If You Had to Leave Your Home Today, What Would You Take With You?

It’s an interesting question, right? One I’ve been thinking about a lot for the last few months as we’ve gone through the move. My husband and my dogs are the obvious answer. But after that, I’m not sure. My computer? Old family photos not yet digitized? My box of cards and letters from over the past 12 years? Which, by the way, definitely holds many a note from my middle school days with Mil.

About a year ago, Seattle Opera went into the community asking this very question. People of all ages submitted 5 minute videos recording their answers, which you can watch here. I love the man who has saved his Bugs Bunny doll from childhood and the guy with the letter connecting him to his high school sweetheart after years and years.

Drawing on two of the submitted stories, Seattle Opera commissioned a brand new piece entitled An American Dream. The opera weaves together the stories of a Japanese-American family forcibly removed from their home during World War II and the German-American family that buys the house. The two families are connected by the Japanese daughter’s doll, which she hides beneath the floorboards of their home – unable to burn it with the rest of their possessions that tie them to Japan.

Last weekend, Nick and I attended the annual Japanese American Citizen’s League Banquet with Nina Yoshida Nelsen, one of the principal singers in An American Dream. Nina plays the Japanese mother forced to relocate with her family to an internment camp. Incredibly, Nina’s own grandmother was interned during World War II, a connection that makes her role in this piece particularly powerful. She and Nick were at the banquet to promote the opera’s upcoming debut, and as she sang for the crowd I could see waves of emotion cross people’s faces. It’s easy to forget the challenges that different communities have historically faced due their ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation – even though similar struggles still dominate the headlines today. I’ve never considered myself an opera lover, even though I married one. However, this particular show is one I feel compelled to see. It feels relevant, meaningful, and even personal. For more information about the upcoming world premiere, you can go here. While I know that most of our readers aren’t local, I just think it’s such an interesting topic that I had to share it!

Seattle Opera An American Dream JACL

Nick and Nina having fun at the Japanese American Citizens League Banquet.


Nine Nelsen Houston Opera Seattle Opera

Nina performing at Houston Grand Opera (source)

So now I want to know, what would you take with you? An object or something intangible, like a specific family memory? Share your answers in the comments below.



Friday Favorites

Today is my first Friday Favorites post from Seattle! It feels a little weird to be back after being gone for about seven years. My days have been spent job and apartment hunting, so I still feel like I’m visiting for the week and then will head back home to Arkansas. I suppose when I start working again, sh*t will get real. In honor of once again being a Seattleite, several of this week’s favorites are hometown picks.


1. My husband recently started a job in the education department at Seattle Opera. His focus is on adult education, and a good part of his position involves traveling the region to deliver lectures at libraries and other community spaces. This week I tagged along with him to Whidbey Island, which I hadn’t been to in years. We took the ferry over and spent the day driving the winding roads and visiting each community’s cute little downtown. It was so much fun to be with Nick as he took in the views and the landscape for the first time. It’s purty here.

2.  Yesterday, Mil and I had a girls night out at one of the dress rehearsals for Tosca. It was my third opera ever. Mil on the other hand has probably been to at least fifteen. She’s classy like that. Since it was my first Seattle Opera show, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The good news is that I was truly blown away by the singing and production value. It was more intense and thrilling than any musical I have ever been to. As they say in the opera world, bravi tutti!

3. Oscar nominations will be announced next week on January 15th. Every year I love getting wrapped up in the hype. I try to watch all the Best Picture nominees, read the blog predictions, and park myself on the couch (usually in a friend’s living room) to watch the coverage, which of course includes the pre-show fashion analysis. This year Mil and I have plans for a girls’ watch party. Stay tuned for Oscar inspired apps and cocktails.

4.  Tomorrow marks the start of the Sherlock Seattle Convention. I unfortunately can’t make it, but I had to shout it out anyway. I am a sucker for costume contests and have been loving Benedict Cumberbatch’s interpretation of the character. If you haven’t given the BBC series a shot, do it. Your only regret will be realizing that you spent your entire weekend eating pizza and binge watching all three seasons.

5. The Bachelor is back! To be honest, I burned out on this show a few seasons ago, however this season’s candidate has caught my attention. Chris Soules is an Iowa farm boy, and as I’ve married a strapping Midwesterner, whose parents now live in Iowa, I feel a certain sense of loyalty and pride. Plus, he is freaking cute!

Looking these over, I probably seem a little media and entertainment obsessed. I’ll tell you what, this week we’ve been staying with a friend who has cable tv (!!!).  We have not had TV for years. So sadly I’ve been watching a lot of it and as a result have probably been exposed to more ads and promos this week than in all of 2014. Hopefully the novelty wears off soon, although to my credit I have been averaging two job applications a day. Boom! And on that note, have a great weekend!


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