40 years in a thimble

So I rambled roundabout back to Seattle after directing the second season, finished at the UW, and began the work of finding work, which is ongoing for most theatre people. I stage-managed for the Children’s Theatre, directed summer stock in Pullman, community theatre (3 falls in Whitefish!), directed at a few universities and taught a couple of courses at one, and did some independent productions, some with a playwright friend. It was in many ways a good life. After maybe 10 years I admitted I was doing more temp work than theatre, and was too picky about plays I was interested in directing-it was not working out. And one day I realized teaching was not only something I could do; it was in some ways like directing a show. A transformer fell on my car and provided me with a little insurance money, enough to make me think I could finance a year and a half in teacher school. Well, it was gone by the time I started, but hey- it gave me faith.

Two years later, subbing at a school in Seattle, a teacher came running down the hall yelling, “I got my transfer!!!” I ran following him into the principal’s office- “I want his job!!!” It was not an easy assignment, to say the least, but I was sick of subbing, and I had seen worse. I remember those kids vividly- many sweet and serious ones. Next fall found me teaching at another school, where I stayed for about 22 years, mostly 5th grade. History, math, and writing were among my favorites. And it’s fun to run into old students around town.

I’ve traveled a little- to France one summer, camping half of it- in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris- and barely a word of English did I speak- and to Cuba another. Mexico and Guatemala, where I visited Bob Cater, in his Peace Corps days. Rafted/camped 5 days on the Green River in Utah with friends. And once to Kauai, where the man I’d lived with for 20 years and I got married, 6 years ago. We met on an entrance ramp to I-5, when he stopped on his motorcycle to see if the young woman fiddling with the detached accelerator plate on her ’62 Rambler might want any help.

We’ve got a big garden- all flowers and trees, nothing practical- except sweet berries and fruit. Bird baths and feeders and houses. I dance with danceDaigré -a fusion of jazz, Latin, African, hip hop; try to learn to play fiddle by ear; plant native species and remove invasives in a restoration site on the Duwamish River- Seattle’s river!- drive elders to appointments; tutor; learn to cook new things. Like tamales. Took a Spanish class recently, working to recover it. We had two nephews live with us for a while, and a niece; one nephew came when he was 4! He lived with us the longest. That was a sweet experience.

All right, bigger than a thimble; smaller than a bread box.

Susan