I haven't been writing here much, mainly because I haven't had many new thoughts to share, at least related to babyloss. I kind of felt like because this space was called Dear Stevie, I could only really post things specifically related to you. But the more I think about it, the more 'okay' it seems for me to talk about my everyday normal life here, too. I'm aware that you can't actually read anything I write here, but for some reason, when I pretend like maybe you can, I feel very connected to you.
So, dear Stevie (and dear readers!), I hope you don't mind that I am going to start using this blog as a place to talk about, well, whatever. I want to feel like I am somehow involving you in my day-to-day life, as unexciting as it may be sometimes.
And here we go.
This last weekend I went on my first big business trip, to Portland, Maine. A bit of back story: as I've probably shared before, I am the special events manager for a large nonprofit. Our affiliate in Maine was putting on a big benefit concert featuring the Young@Heart Chorus. Let me pause for a second and rave about this group. If you have not watched the documentary 'Young@Heart', stop whatever you're doing and watch it right now (click here to watch the trailer). Seriously, this group is amazing. It's a choir of very elderly people (the average age is 83!) who perform rock songs (everything from the Rolling Stones, to Nirvana, to Jimmy Hendrix, to Coldplay). To say they are inspiring is a total understatement.
I've really wanted to do a Young@Heart concert here in Minneapolis, benefiting my organizations' extensive work with seniors. When we found out one of our affiliates was doing one in Maine, it was the perfect opportunity to experience the event, first-hand, see if it seemed like it would be a good fit for us, and get to know the chorus a little better.
I had a blast.
First of all, Portland is a really sweet city. I had never been out to the East Coast before, and to be completely honest, was not really expecting to like it as much as I did. It had a really nice small town vibe, but also had a very urban feel, which I loved. I got into town Friday at about 2:00pm, and had all afternoon and evening to bum around and explore the city:
On the waterfront
I was so excited to see unfrozen water!
Down the street from my hotel
Another shot of all the fun little shops and pubs
A cute little restaurant where I had some amazing lobster dip and my first Maine beer (Allagash White, so good!)
Playing around in my hotel bathroom; I just like this one so I thought I'd include it :)
Saturday morning the Young@Heart chorus members arrived and I spent the morning hanging out with them at their hotel. They were all so friendly and so funny. These 90-year-olds seriously had more energy than I do at 25! Then that afternoon I went shopping with a woman from our national office in Washington, DC, who was also in Maine for the event. I found some really fun vintage jewelry at a cute resale shop, and had my first lobster roll at this fun little hole-in-the-wall down by the water:
That night everyone had a really nice, fancy dinner at this lovely Italian restaurant. I had THE best desert I've ever had in my life (some sort of banana cake, no idea what it was called as everything was in Italian!).
Sunday was the actual Young@Heart event. It was absolutely amazing. They sold out the 2,000-seat Merrill Theater (a huge feat for a town of only 60,000 people!) and put on an incredibly fun and moving show. From the opening moment, when one of the singers pulled herself out of her wheelchair, slowly shuffled up to the microphone using a cane, and belted out the first notes of the Rolling Stones, 'You Can't Always Get What You Want,' there were tears just streaming down my face.
The chorus members getting ready to go out and perform
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"
The whole weekend was just a really, really good time. It was very refreshing to get out of Minnesota and experience a change of scenery for a few days. It also gave me a renewed sense of excitement and enthusiasm about my job. I really hope we can put on our own Young@Heart benefit next spring! You are all invited! :)
Wish you were here,