Kimberton Hills

We gathered a few things the night before to ready ourselves in the morning of June 10th, for 9:00am. I however, arrived at 9:08am, and people began to worry. I began to worry too– if you know me well, I am never late! But the dresses were organized and ready to be loaded by 9:30am. We were very lucky to have a large truck, where we could put everything in which required to be layed flat or couldn’t bend. 

We were on the road by 9:50am and I was in a car with Bridget, Laura, and Carolyn. It was pretty eventful. First, when we got on the highway, no one knew where the Garden State Parkway was… even me, who lived in the area for the past 20 years, did not know, so we kept driving– finally coming to the conclusion we were headed in the wrong direction! We did a large U-turn in the Palisades Center mall and went back up the high way… in the correct direction? It worked! We made it onto the Garden State parkway! But, wait, were we heading the correct direction!? “It’s definitely South! Yes! We need to go south!” Piped in Carolyn. “Are you sure? Not west?” Asked Bridget. “Wait, I don’t know… what does the instructions say?” No one seemed to know what to do, or where to go. Finally we just stuck with the GSP until further notice. “Can someone put on their GPS?” “I don’t have data…” “Anyone have enough data to use GPS?” Finally we found a phone with GPS. It was a while before that took place. We travelled like straight ahead, waiting to hear the next instructions by the automated voice coming out of Bridgit’s phone. “Okay, so it says we need to take exit 50!” Bridget whipped out a book and began to read, Laura was listening intently, and Carolyn and I fell asleep. I woke up to Carolyn frantically hollering to veer right! “Why are we at exit 33? Don’t we have to go off exit 50? Did we miss it?” We did! Because everyone was so involved in their doings, we missed the exit. But somehow we managed to find the next best thing. We finally got off the high way, and made it into Suburbia, and continued to listen to Bridget’s phone. “In 1.2 miles exit on the right hand side.” We waited until it showed .02 miles. “Turn!” Screamed Bridget. Laura turned her wheel at a 90° angle. “No, it was the next turn.” I said as we made a right onto a rather scenic road. We crossed a bridge, and came into lush, green, nature-filled Pennsylvania. “Wow! I’m glad we turned at the wrong place!” It was so beautiful. The GPS voice found a new way of navigating us.

We finally made it about an hour after everyone else, had a beautiful lunch and then began to set up. The dress girls were on ironing all the dresses, while Natalie mended. 

Setting up the hall: Rose Hall

Getting ironed…

We’ve invaded!

Pre-ironing… 

Once we were finished ironing, we began to practice our entrances and exits. The stage was quite small, and we had make-shift exit curtains made out of wood slabs. But we made it work! When we’re all on board, open to change and excited, it always works! Dinner rolled around at 6:30pm and again, we had an amazing dinner! 

The next morning we awoke to the sound of bird heaven. As Laura liked to call is “a wall of birds.” It truly was an amazing experience. The nature was just lush with beauty! 

“Now all the woods are chirping,/ the air is full of song,/ wake up now,/ get up now,/ and join the happy throng!” 

This is the song I woke up with in my head every morning while in Kimberton Hills. I decided to think and have a few 12 precious minutes to myself. I took the high road to breakfast. I breathed in a few deep sighs, planted my feet upon the earth and told myself that I am here. 

We arrived at breakfast around 8:00am and ate to our hearts content. I chose an egg with toast. But granolas, fruit, yogurt and bread were just a few options! Coffee was in high demand and chatter was in full swing! 

By 9:45am we were dressed and ready to do more run-thrus. It was fun to try and get into it all! By lunch time, we had worked up quite an appetite and had a wonderful soup with many flavors. We did get some shut eye, but by 2:45pm, we were back at it! Makeup was being applied, hair was being done– yes! we succeeded without our amazing hairdresser in tow! It went very well, and in costume by 3:45pm. By 4:00pm the audience was filling up. We had a small showing of our fairytale and the funnies. It went all very well! But it was HOT! The sun had really begun to show his face, and let us know he was a part of sky above. 

We made a mistake! Oops! The dress girls forgot about a piece. We forgot all the “Sitwell” dresses! Magical momma B with her patience very calmly said, “We can use the Kodály” dresses!” It worked out beautifully! We transitioned from Kodály straight into “Still Falls the Rain.” by Edith Sitwell. “But now we know! And it won’t happen again.” 

Dinner rolled around, yet again… funny how we are so dependent on food! It’s a wonderful thing to be fed! It really is! By 7:30pm, it was again show time! We did the more serious pieces. However, the hems seemed to have a mind of their own in our evening program and came out on stage, or decided to trip some of us…. 

We awoke again to “a wall of birds.” And this time we had to wake up a little earlier, as we had to be on the road earlier. It was 6:30am when I began to crawl out of bed. By 7:00am we were down at breakfast, but only with about 1/3 of us. Egg with toast. Coffee. Up to Rose Hall again to get the last few things bagged, as we had cleared it all the night before after the performance. We were on the road by 9:00am. 

Here comes the story about returning home: we found our way very well out of Pottstown Road. Success! We made the correct left. It was a good start. GPS from the beginning, now we know. We made it onto the main road, but it was telling us to take a left. “EZ Pass tag holders only.” Huh? But how do we get onto the highway? We found a small gas station, and the lady was kind and patient and told us immediately the next best route. We made it onto the high way! “Okay! Here comes a toll!” Pay. Leave. Success. We move on. Story time came again. I slept. (Not that the story was boring, I just couldn’t stay awake). “Okay! Here comes a toll!” Pay. Leave. Success. Story time. “Okay! Here comes a toll!” Arrive. “Wait, it’s EZ Pass only! Move to the next lane! That’s a cash only! Quick!” “I don’t have time!” “Just go thru the EZ Pass we don’t have any other choice!” We make it thru without paying. “Okay, now we know to look out for ‘Cash only’ lanes!” Drive. Read. “Here comes another toll!” “No, get out of this lane! Move to the next! The next one is a cash only!” “No, it’s still EZ Pass!” “Can I back up?” “No, it’s not allowed!” “But how do I get to the next lane?” Carolyn was trying her best to help the situation, but often said we were safe to go, when really cars would be coming at us highway style. I tried to tell Laura when she could drive nice and calmly, but we became stuck, and were forced to go thru another EZ Pass lane. Immediately, Bridget was calling the toll-free number to try and explain what happened to us to the toll operators. It was dealt all very quickly, but not so quietly. “We will be in Switzerland when the ticket is due! Is there any way to pay immediately?” “Nope!” Came the voice from inside the phone. 

We arrived a little after noon time, and unpacked the dresses, letting them air out. We immediately added the Sitwell dresses to our racks, and I made all new dress tags and lists! 

Tomorrow it’s off to Copake. 

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