By Jared Reno
Seattle Cascades
2003 age out

Jared Reno
Hello DCI community. I'm very sorry that my weekly column turned out to be anything but that this summer. My corps manager had no idea how few schools would actually allow us to connect to their Internet servers for any extended period of time. In fact, we got access to our e-mail about as frequently as our laundry days.

One of the hardest things about drum corps is saying goodbye to it. Not necessarily as an age-out, but when you have to say farewell to your family of months to return to your mundane life of controlling your own wake-up, your own meals, and dealing with responsibilities further than horizontal and vertical dress. It's ironic that towards the end of tour you "can't wait to get back to [your own] bed" and are looking forward to "sitting around while doing nothing" only to find that when you have those things, you realize how their value quickly diminishes, and that your appraisal of drum corps life then rises quickly.

It's been a few days since the Seattle home show and already I've been chatting with members online about how they are "corps-sick" and miss everyone around us. They tell me of how they can't communicate about their summer to their friends because they don't want to hear about when the mellophone section had "tan-line awareness day" to mimic the color guard, or when the bus ride home got so long and tenuous that there was a rave in the back of the color guard bus in order to pass time and actually move around.

I too am experiencing some of the same things. As I sit here now, I wonder, "What can I be doing to make better use of my time?" I wake up in the mornings and go for a quick run. Once I'm awake I sit around and ponder activities for the day. Maybe I should go buy a whiteboard for the kitchen so I can just plan my whole day. Sadly, it just wouldn't feel the same as it did this summer. I've also noticed a craving for tour food already. I walk around the kitchen and just stare into the abyss that is the cupboard looking for the pizza casserole, or Pat's amazing stew.

It's hard to say goodbye to something you've loved for such a long time, but thankfully I have all the friends that I made while on tour. To me, the awards banquet can't come soon enough. I would love to just be able to spend forever with the group of people I was with. Hopefully, many of this year's members return next year. With only 11 age outs from the Cascades there is great potential for next year, and more opportunity to develop all those friendships further.

Now I must go prepare myself for a day of cleaning and unpacking.