Monday, February 10, 2014

Dreaming Impossible Dreams

Last Saturday night I went to see "Man of La Mancha" at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis. A very generous friend had an extra ticket and invited me watch the play with her.

When the entire cast sang "The Quest" ("The Impossible Dream") reprise at the end of the play, I got chills--on top of the ones I had in the rather cool opera house.

Since then I've been singing "The Impossible Dream." Off-key and softly, except when no one is around I sing loudly--like in the shower.

The play and song got me to thinking about my impossible dreams.

As an adult, my first was to get my college degree. I started off as an 18-year old at night school at UMSL, while working as a civilian clerk-stenographer for the Army. I quit college when I got married and moved to Illinois. More than a decade later I returned, again at night, after my children were in school. It wasn't easy, studying, raising a family, working full-time. Then my husband's job moved us around.

In Sierra Vista, AZ, I enrolled in Cochise Community College. Love the name! After less than a year, onto Germany and classes with the University of Maryland. After three years of study I needed 12 credits to complete my BS in Business and Management. Then we were moved again. I finished up my last credits with Park College, which held classes at Fort Bliss, TX. Those last credits transferred to the University of Maryland so I could complete my degree requirements. In 1986 -- 20 years after high school graduation --I received my college degree. Impossible dream accomplished!

My second impossible dream was to get serious about my writing. Dare I dream to one day get published and paid for writing? That happened in the 1990s after my children were grown and I joined a critique group. I met a great group of writers, many of whom I'm still friends with this day. Their encouragement, love, and sharing of wisdom and knowledge helped me achieve my writing dream.

For the past nine years my most important and most personal quest has been to raise my grandchildren to become happy, healthy, and self-sufficient adults. They were ten and six when they came to live with us after their parents had their fatal accident nine years ago this month. My grandchildren have grown from grief-stricken orphans into loving and caring young adults. I'm sure their parents would be proud of them; I sure am.

I've chased a few windmills and slain a few monsters along the way. Perhaps, like Don Quixote, I've even acted a bit mad at times during my quests. But it all has been worth it!

How about you? What impossible dreams have you accomplished?


  1. Such a wonderful post, Donna. I admire you for achieving your dreams.

  2. I enjoyed your post today. Glad you achieved some of your dreams. Ah, I guess writing is the main dream for me and I am still working on it. Of course, there is always the dream of sainthood, but I fear it is even further away than writing! Ha, Ha. Stay warm; I hear sun is coming this week.

  3. You didn't just dream, Donna, you worked hard and met your goals. Congratulations for all you have accomplished and for all you have yet to do! You're a lady who keeps her eye on the target, and I admire you greatly.

  4. I second Linda here. You are an amazing woman who has met your dreams head on and dedicated your focus to make them happen. Well done! What's on your horizon?

    Me, I'm still living in Dreamland ... Someday my story and my novel and songs will be finished ...

  5. Donna--You are proof that dreams DO come true. (I love that song from that musical too.)

  6. Nothing is impossible if we really set our minds to it, and you are proof of that. Your grandchildren are blessed, and you are too. One day their stories will be about your strength and love. To Dream the Impossible dream...was my high school graduation theme and I can still hear one of our classmates belting it out solo. Your post brought back memories.

  7. Hey, we lived in Sierra Vista, AZ too! We were there for 2 1/2 years in the late 90's. My husband works for Wayland Baptist University and he was the Dean of their campus when it held courses on the Post in the education center. I LOVED it there! Such a beautiful area at the base of the Huachuca Mountains. We moved with the university to their Amarillo campus but I would go back. It's a small world :)

  8. "Man of La Mancha" is so inspiring, and so are you, Donna!

  9. Hi Claudia,
    Thanks! And I enjoyed your poem about the boys in high school.

    Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for your kind comments.

    Hi Marcia,
    You are an amazing woman! I'm sure you will accomplish your goals!

    Hi Sioux,
    It is a great musical. Hope all is well with you and you're staying warm.

    Hi Linda,
    Nothing is impossible--how true! The good Lord takes care of our needs. I am truly blessed.

    Hi Sally,
    It is a small world. Sierra Vista is a beautiful place. The mountains are lovely. We took our kids hiking on many weekends. And the weather was splendid in the winter.

    Hi Tammy,
    You are so sweet! Hope all is well with you!

  10. Oh, I performed in "Man of La Mancha" when I was a teenager--and cried every night during the finale. Just love that musical! And what an amazing story of perseverance for you! I sure hope your degree is framed and hanging somewhere prominently!

    I dreamed of being on the stage--until I actually was. Man, that's nerve-wracking! But I found my way back to singing when I joined my choir (after a decades-long absence). Besides writing, I love singing. (As long as I have a group singing along with me!)

  11. Hi Cathy,
    You are such an accomplished women--writer, singer, actor, mother, wife, dog trainer. How's the new puppy doing?


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