Grown up at last

Being a millennial, I’m surrounded online by peers who reminisce about the 1990s and how great it was to be a child back then. While I share their dismay at the fact that kids who were born in 2000 are now sophomores in high school (etc.), I can’t say I share the attachment to childhood. I am an independent personality, and I’m quite pleased to be living my life independently now, rather than depending on someone to take care of me as I did as a child. When I moved back in with my parents after finishing college, I felt badly that I was depending on them again and that I should have been off on my own. After all, I had a college degree and a job. Simple, right? Well, no. Perhaps I was misguided in this feeling, as I’ve been criticized for being overly independent in the past, from a very young age. But I’m finally in the place where I’ve been looking forward to being, a place of my own. The truth that I am an adult has rung true these last few weeks, as one of my closest friends from my graduating class got married, and I played host to my dad while he was out here for a few days. He actually just left this afternoon.

Oddly enough, I’m writing this while watching the MLB All-Star Game, one of my favorite events to watch as a kid. I can’t say I’m very entertained, as I hardly know who any of the players are and am just not into baseball anymore. But it’s a tradition. I used to have to miss it because I had summer league swim meets, so I’d have my parents tape it, back when taping things was still on trend. I’ve accomplished things while watching, though – I did laundry and cooked a spaghetti squash. So things are going well.

My first time hosting a parent at my place since moving out was a really good experience. I wish I could have been a better host, but I don’t have much practice at it. He was very impressed with my apartment and thankful that I have air conditioning – we’ve hit the humid part of the year in Minnesota. The reason he came out here in the first place was to attend two Drum Corps International Shows in La Crosse and Minneapolis, as he used to march for several years back when he was in college and still follows the sport. I went to the Minneapolis show with him, as you may have noticed from my Instagram posts from the weekend. I also visited another bead store, and we got to go to our favorite restaurant up there, Tavern on France. The show itself was something else. I hadn’t been to a drum corps show since 2007 and had forgotten how much it is to take in, both visually and aurally. You’re hearing intense musical variety, which is under constant innovation (one corps used a theremin!), while trying to keep up with marching patterns, colors, and mallets in perpetual motion. It’s definitely a niche market, but worth supporting. In my other life, I would have played mellophone and marched. But I’m thankful to be an orch dork in this one.

On Sunday, we went to my church, then dropped down to Decorah for a bit – my dad grew to love the town while I was at Luther, and I felt it was only fair that I take him down there again. We walked around campus and caught up with what was up at Lutheran Summer Music (the camp that led me to attend Luther), had T-Bock’s and Whippy Dip, and walked around town. Then I spent some time sight reading string quintets with a local group, which my former advisor, Dr. Kate Narveson, invited me to do. I think I’m going to keep that up! It was so wonderful having my dad here to do these things. Not to mention, he helped me get my TV set up and found a few more things I needed in my apartment. And, to keep things fair, I’ll be seeing my mom in just a week and a half, at Lake Tahoe for a family reunion. I’m glad to not go so long without seeing them this time, since I didn’t for nearly five months after moving out.

Before this past weekend, I’ve been having a few other adventures. As I mentioned, my close friend from Luther, Sara, got married in June to her longtime boyfriend. They are both from near Decorah and had their reception at the Hotel Winneshiek. I and several other friends stayed at a summer house in town for the weekend, as we celebrated with a bachelorette party, rehearsal, and a beautiful ceremony. We had so much fun catching up and learning what we were all doing with our lives, while honoring the milestone in Sara’s life. I was honored to read the Scripture and prayers in the ceremony. I have to say, my favorite moments were bar hopping at the bachelorette party and breaking out in song and dance at the reception to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” I didn’t take nearly enough pictures, which was true of me throughout college. Noted for next time. 🙂 Sara looked absolutely stunning and did a great job planning it all out, and she made all of us feel special as part of her day. My friends and I are growing up, but at our cores, we retain the fun parts of ourselves that we were for four years. It renewed my joy at living in the Midwest again.

The weekend after that, I was quite occupied with a musical engagement, playing in the pit orchestra for a production of Bye Bye Birdie. It’s a lot of work to put on a musical, I can see very clearly now! And I have so much respect for everyone involved. Plus, it was a hit, and I got to know some more Rochester area musicians. I think I even have a gig lined up for the fall with a ballet, putting on The Polar Express. This was my first time playing in the pit for a musical; I’d done it for opera with the Luther Chamber Orchestra, which is different but not entirely much. I look forward to doing it again!

Over the 4th of July, I spent a fairly calm evening at my boss’s house in Kasson, grilling salmon burgers and sitting outside in the nice weather. No major fireworks, but I did catch a few around. Her dog, Arthur, provided most of the excitement, picking up all the sticks in the yard. I was just fine with that.

For now, I’m just working as usual, with another magazine issue about to drop this weekend, and a small trip on Friday to Decorah for the LSM Choir Concert. I haven’t attended an LSM event since I last attended the camp in 2010, so it will be strange, in the best possible way. I’ll play for a different church service on Sunday, downstairs instead of upstairs, while a couple of staff are on vacation. Then I’ll head to Reno on the 24th-26th, and get back to it for the dog days of August. I’m praying for mild humidity… but I have to say that now, I prefer that to icy winters. I’m strange, I know. (Or maybe not.) I’m also praying that the rumored Armageddon earthquake doesn’t hit the Pacific Northwest too soon. If you haven’t read the article in the New Yorker that’s been going viral, give it a read. It’s terrifying.

It’s past my early bird bedtime. I thought adults stayed up so late when I was a kid. Now I don’t understand how they did it.




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