I was given money for my birthday …
some from my parents and some from a friend
who chooses to shower me. Her blessings mean more
than she could imagine.
I remember the first year that I worked The Masters tournament. I was still a stay at home, homeschooling mom. Going to the grocery store without my kids was difficult. I missed them. But, I wanted the chance to have some extra money to do something special. So, my husband let me work the tournament. He watched the children … and I worked away from home … away from the children …. and I missed them terribly.
Typically, tournament hours are from five in the morning until seven at night. One or two nights may include an evening dinner that keeps us working until eleven or twelve at night. We still have to be back at work at five a.m. That is the schedule for the entire week. The week is long, tough and tiring.
I brought home around eight hundred dollars that year.
And I remember that I used that money to buy groceries, fill the tank with gas and make a truck payment.
I missed my kids for an entire week
for bread, gas and wheels.
That was the year that I learned
not to put birthday money
into the gas tank.
This year, when my birthday rolled around, I tucked away my gift money. I didn’t know WHAT I would do with it, but I would spend it on something lavish for myself. Once a year, I do that.
Augusta has an annual arts festival – an entire week that is dedicated to music, theatre, dance and visual arts. The festival is just becoming firmly established in the minds of Augustans … as it grows. This year, I flipped through the schedule on-line and saw
Lizz Wright would be in town.
I knew immediately
was where I wanted to spend my birthday money.
Lavish. Yes, Lizz Wright is lavish.
I have been to the Imperial Theater many times. I’ve been there for concerts, plays and musicals.
But, I’ve never had an experience like that Saturday night at the Westobou Festival.
Maybe seating was influential.
Our seats were about ten rows back in the center of the auditorium.
Maybe it was the company. This was my first chance to truly sit still
and enjoy Stone’s company …
uninterrupted without having to share him with children …
my right arm tucked under his left.
More than likely, the night was surreal
simply because Lizz Wright was the performing artist.
As she began to sing,
all I could think was how her voice filled the auditorium.
From the ancient, high tiled ceiling,
rounding the aging plastered walls
and across the gently sloped floor
her rich, warm, sultry voice
filled.the.room from top to bottom.
It pressed against our skin
and penetrated souls.
I’m sure of it.
Some how, her voice seemed
larger than life ….
or bigger than alto and a sound system.
It was more than just sound waves traveling through the air filled with anticipation.
The air almost felt dense ….
or thick … with expectancy …
an expectancy that was thoroughly fulfilled.
Have you ever been to a concert that was disappointing
because the voice of the artist was less
polished and beautiful
than you had expected?
I had h.o.p.e.d that Lizz Wright’s live performance
would be as moving an experience as listening to her recorded music.
Yet, it was SO much more than I had hoped.
Yes, I saved my birthday money
so that I might spend it lavishly on myself.
What a wonderful birthday gift I received
at the Imperial Theater that Saturday night ….