Growing up, the Reid family loved to go to Jackson and to the mall, and we did so every few months. It was always a big deal, and we always loved it. Christopher and I never tired of hanging out at the mall, and I never tired of the Piled High Oreo Yogurt Pie from Chili's. Dad always made the same wrong decision (and had the same subsequent frustrated exclamations) on County Line Road, we always parked in the same lot at the mall each time we visited, and we developed bits that would be repeated and repeated throughout our lives ("One of these days, this will ALL be yours! Da da da da, da da da da, da da da da da da! Woo!")
One time, when Christopher and I were teenagers, as we arrived in the parking lot of Northpark Mall, Dad FREAKED OUT EXCITED. He pointed and started exclaiming "CEDAR WAXWING! CEDAR WAXWING! CEDAR WAXWING!" We were puzzled. He explained that they were a kind of bird that he loved and that always made him so happy to see. A tree on the premises was FULL of them. They were chattering away, doing a good job of being birds. We, of course, teased him, and subsequently made fun of him every time after that when we went to the mall. We're Reids. It's what we do.
When we were all in Vicksburg this past February for Mom's birthday and to bid Memaw and Papaw Reid's house goodbye, Susan gave us some papers and things of Dad's. Among them, was an elementary school report that included essays and drawings of different birds. Flipping through, Christopher found the best thing--Dad's report and a drawing of the Cedar Waxwing.
It was such a special moment. It all clicked--Dad had loved them since he was in about 2nd grade or so. We were so touched. I took the report home with me. (I do not have a picture here because it might take a little while to locate the report, and I am choosing to not let perfect be the enemy of the good.)
A few years ago, Fuzzy made a comment about how I should get a frog or a turtle ornament each year for the tree in memory of Dad, or that I should keep buying him trinkets like I used to. Since we went to the Christkindlmarket on the anniversary of his death, this would have been the ideal time, yet, looking at the frogs and turtles, nothing felt right. I already have a number of them on the tree, and nothing stood out to me. I decided not to make a purchase.
The wildlife ornament house is organized by species, so a little bit past the reptiles were the birds. I love the German glass bird ornaments--they are so ornate and colorful and have beautiful feathers. I stopped and had a thought--if they had a cedar waxwing ornament, I would buy it in a heartbeat. But surely they wouldn't--I pour over the ornaments each and every year, and most definitely would have purchased one in the past if I had seen one, so I knew it was a just a lofty thought.
And then I looked over and saw this:
I couldn't believe it. I still can't.
I think Dad put those there just for me.
So I could have my own moment of exclaiming "CEDAR WAXWING! CEDAR WAXWING!"
I've been feeling sort of stuck and lost and hopeless ever since the shooting of Mike Brown this summer. I've spent nights awake watching the protests unfold over twitter and seeing how the police in Ferguson responded. My schedule is crazy and I was never free to attend a vigil after his death. I was speechless when Darren Wilson was pronounced free of charges. After this week's non-indictment of the cop responsible for Eric Garner's death, I felt like I wanted to scream. And suddenly, I found myself free on a night of a Chicago peaceful protest. I was one of the first people to congregate, and I bet I was on all the local news channels (there were a lot of cameras. Also, a lot of helicopters and police everywhere). We took to the streets, stopping traffic and chanting. We laid down in the intersection of Roosevelt and Wabash, right before the Bears game at Soldier Field. Throughout the night, the numbers in the protest grew by the thousands, and proceeded to shut down the expressway and Lake Shore Drive, among other things. I was only a part of the protest for the first hour, but they carried on throughout the night, covering some serious ground.
I feel like this is an important time in our country and our history. I feel like we can't be silent right now.
Here are some photos of my experience.
Today's the 7 year anniversary of Dad's passing. Thanksgiving is always a challening holiday, as it was such an emotional time for us all 7 years ago. We decorated the house for Christmas for Thanksgiving that year, because Dad wanted to see the lights and we all knew he likely wasn't going to make it to actual Christmas. So we did. I have been sort of panicky about this day for the last month, cause I never know how it is going to go, and how I am going to do. But I am doing ok. I am spending the day alone today, and I think that is a good thing. I talked to Mom and I talked to Christopher for a long time. That was awesome. I am watching Fishing With John throughout the day, and it seems like this perfect fit for today. I did a lot of grief shopping at Target a little while ago. I mostly bought sweatpants and mason jars. Seems fitting. Tonight, I think Fuzzy and I are going to watch a Reid-ian movie, like Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise (also featuring John Lurie.)
But it is a "strange and beautiful" world (this post apparently has a theme):
This morning, when I woke up, I had a text from my amazing friend Amanda, and it read (among other things): "We're driving through Vicksburg today. I've never been to Mississippi before..." I couldn't believe it! So I told her to stop in to the Attic Gallery & the Hwy 61 Coffee Shop if she had time, to say hello to Daniel and see the tribute to Dad. I told her that it was the anniversary of Dad's death.
A few hours later, I get this photo:
I couldn't believe it! It made me super happy and super emotional.
There's not a lot left in Vicksburg that feels like home. Almost all the houses we grew up in are gone, we stay in hotels when we are there, and there's a lot of sad memories associated with many things. But the gallery and coffee shop feel like home. I love that someone special to me was somewhere special to me and met someone special to me on a very special day. Amazing.
Christopher blogged his feelings about today here. I agree with it all, whole heartedly.
I think Dad would love everything we are doing. I think Dad would be so proud of us.
Things are great. Things are hard. That's life.
I have a dance show tomorrow. How incredible is that? I never would have guessed that I would be dancing at 35. Dad would love that!
I am thankful that I had the time that I had with our pop while I was able to. Those years were so special.
Back Row: Erica, Rebecca, Andrea
Front Row: Megan
Photo by Fotio
MCAmy took this awesome pic during the She's Crafty show at the Cubby Bear Saturday night. I love it! The show was INCREDIBLE--we had the best crowd ever! They came out in the snow to party Beastie Boys Style, and we loved them for it. Playing at the Cubby Bear was surreal, especially considering that Foo Fighters just played there last month!
Next show is December 13th at The Original Mother's!
So the other day, I posted about my problems about being a dancer with hyperhidrosis and the fear of dancing barefooted. It sent me off on a mission to find a possible solution to the problem, without looking like the one weirdo who has to wear shoes on stage. I looked on dance supply stores, yoga sites, pilates sites, amazon, and more. I started googling "nude crew toe socks" and found some half foot options that were black or hot pink. The dance sites all had half shoes, too. That defeats the purpose for me--if my heels are exposed, they will sweat the same amount as if I was barefooted. I found some overseas sites that had potential, only to find that the sites were sold out. I literally had 20 tabs open on my browser, but nothing was right. Exasperated, I shouted to the crowd--I turned to Twitter.
I need low cut nude individual toe socks. Anyone know where I can get some?-- Erica Reid (@drunkmonkeyshow) November 9, 2014
A little while later, my amazing costumer friend Angela replied.
SOCK DREAMS! Of course! I see their ads all the time in Bust Magazine, but had never been on the site. After a little browsing, I found these babies. Beige basic 5 toes, 50% cotton. Only $10. I got excited, and bought 2 pairs. 2 days later, they arrived.
They are super comfy and fit great. I was excited to try them out. I took them to rehearsal...
AND THEY WORKED.
I cannot express to you what a feeling this was. My feet were still sweaty, yes, but the socks absorbed it all and kept the geyser from going off. My feet didn't go numb from being cold.
And my director didn't even notice I was wearing them.
With the fact that I am dancing more than I ever have and living my dreams in my mid-30s, having this new freedom feels sort of like a rebirth. It is pretty freaking awesome.
Thank you, Sock Dreams! Thank you, Angela!!
The new company I am dancing with, SHMIB Dance, will have our Chicago Premiere on December 3rd! We are performing a piece at the Untitled Project: The Show at the Mayne Stage! SHMIB is directed and choreographed by the amazing Melissa Talleda, and all the dancers are just incredible. I can't wait for this show, which will feature a number of other dance companies and soloists.
Untitled Project: The Show
Wednesday, December 3rd
1328 W Morse
Look at these guys! This is a photo from my friends Renee and Bill's wedding in September. I love it. Photo by the always amazing Greg Inda.