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Concert 5: Portland, Oregon
June 27, 2009
My first Jonas Party!
Author’s Note: It has been fun to re-live the summer of 2009, by going back and finishing each blog. This concert blog was in the beginning when we did not know if we would make it to 45. I couldn’t even think that far ahead. All I could see at this point was the next few concerts. This was the first concert with the Wonder Girls. The Honor Society had not really owned the space on the stage yet. Jordin Sparks was getting better and better, but she was still tentative with some of the moves. And the adventures were just beginning. At this point, I didn’t know that I would see Lauren in Las Vegas in August and then in Baltimore in Sept. She is a soul sister who cheered me on to victory each step of the way. I am grateful for this new blossoming friendship. At the end, there is an idea about love…
The more willing you are to surrender to the energy within you, the more power can flow through you. -Shakti Gawain
I was hesitant about going to this concert. We had been go-go-go-go for a week. Hannah had been sick for two days and she seemed to be getting worse. I have been asking myself is she sick or just run down from the travel?
Thank goodness we were at Nicola and Brad’s house when she got sick. They are the aunt and uncle of my daughter’s fiance, Jesse. They had welcomed us into their home for 48 hours of Hannah’s exhaustion. It was a nurturing environment where Hannah was able to rest before the Nampa, Idaho concert and Portland, Oregon concert. We were comfortable, fed, loved and safe here.
Now we were leaving Nampa with full bellies from a pancake, bacon and egg breakfast. As we loaded the car, Brad lovingly packed a lunch for us. Peanut butter sandwiches with snack bags filled with grapes and protein bars and water. We were equipped with all the food we needed for our drive to Portland.
We didn’t have Jonas tickets for the Portland concert yet and I asked Hannah, if she wanted to go straight to Tacoma, and skip the concert in Portland. Did she need time to rest?
She was determined to go on and would not even consider missing this concert. Please understand that we feel it a privilege to be on this trip and we both feel a responsibility to the fans reading the blog and following along. There are girls all over the world writing to us. They are following our journey and waiting to hear the details. So many girls would love to do this. Just as the Jonas Brothers would not skip a concert because of a cold, headache, or sore throat, we weren’t going to skip it either. Luckily, Hannah could sleep in the car all day.
One other thing happened today that encouraged us to go on. We received a spontaneous invitation to dinner in Portland, Oregon. Lauren, an enthusiastic Jonas fan and a Mom, had been following our story and reading the blog. She was going to the concert with her 13 year old daughter, Kaleigh and a group of their friends. They were having a Jonas pizza party and a barbecue. She sent me an e-mail and asked if we would like to join them for an early dinner. We purchased our tickets on-line and called Lauren when we were a few hours from Portland. She was so welcoming and enthusiastic when we connected on the phone. I couldn’t wait to meet her.
When I walked into their home, I felt like I was back in Baltimore, my hometown for the last 25 years. Lauren’s home was a combination of my two friends, Susan Gardener and Dotti Drumm. The layout of the house was just like Susan’s home. I knew exactly where the bathroom was located on the second floor. There were art spirals on an archway and a variety of art projects made out of everyday items, the way Dotti, a creative folk artist, would have in her home. And the food, drinks, activities, all made me feel like I had been transported home to the East Coast.
The girls were gathered around a table in the backyard with art supplies and T-shirts. They even had a T-shirt for Hannah to decorate. Another reminder of the community in Baltimore. We would have all done the same thing, reach out to a traveler and welcome them, feed them, hand them some art supplies and chat away.
I felt like Lauren was a soul sister. As soon as I met her, I was sharing the events of the last few weeks. It all came tumbling out. The joy, the fear, the journey and everything I had bottled up inside. I was in a home with a girlfriend and I shared it all!
As she offered burgers, veggie burgers, and pizza with pepperoni pieces cut into Jonas, I found myself clapping my hands with joy. One pizza read “Jonas Brothers.” The other was a heart with the word, “Nick.” Appetizers, drinks, laughter and stories, were rolling through the yard and the house, as we talked and listened to the Jonas Brothers music on an I-pod. We were at a Jonas party!
Our community of Jonas fans are on-line or at the concerts. I have never had an opportunity to create, host or attend a Jonas party in someone’s home. I was so happy! How had this fun landed in my lap so easily? What a gift!
Kaleigh’s friends and their Mom’s were weaving in and out of the house. Stories of their day, arranging the details of pick-up, soccer games, SAT events this weekend. Who would drive, what were the plans, how could they support each other? Lauren’s friend, Kathy, received free tickets at the last minute and had entered “Jonas Land.” She wasn’t quite sure about this but was open to the adventure. Jim, Lauren’s husband was sacrificing his birthday for the evening, although I am not sure he had a choice. (Next time call the Jonas Brothers about the scheduling, Jim! Happy Birthday!)
The only bad thing was that Hannah was still sick. I was sorry the girls wouldn’t get to know the real Hannah and she was too tired to fully engage with them. She was dragging and withdrawn and sleepy. We decided to drive our car to the Rose Garden Arena so we could head straight to Seattle after the concert.
We followed Lauren as she wove through the back streets of Portland, avoiding rush hour traffic and to a secret parking spot. I tried to drop Hannah off closer to the arena but when that didn’t work, I swung around in a circle to the amazing on street parking a few blocks from the arena that Lauren had guided us to. All I needed was $2 in quarters compared to $20 and only one extra block of walking. This is another reason to connect with the local fans. They will find the bargains in parking and food!
The doors were open and the lines were already moving when we arrived. We stood in line together and then split up to go to our seats. Hugs and more hugs as we departed.
I had the most amazing tickets tonight. Two nights in a row! I was right on the corner of the catwalk. It is so strange to lock eyes with the boys on stage while I am singing their songs and dancing. I can understand why the girls scream. The boys are so connected to what they are doing. I could feel the energy in my heart. When they look at the fans, they send laser lights of love and it is powerful.
Here are some of the concert details:
It was great to see Honor Society. They had a scheduling conflict with the Idaho concert and had moved on to Portland. Skip one concert and I had already missed them. It was fun to see their sparkling eyes. I am getting better at The Honor Roll dance.
There was a singing group called The Wonder Girls. I heard that they might be joining the tour for a few performances, but tonight is the first night I had seen them. They seemed really sweet. They sang two songs. First they came onto the stage right after The Honor Society and sang a song called, “Tell Me.”
The strangest thing was how they came onto the stage without anyone really announcing them and then started singing to a crowd that was seated and jabbering away. I wondered who their audience would be. Are they here for the elementary school crowd, the high school crowd, the adults or all of us?
After Jordin Sparks sang they came back onto the stage. This time Papa Jonas announced them and asked everyone to stand up and clap for them. He said that they were from Korea and were invited by the Jonas family to come to the U.S. and perform. They had changed their violet, sparkly, swishy dresses to silver, sparkly dresses that sway to the music. They sang the second song, “Nobody.” I love their coordinated dance moves and the simple, catchy tunes with words like, “I want nobody, nobody but you…”
Jordin Sparks and her band performed in between the Wonder Girls two songs. Jordin was wearing a new dress during her set. It was bright yellow and so cute on her. She is really growing as a performert. Fun to watch her, as she just keeps getting better and better with each performance. I am also enjoying the evolution of her hair and clothing. Every night is a surprise.
As I said earlier, I was on the corner of the catwalk. The two Jonas songs that were performed on this side of the stage were, “Gotta Find You,” from Camp Rock and the rain scene for “LoveBug.” I was making eye contact with the guys and feeling the love.
I started thinking about the impact we can each have on the people and the world around us. I have talked with so many fans who feel that the Jonas Brothers music has healed their hearts. They feel sad or unloved. It could be from the loss of a loved one or an illness or a disappointment in life.
As I sang the songs in the concert, I began to imagine that I was a light beam in the world. I was feeling the love and the music and then I was imagining that I could spread that love to the section I was in and then to the rest of the arena and out into the world.
What if that is true? What if whenever we felt love we began to radiate love to the world. Try this. Think of a situation where you have felt love. Feel the love and imagine that it can flow out of you, like breathing in and out. Breathe in the love. Breathe out the love. As you feel the healing of you own heart, breathe that out into the world and then breathe it in again. Maybe that is the greatest gift of following the Jonas Brothers. The love we feel radiated to ourselves and each other.
Just a thought. How did that feel?
At the end of the concert, Hannah and I quickly walked to our parking space and drove through the night to Seattle. My friend Chad was waiting for us with a place to stay and some good night kisses from his dog, Tanner. This was a day of love and connection. I am grateful.