At the Dietrich by Hildy Morgan
So. I am sitting in my dining room watching a big old fat woodchuck hurl himself across the back yard in a mad dash for the fence. The cat, sitting in the window is making little growly sounds and flipping her tail, sure that if she could just escape her prison-home, that she would be able to take on that fat furball in a nano-second. Lucky for her she is trapped inside because she’s just crazy enough to try out her theory. Ah, there he goes, under the fence and scooting up the hill. Another day and the chubby critter has made it out of the fence alive.
I have no idea why wild things decide the grass is (literally) greener inside the fence where Eddie the border collie hangs out, than it is in all the surrounding fields where he doesn’t. A rabbit lived mostly inside the fence for the better part of two years, then ventured out and was hit by one of the few cars who pass by. He (or perhaps she, sadly we’ll never know), drove Eddie crazy. The rabbit would zigzag madly around the yard with Eddie, apparently having skipped that class, not understanding that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so Eddie would zigzag too. And trust me on this, a rabbit can out zigzag a dog any day. Eddie looked for the obviously thrill-seeking rabbit for weeks after he had gone to bunny heaven (where, I trust, there is an abundance of carrots and a dearth of dogs).
It’s peaceful here today, although the weather alerts say winter is having a last stand later on in the afternoon. That’s okay. When it snows in April we know it’s meaningless, that it won’t last. We can shrug at the audacity of a winter that is too foolish to know it’s time is done. The grass, even with the threat of imminent snow, turns greener every day. The hills are taking on the look of the Irish countryside that is touted in calendar pictures. And, I must say, Ireland looks quite lovely indeed, and if I were a traveler I might want to go there. But then I ask myself why would that be? Why would I spend that money, get on a plane (I’ll tell you, the disappearance of the Malaysian flight has fanned my fear-of-flying neurosis into a full fledged terror once more) to go see something not one bit prettier than the fields of South Auburn? And since my husband can go to Nimble Hill for some good dark brew, then that seals it. We’ll definitely stay home. Yup. It’s settled.
Perhaps you have noticed that I didn’t have much of an idea for today’s column. Perhaps you have noticed I’m drifting a bit. I’ll let you in on a little secret – the past two weeks at the theater made me really, really tired! I was at the Dietrich every day but one for two and a half weeks, because we were doing so much. Festival, a gathering honoring volunteers, the play, writers group etc. etc. etc.. It made me realize that it’s a very good thing I’m retired now because I no longer can do the things I did even five years ago. Which is okay, because I don’t have to.
We started the project in 1998 , sixteen years ago when I was just a “kid” in my mid-fifties. Wow, the energy we all had! The incredible stubbornness. The will to go on. Today I might be tempted to say – “Really? You think bringing back an old theater is stupid? Hmmm. Maybe you‘re right. I’ll ponder that when I wake up from my nap.” So much is about timing. And energy. And a crazy optimism that says anything can be done. But when you retire you start to separate a wee bit, you understand that you can’t win ‘em all, that you have to pick your fights with a bit more discretion. And you don’t need to concentrate quite so hard. You have more time to be grateful, to read that thriller that is quite trashy but fun, you can enjoy your friends, take a nap, stay up late if you want and read and read, binge on Breaking Bad or Walking Dead and you don’t have to get up too too early. In other words, you can just sort of sit back a bit and enjoy what you’ve done. And we all do enjoy the Dietrich so much. And the best part is all the wonderful people who come to the theater for all the many activities that have evolved there. You know, it’s not very often that the reality far surpasses the dream, but in the case of the Dietrich, it surely did. And we are all, each and every one of us, so grateful to you for making the Dietrich part of your life. Thank you, dear friends. From the bottom of our hearts.
See you at the Dietrich.