Singing

Staycations Are a Song

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Covid and all it’s lovely variations. The thing is, it looks like pandemics of one ilk or the other are here to stay. As a world traveler I get it. Just three hours in an international airport looks like a convention at the UN. It is wonderful to see so many cultures, the dress, languages, and foods. But just as they look at our Covid numbers in the US and immediately put on a mask if they hear English being spoken, the fact is, everyone is exhaling and spreading microbes everywhere they are. So mini Staycations are here to, well, stay.

As for me, I decided to create a new world of experience right here in my own my backyard. And while not quite as fanciful as whatever Dorothy of Oz was tripping on with that Emerald Cities and Scarecrow, I am guessing there is a new world right in your own backyard. Especially, if you have a good WiFi signal.

I live in a rural area in far western Washington State and I have found both online and right in my own community folks who have been my guides to some thrilling adventures this year. Think back to what you loved as a child and revisit the possibilities of doing that. As Barbara Scher talks about in her book, “Wishcraft” come up with the essence of what you love to do and create a niche vocation or avocation doing that.

I always wanted to be a pop singer. I did that growing up. But life got in the way. However, now that I am free and clear as a retired person, I am taking voice lessons. My teacher has years of experience and every single lesson I learn something new. She has brought my voice up a least an octave and taught me breathing, phrasing and my hardest part…timing. It is going on 6 months. And I was beginning to wonder what I would do with all this newfound voice range.

Enter our local Lavender Festival. A friend who owns a Lavender farm agreed to let me entertain her guests as they picked flowers. I even had song sheets in case my fellow Baby Boomers wanted to sing along. She wasn’t paying me, so I wasn’t feeling pressured to sound like Pat Benatar. On key and on time was enough. Besides it was outside, mediocre sound system and among friends, who did in fact sing-along. Not the Palladium, but a good start for my self-esteem. As a one-time stand-up comic I know the key to success is stage time. Lots of stage time.

When I am with my voice teacher I am transported to another world. For anyone who saw the comedy movie about a voice coach in, “Falling for Figaro” my teacher is the opposite. She is loving, supportive and makes clear suggestions. In her world I believe in myself 100%. I am having fun. I see myself in a one-woman show (Think “Menopause the Musical”). In fact, many people have asked me to write my memoir. I couldn’t see that being very interesting. I mean one Baby Boomer’s checkered past is likely to be like all others. But now I see humor, music and scene after scene of my biggest blunders. And why not? I am not doing it for fame or fortune. I am doing it for fun. Life is an adventure and I aim to be in it.

Sally Franz and her third husband live on the Olympic Peninsula. She has two daughters, a stepson, and three grandchildren. Sally is the author of several humor books including Scrambled Leggs: A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey and The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Menopause

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