March 2021 Check In

Happy first day of March everyone! This past week, especially the weekend, has felt a bit more like spring here, which I love. The snow is melting, the sun is shining, and the days are getting a little warmer. Hopefully the nicer days will continue.

Despite February being a short month, I feel that I managed to pack a lot into a short amount of time. In the beginning of the month, I took a trip to visit two friends that I've had for a long time now, Trevor and Courtney. Trevor and I met in kindergarten when we were 5. We had been friends in kindergarten and despite going to different schools for most of elementary school, we reconnected in junior high and have maintained a close friendship.

This was from Trevor's 6th birthday. I tried to find pictures of us from high school together or even as adults and found that apparently we don't exactly take pictures together. There were a few group shots with others, but I decided to stick with just the two of us as kids.

Trevor and I met Courtney in high school. Together, the three of us worked together in theater. Trevor and I each took a stab at acting and ultimately found that for both of us, it was so totally not our thing. Instead, we found our happy place back stage. Courtney from the beginning worked back stage and we all became close friends.

Courtney and I worked very closely with one another back stage. She worked as the stage manager and I worked as the fly rail operator, which in layman's terms is the person who brings the curtains in and out. Trevor's job back stage was working as a lighting technician. During one of the shows that didn't require a fly rail operator, he took some time to teach me a few things about lighting. He showed me how to hang lights, how to change colors, how to angle them appropriately, how to program them, etc. He even got me to go up on the catwalk to help hang lights, even though I am absolutely terrified of heights and was scared during every second of it.

After high school, we remained in touch with one another. Trevor and Courtney started a relationship a number of years back, and the three of us still bond over things like our love for theater and musicals. So it should come as no surprise that we watched a musical together while I was visiting, which inspired me to do some digging in the back story of that musical. I hope to share with all of you what I have learned either later this month or next month, depending on how long it takes me to gather my information.

It was wonderful visiting Trevor and Courtney for the first time in a very long while. It had been a couple years since I had last gotten a chance to see Trevor. However, going away to visit also mean that I had to leave Zazu behind with a sitter for the weekend. While I knew he would be just fine while I was away, it was hard leaving him for the first time. I thought of him the whole weekend. After I returned home, my boy was very happy to see me. That following week, he didn't just crawl into bed with me. He made a point to snuggle up so close to me that I joked if he leaned in any further, our bodies would fuse into one. It was definitely hard leaving him, but I enjoyed all of the snuggles that I got from him when I returned home.

On my drive to visit Trevor and Courtney, I finished listening to Carrie by Stephen King. That was the first new book from the "banned books" list for me. I had watched both the original and remake movies, but had never read the book. As with almost all others, the book was much better than the already incredible movie. I really loved it and can't wait to discuss it at more length this month.

While I've been home, I've spent a fair amount of time watching new shows. I enjoy rewatching some of my favorite things, but I'm trying to make a point of watching something new if I'm going to sit down and watch a show or a movie. So this past month, I started with watching the Netflix series "Blown Away." This is a competition show around glass blowing. This form of art is one that has fascinated and amazed me since I first learned about glass blowing. So to watch a competition show where you watch everyone use different techniques to create remarkable things out of glass was right up my alley.

The next show that I watched was another Netflix series, "Bridgerton." I really didn't have any interest in watching this show because I have to be in a certain mood for shows and movies set in that era. However, from hearing my coworkers discuss it one day over our lunch break, I decided to give it a try. It took me no time to fall in love with the story line and characters. I cruised through the show in no time and was pleasantly surprised by the show.

The final show that I cruised through this month was the Netflix series "Firefly Lane." Not being a big fan of the actress Katherine Heigl, I dug in my heels about giving this one a try. But thanks to a very persistent friend and a deal that went, "I'll give it a try if you give Bridgerton a try," I sat down and watched it. Truthfully, I didn't care for Katherine Heigl's character. I think it's both a mix of her as an actress as well as her character not meant to be likeable. However, despite my dislike for her character, I did get drawn into the plot and loved the story. The season ended on a cliffhanger, and now I'm left wondering and waiting until the next season comes out.

As I said before, I do enjoy rewatching things that I love and I had one weekend of watching old movies. I started with watching Swing Kids, which was a movie I first watched in school. Set during WWII, it tells the story of the kids who refused to join the Hitler Youth (Hitler Juden or HJ for short) and the repercussions. It was a powerful movie the first time I watched it and hit me just as hard rewatching it now many years later.

I then chose to watch Dead Poet's Society. While this movie is a classic, I hadn't watched it for the first time until I was a young adult. I enjoyed it the first time, but I felt watching it now hit me much harder. The various messages to take away from the movie rang felt more fitting now than they did years ago. It's a movie I have been encouraging my friends to watch if they haven't before, or rewatch if they have.

So what's ahead for March? Honestly and truly, March is a bit of a difficult month for me. In 2018, I lost my Grandma Hudak and then the following year, just two days before the anniversary of her passing, my Grandpa Hudak also passed. I was close with them and cherished our relationship. While I strongly anticipated their passing to be back to back in that fashion, it was still very hard. During the first anniversary of my grandma's passing, we were preparing for the funeral for my grandpa. All of it felt like a blur. So last year would have been the first year with both of them gone. I had been anxiously waiting for how that week would go for me. What I didn't expect was that I would wind up being incredibly sick during that week. I had been worried that I would be a crying mess for days. I wound up sleeping and taking medicine for days instead. It's been a couple years now since they have both passed. It still feels surreal to me. I still feel as though I'll be seeing them the next time I go home to visit my parents. I've lost a number of family members in my life since I was a young girl. I know from experiencing loss and grief that it will be a long time before that feeling mostly goes away. However, I will admit that on some level, they don't feel totally gone to me. It feels like I'll still see them sometime soon. It's just been a long time since our last visit. So while I take time remembering the two of them, I plan to touch a bit on grief and loss with all of you.

While talking about loved ones that I have lost, it would be wrong for me to not mention my other grandpa. My Grandpa Becker was born on March 2nd, and if he were alive today, he would be turning 98 this year. I was 6 when he died and sadly, most of my memories with him are from hospitals and nursing homes following a very serious stroke he had. Even though he passed when I was very young and I have very few memories with him, I still hear stories on a regular basis about him from my dad. I love learning more about him. I only ever knew him as a grandfather. He passed before I was old enough to truly get to know him as a person. I enjoy hearing stories from my dad about who he was as a father, and then later in life getting to know him as a person. And so I want to take time to recognize his birthday as I continue to think of him and how much I miss him over 20 years later.

I hope everyone has a great month!

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