August is always such a time that brings forth many memories for me. Especially today. Today, 20 years ago, I married a man that ultimately destroyed my life and the lives of my children. I have spent the better part of ten or more years getting over that decision to allow him into my life. It is a union I regret, with the exception of two of my beautiful children. One of those children is experiencing some rather tragic results in his life right now and I pray for him constantly that he can heal and move forward in a more positive direction. It is so hard to watch a train wreck when your child is the one driving the train, but I must. I learned that from my own mother who had the intelligence and the wherewith all to do the same with me. I really did not understand her actions until today.
August also reminds me of band camp. I loved band camp. I hated band camp. Band camp gave me very valuable tools to implement into my life today.
Everywhere all over the country, high school marching bands are getting together to create the field shows that will be shown at football games and marching band competitions. It is a time for friendship renewal, strenuous work outs, fun, frivolity, and the making of many laughs and happy memories.
While my father was more preoccupied with the impending football season on the high school, college, and professional levels, my mother was deeply ensconced in helping design and sew for the upcoming marching season. She was the best "band mom" ever. She not only mothered me, but she mothered everyone. I did not mind sharing her.
She made the uniform I am wearing above. I loved those shorts. Loved them. I never knew it then, but they really made my butt look stellar. I miss that butt. I miss those legs. I miss those abs. However, I do not miss those boots. Can you imagine marching in them? For hours? They hurt so much and I recall the countless blisters I ensued. The aching toe joints. There was no shock absorption...no cushy little pads...It was like walking miles in ballet toe shoes. Utterly painful, but it was worth it.
I spent my first year marching on the instrument line as a piccolo player. It was cool. I like the solo during the 1812 Overture, but then I got bored and I wanted to try something different...so, in typical Marlene fashion, I got a wild hair and tried out for the rifle squad. It did not matter to me that I was suppose to be in the flag guard before I tried out for the rifle squad. I did both auditions and successfully made my way onto the squad. There were some ruffled feathers from people who felt it was unfair that I had not "paid my dues", but I argued that I had already marched for a year and that argument was validated. So, I became a flautist in symphonic band, but during marching season I threw a rifle. Hey, it was dangerous stuff. I suffered for this switch many times over.
One of the skills that a rifle squad member had to have was throwing a triple. The rifle weighed 15 pounds, although it felt like more than 50. I can not begin to tell you how many bruises and bumps I got from trying to throw perfectly laid triples. Our marching band performed DCI (Drum Corp International) style marching and everything was based upon perfection...military perfection...nothing could be sloppy. Meaning: you were not suppose to look up to see where your rifle was...you were suppose to look straight ahead and wait for the rifle to come back to your hands. Yeah, well sometimes that did not work out too well for me. One time, during band camp...the rifle caught my face. It wasn't pretty.
But darn if I didn't look cute in those shorts trying to do it.
This is Home Girl and I'm gonna go geek on some marching band music.