Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sunday and Monday Dec. 21st and 22nd

Well, as I write this it's December 23rd, 11pm. I just completed a 22 1/2 hour saga in my car to get to my destination tonight. Tomorrow I pick up my daughter and we go home together, where my husband and our younger daughter, plus my dog and two cats await. I have to say, as much fun as this tour has been, I just can't wait to be with my family for Christmas!!

Three hours ago I swallowed a bottle of 5 Hour Energy, so I'm going to use the last of this boost to catch up on the blog!

So now, where were we? Oh yes....on Sunday I made the eight hour drive to Logansport, Louisiana to meet Joshua Lowe and perform at his display.  Josh is a great guy...a school psychologist, and it was clear from the minute I got there that he is well-loved by family and friends.  His house was swarming with people who were all there to help him out on this big night.  I met several wonderful family members and friends and was treated to a lovely meal of vegetarian chili, salad and garlic bread before the show.  I got there early enough to see Josh's display in action, and it was really beautiful. I can see why all the people in Logansport love his display!  Here's a picture I took before the show: 

As with all of my hosts, Josh and I had been communicating for months about the event. He asked for all of my music in advance so that he could do the programming and have the lights coordinated with every song. I know he worked awfully hard to put that together, but, unfortunately, there was some sort of glitch during the concert and he couldn't get the lights to work properly. He was working furiously at his computer to try to fix things while I was singing. I felt terrible about it, but there was nothing I could do but sing, and sing I did. It looked to me like the large crowd of people we had were having fun in spite of the light snafu.  The middle school cheerleaders and the school mascot were there selling hot chocolate, and people were dancing in the street.  And at last, Josh got the system to work properly in time for me to sing "The House on Christmas Street" with his light display.  It was wonderful!! 

Josh, I hope you don't let the light thing dampen your enthusiasm for the event.  I had a wonderful time and was so happy to meet you, and I thought your display was beautiful.  You had a wonderful crowd there and the support of the community. I think everybody had fun and people had a lot of nice things to say to me after the show.  As far as I'm concerned, it was a big success and thank you so much for having me!

On Monday I made the short four hour drive to Baton Rouge, to meet James Hohensee and his family. I've known James online for several years, as he was one of the first to order a customized version of The House on Christmas Street for his display, and I was happy to see that in person he was just as nice as I suspected he would be.  He'd told me that we were going to do the concert on the grounds of the school across the street from his house, but I had a hard time picturing it until I got there.  It's a good thing he planned it that way, because for the last concert of the tour we had the biggest audience of the tour. I'd venture a guess that there were 600-800 people there! The crowd was massive!!!  I set up so that James' display was in back of me, and everyone could watch his light show which he had coordinated to go with my entire show. It was simply amazing.  And I couldn't believe the weather...70 degrees. It was the one and only show on the tour that I did without wearing my coat and hat!

James' display was so bright and he had one of those newfangled mega trees that do all kinds of amazing things with the lights...I can't remember what the technology is called but they can do stunning things with the lights. For example, when we sang "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" the tree projected the face of Rudolph!  And he had the biggest Santa Claus on the roof that I had ever seen. Here's a picture I took before the show:

 In addition to me, Santa and Mrs. Claus were there and so was Elsa from Frozen.  The kids went nuts for her!  He ran the whole show through my sound system with his computer so that the lights went with every song.  I could tell the audience was just entranced because as I sang I could see that they were all looking past me. They were a very enthusiastic crowd.  Before the show I asked them to light and raise their cell phones and I took some pictures. Here is just 1/3 of the crowd that was there: 

It was an absolutely thrilling way to end the tour!!
After the autographing and stuff I was invited to have some food with the family and friends and got to enjoy the delicious jambalaya that James himself had made that day.  The man is multi-talented!  They even gave me some in a "to go" container!

Hohensee Family, thank you for a wonderful ending to the tour.  I am grateful for your generosity and the massive effort you put into coordinating the show.  It truly made the last night of the tour amazing for me!

So that's it, the last two shows of the tour.  I won't be blogging again for a few days as I want to get "unplugged" while my family is home, but sometime next week I'm going to write a post with my highlights and memories from each of the stops along the way.  For now I just want to say a hearty thank you again to everyone who supported the tour financially and with your good thoughts and prayers...especially Chuck Smith and Planet Christmas who made a huge donation to the tour fund... and from the bottom of my heart a huge thank you to all of my hosts who went out of their way to make me feel comfortable while I was at their homes. And, of course, thank you to all of the people who came out to the shows.  It really was a most amazing experience and I shall never forget it!!


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