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  • Writer's pictureSophia Dunkin-Hubby


The covers of four theater programs from the Palo Alto Children's Theatre stacked on top of each other - Treasure Island, Evita, Ms. Courageous, and The Pirates of Penzance.

What's gone on this week

The grind at work is definitely back on. It felt like I did nothing but work and write this week. Happy that I'm writing, but still. Ugh.

Something happened towards the end though that shook things up. I was really lucky growing up to be a part of a group of kids that found the Palo Alto Children's Theater. I loved theater and did as many shows as I could. I got my first job there, working in the costume shop. And the community of theatre kids that I was a part of was amazing - kids of all different ages engaged in bringing a show to life. Over the past 20 years we've lost members of that community, suddenly and unexpectedly, and this week we lost another.

We're scattered all over the place but each time it happens people reach out and reconnect, sharing memories and talking about what that time and place meant to us. It's always been hard for me to do. It's a part of my life that I'm reluctant to touch. It's too fraught. Too precious. Not because the memories are bad, they aren't, but because I'm no longer that person and that is hard to face.

I remember that time as vibrant, fun, messy, and hormone drenched. (I was in high school for most of it.) When I discovered that I could do shows I was so passionate about being on stage and yet also frightened. Passion outweighed fear and I got used to it, comfortable in the spotlight, but my emotions always ran high. The auditions where I worried I wouldn't get into a show and then that I wouldn't get the part I wanted were stressful. Once the show started the fun began. And the drama backstage. Hanging out and spending lots of time with people I liked and didn't. Spending so much time with people inevitably changed my relationship with them. They became more intense, some changed from good to bad, and some broke altogether. I loved it all.

As I became an adult my feelings changed. I shied away from drama and messiness favoring logic, order and rational thought. I became a different person, as we all do when we grow up. For many years I was glad for the change, but these days it makes me sad. I miss that part of myself, what she was capable of, even though some of her actions still make me cringe.

If I'm honest I miss the mess. When I look back at my memories the thing that I marvel at most is the absolute fearlessness with which we threw ourselves into things, without regard for the consequences. Maybe that's not unique - something all young people are able to do because of their youth - but it felt special.

Hard as it is to take these memories out and sift through them they are a part of me. I wouldn't be who I am without them, or without that community of theatre kids. Awful as it is to have to be prompted by a death to examine these memories I'm grateful that I have been.

Garden Update

I pinched out the tallest Cosmo seedlings. General advice is to pinch them when they reach 9-12" tall to produce bushier plants. The Calendula also will need pinching although they aren't growing very fast. I think my "sunny" balcony railing isn't really sunny enough for these plants.

My Coleus is really coming into it's own. That and the Begonias are the stars of the garden right now.

A coleus plant with green and red leaves in a terracotta pot.

I'm starting to think about things to do in the fall and making a list. I've got several plants that need dividing and seeds to start. (I'm going to order a heat mat for the next set of seeds.) A couple of plants need to be re-potting. Thinking about things I want to rip out and what to replace them with.

What I'm loving lately

I finished Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston this week and loved it. Such a fun read, perfect for summer.

It feels like summer is winding down already. Many primary schools start again in two weeks. I've really enjoyed the summer energy of lazy days, even if things have been busy at work. Fall is my favorite season of the year, but I'm a little sad to have summer end this year. It feels like time is speeding up and I would like to slow things down. Weekends when I have time to sit and think have been my favorite thing about this summer.

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