asking me how it had gone. The hugs when the Fella and my two littles finally arrived home. I missed them all!
“Mama, did you make the show? Did you make it?”
I told my little guy I wasn’t sure, that we’d find out sometime around his birthday. He accepted that, but what I didn’t tell him and I probably should have, is that today I won. I won the jackpot in feeling something so precious–
By my friend. My family. Complete strangers.
And if that is all that comes from this adventure today, I can be happy. A good day with a good friend sharing anything and everything and all the important things. And coming home to people I love and missed who love and missed me.
That’s the best this life of Mama has to offer, and I am thankful for it.
May we all make this week one of welcoming. With a smile, a laugh, a hug, a handshake, a hello, a story…..who knows, it may catch on and take us through the whole month or even the whole ever-loving year!
I dare to dream…..
Love to all.