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What is the most wonderful thing you can think of? Something that just transports you with joy?

For me, there are several things…. the ones I talk about here include history, music, and those moments where my daughters’ eyes shine with complete happiness. This weekend was one of those where the stars aligned and left me singing “hey nonny nonny” for 48 hours. And I got to see snow for the first time in 3 years 🙂 OK, I’m a Southern girl — snow is exciting, and the whole world kind of rolls to a stop so we can go play in it…..

Saturday night we went to a college basketball game, sat in killer seats and saw a kick butt game. Now you have to understand, I am a Duke Blue Devil fan, completely and utterly. I’ve loved them since the days of Spanarkel, Gminski, Bender, Denard & Banks — forever ago. And one of my horrible fears about moving to the land of “big Orange” was that I would be living in a football world. As fate would have it, Bruce Pearl came to TN about the same time we did and re-invented UT basketball. So, we get the joy of good b-ball even removed from ACC country. My youngest daughter shares my basketball passion, and watching her Saturday night was almost as much fun as watching the game. We were so close we could see how the players interacted with each other and with Coach Pearl. She plays on a local rec team and kept telling me things she needed to bring back to her team. Her best moments included getting Steven Pearl’s autograph, and two running jokes. She and I went to the game pretending, dressed in our “orange,” yet we both knew that we were Duke fans in disguise. And because of all the fouls called, many of the fans were ragging the referees. Well, my girl & I don’t do bad sportsmanship, so as they were shouting invectives, we were singing “kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit….” and giggling together.

Part two happened Sunday afternoon. We gave our older daughter tickets to the travelling Broadway production of “Wicked,” for her birthday back in November. She had waited, marked the days on the calendar, and memorized every song, pause and inflection on the soundtrack. As we parked the car in Louisville, Ky — it began to snow. Big, fluffy snowflakes settled in our hair as we wandered the very charming, pedestrian-friendly downtown. Both girls dressed up and the older was quivering with excitement. We got to our seats and she gasped with delight. The closed curtain reflected a map of Oz and its environs, as familiar to her as her own name. And then the show began — it was astonishing. For those who’ve read Gregory Maguire’s dark fantasy on which the play is based — you’ll recognize the bones of the story, but the music transcends. All through the show, my girlie and I would glance at each other, clasp hands and snuggle close in our seats. When the curtain dropped, I felt her shaking in my arms. She was overcome, sobbing with emotion — and yet her eyes were glowing. “Mama, it was awesome — I didn’t want it to end, thank you.” What can you do but hug her?!

And today was a splendiferous Martin Luther King Day. In yesterday’s “Parade,” Barack Obama wrote a letter to his daughters, outlining his hopes for their future. My girls and I talked of the juxtaposition of history past and history now for a long time last night. And then today, the girls & I watched the repeat of the “We are One” concert on HBO. Listening to such amazing music from every genre, snuggling/grooving with my children, and watching those 750,000 people sing, dance and share together gave new joy to Dr. King’s dream of “red, and yellow and black & white” sharing the beauties of this world. One of my absolute favorite bloggers, Jay Smooth of the “ILL Doctrine,” posted this last MLK day and I thought it might deepen your appreciation of an amazing individual. ten_other_things_martin_luther.html

hey nonny nonny: Rocky Top (OK, try Dolly Parton’s version); People Watching (Jack Johnson); Basketball (Kurtis Blow); Get’ch Head in the Game (from High School Musical); the entire soundtrack of Wicked — some show-stopping songs include: Defying Gravity, Popular, and For Good; Pride in the Name of Love (U2); Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder’s awesome performance with Will.i.am and Shakira just rocked); Shed a Little Light (James Taylor — one of my most treasured change the world songs); and American Prayer (Dave Stewart and friends)

To get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with –> Mark Twain

Take care,
Aly

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6 thoughts on “a guard, some witches & a King

  1. I don’t know — my favorite is “the Corsican brothers” — it’s just soooo demented.

    For basketball movies, I have to say “Hoosiers” pretty much sets the standard, and “Glory Road” is not bad (hey, KY loses, so I liked it).

    I also really enjoyed “Love and Basketball,” and although basketball was only the side focus “White Men Can’t Jump,” has a few of the best lines in movies…. the greatest has to be when Rosie Perez is explaining how to “empathize with her need for water….”

    Take care,
    Aly

  2. “Basketball Jones” is a song, not a movie. Same with “Earache My Eye”. I take it you’re not a C&C fan…I finally found a chink in the armor!

    “Hoosiers” rules. But let’s not forget “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh”.

  3. Sadly, I had never heard those 2 before. I remedied it this morning. I do like that line!!!

    I listened more to Zappa & the Dead in my CA rock phase. OK, I still listen to them.

    Have you heard Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball?” It’s a rap, with lots of cheerleaders… but there are a few great b-ball player references. My youngest loves it & has it on her pre-game playlist!

    Take care,
    Aly

  4. Ok.. Something that causes me joy.. every Christmas when I put two ornaments on my tree from a little girl who had decided I was worthy enough to be her friend….! She was going to be a thoracic surgeon…or a pianast… MMM wonder what she is doing

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