Sousa’s March Mania!

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

We are now into the third month of 2019. Time is marching on y’all! And quickly I might add. Don’t sit still and let it pass you by. Maybe it is time to take a breath, and revisit what you want for this year. Not necessarily your resolutions, though not a bad place to start, but what do you really hope to get out of this year? Need a redo? Regroup and reset? Do it now.

Monday was March 4th and I read an interesting piece about “Marching forth on March Fourth!” Yes, a cute play on words (kinda like May the force be with you on May 4th – I live for that one each year!). But the connotation of Marching forth portends being strong: chin up, eyes up, positive attitude, all to face whatever obstacles appear in your way with confidence. This has really come into play for me recently and probably will more so in the near future. I keep reminding myself I can handle this and I will be ok. As I have said before, divorce is not for the faint of heart y’all, even 2 years later.

“Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accomodations.”  Olivia Goldsmith

It is the first day of Lent, which means yesterday was Fat Tuesday. Did you splurge before giving up something for Lent? That’s the purpose of Fat Tuesday, right? I guess I splurged on scrambled eggs – still not quite over that virus of last week. I used to give up something sweet for Lent – ice cream, cake, chocolate, Girl Scout Cookies. But honestly, that would not work this year as I have not had anything sweet in over a week (due to the virus) and don’t really want any. Didn’t even have a piece of the homemade King cake at the office! So what to give up…if anything?

Give up wine for Lent? That would be sacrilegious!

“Lent offers us a chance to hold out our cups if they are empty, and to share from abundance if they are full.”

If you remember, last year’s Lenten blog  was about giving up unfavorable habits such as complaining, anger, and pessimism, and replacing them with gratefulness, patience, and optimism, just to name a few. Trust me, your life will be much happier if you follow that advice and replace negativity with positivity! Maybe this year we should try to expand on this idea. What if we “March forth” with improving our lives and those of others, discovering what makes us truly happy, performing random, and not so random, acts of kindness. What if we strive to keep our heads up and our feet moving in a positive way, to get us through all the hard times that will inevitably clog our lives. March forth. I like that.

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” Dolly Parton

When my mom was in her 60’s, she would go to “the Y” in Clemmons, NC, walkman in her fanny pack, earphones in her ears, and march around the track listening to her cassette tape of John Philip Sousa marches. Said it kept her going. I am sure she was the only one in there marching to actual marching songs. You were wise to stay outta her way folks – she was on a mission! Wonder if she was listening to “Be kind to your web footed friends…cause a duck may be somebody’s moth—er…” Just kidding! Some of her favorite marches popped up in Sousa’s March Mania hosted by the US Marine Band: 32 Marches, 4 weeks, 1 Champion. You could be MARCH KING if you pick the winning march. Oh how Momma would love this! She would be MARCH QUEEN!  She sure had a great time marching around that track. And was always in beat with the music. Jump ahead 25+ years and Mom can now be found marching down the hall with her walker towards the Ice Cream Parlor. Bet she is not giving that up for Lent!

“Lent is the season in which we ought to be surprised by joy.” Bread and Wine

One quick story about marching…My kids were all in concert band in middle school and HAD to march in the Dogwood Festival parade their 8th grade year. That was so much fun for me watching my flutists and my trumpeter march down Main Street in the parade, while I ran alongside videotaping. Not as much fun for them. (Thought I might include pictures of each of them in their middle school band uniform from the parade, but they threatened me!)

Last week, my younger daughter, a friend, and I went to a wonderful presentation from a former female photographer for National Geographic, who followed her passion and bravely marched into incredibly scary places you and I would never consider going. She witnessed and photographed human trafficking, the secret world of geishas in Japan, dictators, was shot at, ambushed, and yet through it all, she got her story and her photographs to share with the world. She has lived a life none of us could imagine. She said you never know what people are going through – someone always has it worse, and this woman has seen it first hand. Marched right into it because she believed in the stories and wanted to share the work she was doing. She also witnessed and photographed the beauty in our world.

“Keep your head high no matter what happens. You’ll be alright. If the moment hurts, do not fall victim to its pain. Look ahead. Focus on what can be.”

So March on y’all. Keep your head up and feet moving… left, left, left right left. Find what makes you happy. Go after it and make time to experience it. Especially with those you love, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

“Why do they not teach you that time is a finger snap and an eye blink, and that you should not allow a moment to pass you by without taking joyous, ecstatic note of it, not wasting a single moment of its swift, breakneck circuit?”–Pat Conroy



PS – ONLY 14 days until spring y’all!  My Christmas cactus is also ready for spring!

Christmas Cactus blooming one last time…


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