Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ode to Ms Moon

Today is Ms Moon’s birthday. And as many of you have visited my porch via her blog you already know how special this woman is. And for those of you who have never had the pleasure of spending anytime with Ms Moon, well, here is a link to her blog:

But you see the thing that makes Ms Moon so special is all the love that surrounds her. From her most dearest beloved Mr Moon to their four grown children, who are just the most amazing adults in the world. And her precious Owen. But you see that is not even a scratch of the surface of all the loving, funny, generous, intelligent, kind, giving, silly, deep, dancing, singing, hugging and kissing extended family she has surrounding her. I could start to give you a list of names, but it would go on for so long and if I missed even one, I would feel like I tarnished a corner of a star that swings below our Ms Moon. Because she loves each and every one of us completely and un-judgementally. It makes no difference what so ever who you are. If you have even a moment of kindness or goodness or love in you, by just being around Ms Moon you will feel as if you could always be that person.

Now don’t get me wrong. She is perfect because she is real. She loves to say potty words. And I love to hear her say them. And sometimes do we get a little cattie talking about other people? Hell yes, we are Southern woman, Jezebels, divas, ladies. But we are not our Mother’s ladies. We are more. We are who we want to be. Do we wish at times that our minds were a little less….crazy? Yes, but then we would not be who we are. Here in the south we like to bring our crazy relatives out on the porch and serve lemonade. Bless their hearts. And we all have crazy relatives written prominently across our family trees. And we are proud of each and every one of them. Maybe that is why Ms Moon can talk about crazy so well. It is just our normal.

This is how I fell in love with Ms Moon. I had moved to Monticello after living 20 years on Pine Island down in Lee County. I had a strong network of friends and neighbors and lived in paradise. That is until August 13, 2005. That is the day that Hurricane Charlie changed my world forever. We all survived, but I swear that are many of us from that time and place still deal with PTSD. But for a quirky little island made up of old fishing families, artists, retired hippies and others searching for paradise it was hard to see how much we were all rattled. Some seem as normal as pie now, others, well, like my ex-husband made some decisions on how to survive those first few months of clean up after the storm that would cause changes that had no turn back. My husband decided that increasing a habit that I had pretended didn’t exist for so long to help him stay at wake at night when he was up at the marina changed our relationship forever.

And it affected all of my friends, because as I tried to ignore all the signs and not accept that he could choose drugs and alcohol over me, they had to deal with him and his madness in a totally different way. And he lost his job, and I had the offer for the promotion in Tallahassee and off we went. But he spiraled out of control and after a very long drawn out ordeal we finally went our own separate ways. I choose the roots of my gardens and animals and peace of labrun. He continued to make his choices. So I had all these amazing friends on Pine Island and now at 51 I live farther north then I have ever lived and have dear friends at work that I have known for almost 24 years, but no beloved ones here. So I met Jane Davis at a pine needle basket class at the Art League who invited me to join the garden circle. This is what she said, “Do you drink?” I said, “I like an occasional glass of wine”. She said, “We meet on Sundays, we drink wine and eat food and make things or talk about gardening.” I said I was in and then I met Carolyn Milligan who was the chairman of our Garden Circle. Carolyn and I were both single and interested in a lot of the same things so we went to a Murder Mystery at the Monticello Opera House. And there they were talking about auditions for Casablanca. Carolyn said she wanted to try it out and we double dog dared each other to go to the auditions. I was gone that weekend down to Palmetto to visit my Dad. But on Monday Carolyn called me and reminded me of the dare and so I went. On my audition sheet I put down that I would like a small part with no lines. I am on the thinner/taller side and had suggested that maybe I could play the part of one of the background men. So they cast me as the first man shot. Yep, my first role at the Opera House was dressed in a 1940s man suit and fedora. I had like three lines and then I took off running around the theater with the French police chasing me until I went to run out a door and they shot me. I met my most beloved Rich who had been cast as Ugarte and he helped me to learn how to die and fall behind a curtain. I then got to come back dressed as a woman in glamorous evening wear and just sit in Rick’s café. How cool was that?!?!?!

Then before one of the early rehearsals Ms Moon comes in and announces to everyone that she has found the next greatest thing in the entire world. Dark Chocolate M&Ms. That is it. That is when I fell in love with Ms Moon. She had the second biggest female role in the play, Yvonne. Normally cast as an ingénue who is desperate for Rick’s attention, whiny, wimpy, “Rick when will I see you again, sigh, sob.” But not our Ms Moon. No this was a scorned woman. A woman whose looks would be fading and she knew it. A woman who was “Rick’s girlfriend” but without any of the stability or prominence. And she drinks too much. And Ms Moon was amazing. And then in another scene she had to slap one of the actors across the face and she couldn’t. I mean they worked and worked and worked with her on that and she did finally pull it off, but I loved that it was so easy for her to get up there and take on Yvonne and make her into a believable character but could not slap a fellow actors face. Oh, and I loved that she told me about dark chocolate M&Ms still one of my favorite treats today. And from that moment on life was different. For me, for the Opera House, for the world. Rich, Ms Moon and I became the three musketeers, the cool crowd, the people who worked hard, took their acting (or in my case behind the scenes duties) seriously, but always willing to welcome someone else in and to have a laugh and live life real. And the Opera House family just swept us up into it and my most beloved ones here are part of that family. And I can not ever imagine my life without them. And we are each so different and bring so many different things to the Opera House and I think that is good. And last night a small handful of those beloveds ones met for rehearsal of Sylvia. The play that Ms Moon and Jan are co-directing, and through her a surprise birthday party.

And Ms Moon is doing movies and she is 56 today and not slowing down experiencing new things in her life. And she is taking care of me. She and Judy my two lead team members. They are who are keeping me standing up right now. Letting me deal with this cancer however I deal with it. And they love me. And I love them deeper then I can ever imagine loving another human being, because they don’t expect me to be anything then who I am. And that allows me to try and be the best that I am.

And that is why we all love our Ms Moon.
Happy Birthday Mary


  1. I sure am glad you two dear ladies found eachother.

  2. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have by my side during difficult circumstances. Mary is a doll.

    Love to you,


  3. It's amazing how random events can completey change our lives. So glad you and Ms. Moon and the Opera House found each other.

  4. Oh Kathleen- I can't even see to write this which is okay because I don't have the words to write with.
    I just love and adore you.
    I am SO glad we were in Casablanca together. So very, very glad.

  5. Beautifully written. And friendships like you just described are beautiful too. They just make life good!!

  6. Nice to have such a great friend.

  7. Dear Kathleen - Love having this back story on your life and how you and Mary Moon started your friendship. So glad you are there for each other.
    What a lovely tribute to your friend on her birthday this writing is. Hugs from Here. N2

  8. You have a new friend via Ms. Moon..who is reading your thoughts wishing I could do more...I appreciate your honest words of what has happened in your life with the big C....being open and expressing your thoughts really does. A support umbrella is over you...we are here. And I far away in California will get to know you.

    It was a treat to hear about Ms.Moon...hehehe! I do know a bit about Southern women as my mom and all her friends from Alabama made sure to show there ways!

  9. When you love someone in a real way you are part of what protects their heart. Thank you for loving my Mama, thank you for protecting her heart. Thank you for taking care of that most important part of her.