I am such a sucker for punishment, but I signed up to sing in a Christmas concert in Oakley in December. We have an hour and a half practice every week in Oakley (20 minutes away) until our performance in the first part of December. If the gas costs don't kill me, then learning twelve songs might. :) Actually, I was able to set up a car pool so I only have to drive every other week and we don't have to memorize the music so that eases up the pressure some.
I sang in our stake Christmas concert last year and really enjoyed it. We had the stake choir as well as a little six piece orchestra with some violins and violas, a cello, an oboe and a flute. We had five songs that we learned in six weeks and it was hard work, but I really thought it was an awesome experience. There was one song that I thought was particularly beautiful, so I typed up the words because Dad can't hear very well and it wasn't a traditional Christmas song. It was so worth it because he bawled during the whole song. It was awesome. :) I don't think I have ever found a way to enjoy the Christmas season like that before, so it is exciting to be able to do something similar again this Christmas.
So Oakley... The last time I drove out I took some pictures. I figured I could give one of those speaking tours, so you know what it feels like to drive out to Oakley but this way it only takes a few minutes and you can skip the boring parts. :) Here I am safely taking a picture while driving. I look good, but I almost ran off the road while I was framing the shot (apparently I am not as talented at taking pictures while driving as my fellow blogger, Mindy Haws). Although, for some reason it cracked me up, so I tried the picture again with the appropriate expression and did much better at staying on my side of the road. :)
Moving on. On our left, please notice the Madonna Silos. Please don’t make me explain that to you. That is what my other friend, Mindy Manning, used to call them as we commuted out to Oakley one summer for Into the Woods. A crazy summer where I played a bit part and we were stage managers together and wore headsets and were the envy of all the teenagers. We even had nicknames. Although I still can’t remember who was Black Thunder and White Lightening.
Some things have changed though since that LONG ago summer. Please note yet another corn field coming up on our left. We now have two ethanol plants in Burley/Heyburn, which seriously stinks. Literally. I have heard it described as the gentle aroma of rising bread, but really it is a lot closer to the pungent scent of fermented beer. Anywho, here is the corn that helps foster that, umm, fragrance. On the bright side, they sure do frame the South hills very prettily.
Upon entering the city of Oakley, population 668, you will learn interesting facts such as,
"It is the western gateway to City of Rocks National Reserve and the eastern gateway to the South Hills, where an abundance of recreational opportunities abound all year round. This community is home of the world-famous Oakley Stone; Oakley Dam, the largest earthen filled dam in the world at its completion in 1911; the site of more historic homes per capita than anywhere in the U.S.; and the Oakley Valley Arts Council and Howells Opera House (one of the few continuously operating theatres built in 1907)."