Sunday, October 18, 2009

A much needed break...

This past week, I spent three wonderful days in Nashville. I had such a wonderful time with my sisters, Ashley and Melissa, and friend, Kristin. Ashley, Kristin and I drove down on Tuesday and had lunch with an old friend, Monica. She and I met when I was in school at Trevecca. It was so great to see her and spend some time catching up! After lunch, I took Ashley and Kristin on a journey back in time...we went to see how much Trevecca had changed in the past five years. I was amazed at all of the differences, but still very much felt at home on campus again. After checking in to the hotel, we decided to hit the town! We went to the Wildhorse Saloon for dinner (had tons of fun laughing at people learning to line dance...I just wasn't brave enough to get out there), had a quick stop at Coyote Ugly (which was unfortunately NOT like the movie...very disappointing) and ended up at the Beer Sellar! I love that's very laid back and we had a wonderful bartender. I tried root beer vodka for the first time, and let me tell you, it tastes like root beer! Delicious!

Wednesday morning, we met Melissa for brunch at the Pancake Pantry, an old staple of my college days. The food was just as delicious as I remembered! Then, it was time to get ready for the Allman Brothers Band/Widespread Panic concert. Ashley, Kristin and I went back to our hotel to indulge in a few beverages, while Melissa went to check-in to her hotel. We met up later, just in time to get to the venue and snag some great seats!

The concert was fabulous! There were several moments when I was just so deep in thought that I felt like I was in my own little world. While the Allman Brothers Band was playing, I thought a lot about my dad. He had several ABB albums in the box we got from my mom, and as I was listening to them live, I couldn't help but feel my dad all around me. In my own little way, the show was another chance for me to feel close to him once again. Something about hearing those old songs and knowing how much my dad enjoyed the music struck me as something incredibly special. I just felt so happy in that moment. I wish that I could have bottled it like a perfume to put on if I'm feeling down...

The show continued and was wonderful, of course! After the show, the girls and I decided that we were too tired to go out on the town again. We ended up back in the hotel room with pizza and a Dr. Pepper and couldn't have been happier! Before heading home on Thursday, we all had lunch together at the Rain Forest Cafe and walked around Opry Mills Mall for a bit. The trip was wonderful, and just what the doctor ordered!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hard times come again no more...

No real reason for this picture, it's just one of my faves! :) I love him...

As I was driving to Paducah today, I was listening to my iPod (which is truly a lifesaver on these long drives!), and listened to a song that I downloaded quite a while ago. I can't remember if it was a free download, or if I listened to a clip of the song and liked it, but I don't think I'd ever really listened to the lyrics. The song is called "Hard Times" and the recording that I have is by a group called Eastmountainsouth. I'm not sure if they are still recording music (it appears that their website has been shut down), but I am very drawn to their music. I researched a little, and it's described as "folk rock," which I enjoy! I didn't realize, but the song was actually written by Stephen Foster, who is of course near and dear to the hearts of many Kentuckians.

I just really related to the lyrics of this song. It's been a tough year, and I've said several times recently "This has to be it....this is the last bad thing that will happen and things are going to turn around." Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to throw a pity party, but it just seems like everytime something good happens, a new challenge is thrown my way. After my dad died, I just felt like nothing else could happen to top that devastation. Things were looking up...we bought a house and life just seemed to fall into place. Then, my grandfather passed away. We weren't particularly close during the past several years, but it always hurts to lose someone that you love. In addition, we've had multiple family issues to deal with and just the after effects of losing someone so close. I am of course eternally grateful for the wonderful friends and family that have made life worth living, and given me reasons to get out of bed each morning. I couldn't ask for a better support system. I know that I am blessed, and try to remember that whenever I'm feeling down. There are so many things to be thankful for in this life and that's where I'm trying to keep my focus. I definitely have dealt with and will continue to deal with my fair share of anger, sadness and hurt. As the song says: "'tis a song… a sigh of the weary hard times... hard times come again no more."

I hope that you find some inspiration from words that were penned over 150 years ago:

let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears

while we all sup sorrow with the poor
there's a song that will linger forever in our ears
oh, hard times come again no more

'tis a song… a sigh of the weary
hard times… hard times come again no more
many days you have lingered around my cabin door
oh… hard times come again no more

while we seek mirth and beauty
and music light and gay
there are frail ones fainting at the door
though their voices are silent
their pleading looks will say
oh, hard times come again no more

'tis a song… a sigh of the weary hard times...
hard times come again no more
many days you have lingered around my cabin door
oh, hard times come again no more

'tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave
'tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
'tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
oh, hard times come again no more

'tis a song…a sigh of the weary
hard times… hard times come again no more
many days you have lingered around my cabin door
oh, hard times come again no more
oh, hard times come again no more

Foster, "Hard Times Come Again No More"