Thursday, March 22, 2012

May the odds be ever in your favor.

As soon as school dismissed I drove across town to get in the growing line in front of Kroger. Already hundreds of people in front of me, I joined the back of the line after getting a red ticket from a security guard. All of us were here to see the Pioneer Woman. Blogger, writer, cook, photographer and woman extraordinaire, Ree Drummond was coming to this Kroger for a stop on her current book tour and we all wanted the chance to meet her.

I heard about the Pioneer Woman first from my friends Sarah and Mary Ellen, both avid fans of her blog. When she released "From High Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Pioneer Woman Love Story" last Fall I couldn't put it down. I tore through every page of the story of how she fell in love with her husband known primarily as the Marlboro Man.

Hundreds of us waited for two hours outside in the hot sun. We could see Ree start signing books through the window at 4:00-- hundreds more were lined up inside. I finished reading "Lone Wolf", talked to the people around me in line, and watched the moms, kids and friends all waiting in the stagnant line. Security passed out water bottles, a handful of people went into Kroger to buy camping chairs so they could stop standing. They had expected 300 people but over 1,000 showed up.

At 5:00 we moved inside. And then waited for two more hours. I have never spent so much time perusing the shelves of mustard, jam, oatmeal, peanut butter and cereal as I did today. I could now tell you the life story of the mom and daughter that were in line before me and the pair of friends that were right after me because we spent so much time together today. Kroger gave us a bag of chocolate to pass through the line and we fantasized about what we would have for dinner once we were finally free. The people who were actually there to grocery shop were completely taken aback by the droves of women lined up in every aisle.

Finally at 7:00 we passed the pop-tarts, turned the corner and there was Ree Drummond in all her Pioneer Woman glory. It is incredibly cool to get to meet someone you hold in such high esteem. All of us were there because in some way or another she has impacted our lives; whether it's through just reading her story, being inspired by her photographs, or her recipes that influence what so many of these women are cooking everyday.

After four hours I finally got to meet Ree for about fifteen seconds. It was totally worth it. I got to quickly tell her about how I teach my students about blogging during our personal narratives unit and that her work inspires us. She laughed and told me that she didn't think she was any kind of expert on writing. I disagree.

It is writers exactly like her that I hope will keep writing-- these women that wrote because they loved to write and that passion has become so much more than they ever expected as their audience grew. Writers like Kelle Hampton, Shauna Niequist, Libby Ryder and Ree Drummond inspire me to keep writing.

I originally thought I would be able to meet Ree, go back to my school to watch the dress rehearsal of The Music Man and get back to Indy to watch the play of some camp girls with time to spare. But then I hung out in the mustard aisle of Kroger for a couple hours... So I got to the play just after they finished The Phantom Tollbooth.

But the best part of all plays is seeing the actresses afterwards; Olivia ran outside in her princess dress to greet me. Molly and Chrissy had both come to watch the girls' performance and said they were fantastic. Chrissy and I have both been counselors for these girls at Tecumseh. In the summer we cheer for them as they shine on stage at closing campfire with their hip-hop and drama clinics and I love that we get to come cheer them on during the school year.

We got to see the Camp T banner Olivia and Kaya created, try on costumes backstage, hear all about school and their performance, listen to Olivia and Katherine's showcase song Popular and just exude some camp love. Seeing these girls makes me so excited for camp to begin in just a couple months.

I also thought I would be able to go home and power nap for a couple hours... but who am I kidding. I had to play with Chrissy and then we had to find Colleen and then Rachel came over and there was just no time for sleeping. Coll and I are a bit excited for the Longhouse this summer--TECUMSEH BENDDDDD (think ROLLTIIDDDEEE voice).

Next up, I drove to the theatre for the Hunger Games midnight premier. I love the hype and have been anticipating this event for months. I loved this story when I first read it nearly four years ago and shared it with my student teaching classroom. I love that like the Harry Potter movement, it has hooked so many young readers. I love the excitement of fans that dress up in costume and choose to lose sleep so they can watch the film as soon as possible. I was texting with friends waiting for the games to begin in theatres all over Indianapolis and the Midwest but was most excited when I ran into Maddie Mahoney at my theatre.

Avery, Jess, Abby and I were ready--sweatshirts on for maximum comfort, Diet Coke so we couldn't fall asleep, and popcorn because I still had never eaten dinner. We couldn't wait to see if the movie would measure up to how much we loved Suzanne Collins' book.

The movie was incredible.

I was especially impressed with Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss Everdeen, and loved the rest of the cast. I was thankful that most of the actors were unknown before the making of this so I didn't have preconceived notions of them. I was indifferent before, but after the movie I'm totally on team Gale. Rue was portrayed even better than what I had imagined. I loved the costumes, the action, the translation from text to film--there was no chance I was going to fall asleep.

Now I'm ready for Catching Fire and Mockingjay to come out in theatres. Getting two hours of sleep was totally worth it.


  1. I die. Thank you for not skimping on the details. Ree is such a pioneer queen - well worth the wait to meet. Mom and I were hoping that you didn't give her Lone Wolf to sign :) And I totally do not recognize those girls you went to the movie with - who are they?? I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE SOME DAY!!!!

  2. You're welcome- I'm all about the details. Avery (far left) is on my YL team, Jess (middle) is one of Avery's old roommates, Abby (far right) is a NC leader and one of our friends. Maddie (girl I ran into) was a CILT last summer.