In May we had the opportunity to attend a free educational performance about life in the early immigrant coal-mining communities in central Pennsylvania.
Three young, energetic performers, using minimal props, put on dozens of shows in classrooms, libraries, and other small venues, in order to educate local kids about our coal-mining heritage. Sign me up!
We got there early enough to get ringside seats, and the girls enthusiastically responded when the actors called for volunteers. The skit was an ilustration of the endless ring of daily chores that the coal miners' wives and daughters had to perform.
The actors did a quick run-through of what each volunteer would have to do. Monday was wash day; Tuesday was ironing, Wednesday was baking, Thursday was house-cleaning. I forget Friday and Saturday, but Sunday was a day of rest.
Theresa had baking day - she had to toss the dough in the air, catch it, and knead the bread.
Natalie had house-cleaning. She had to sweep the floor - ch-ch-ch.
Noelle had Sunday, the day of rest. When it came time for her to practice, she stood there like a dead fish with stage fright. Totally froze. Didn't know what to do to demonstrate a day of rest. However, the show must go on, so the actors moved right along with the skit.
The rest of the volunteers did their parts perfectly.
Theresa kneaded the bread.
Natalie swept the floor.
Then came Sunday. Everyone in the room turned expectantly to Noelle.
She stood stock-still for a heart-stopping moment. The room held its collective breath. Would she freeze up?
Then she smiled, stretched her arms out in a leisurely yawn, and put her hands behind her head as if she were kicked back on a hammock, as the room erupted in laughter and applause!