Have you heard the story about the time Kirk and I took our first trip alone without Reeve and went to Nashville? Probably not….
Well, it was our first time in over 2 years without a kid (I had just stopped breastfeeding Reeve at 24 months) and Don Linny took him for the weekend. Kirk and I took different planes (partly in case one of the planes crashed and partly so we could meet there and it would feel more like a ‘rendezvous’ “….well, being that it was my first time by myself with no one trying to be held, trying to eat, screaming or pooping, I decided I would start drinking ON THE PLANE. Only, I didn’t. I fell asleep instead. For a glorious 90 minutes I slept without anyone trying to suck the life out of me.
Still, when my flight landed I had another 2 hours or so until Kirk’s plane would land and so I traded out my flip flops for my BCBG cowboy boots with the lace trim and took myself to the Honky Tonk in the airport where an old dude with a guitar sang Garth and Waylon and a little bit of Hootie. The beer was flowing, let me tell you and by the time Kirk landed and found me I was about 9 sheets to the wind.
But that didn’t stop me. No way….Mama was on the loose and the city of Nashville beckoned me with it’s sinful pleasures.
Kirk and I kept on keeping on and drank at about 5 more establishments before we made it to the Ryman Theatre and the Bluebird Cafe. I’m not sure which we went to first, but both were on my music-loving list of “things I have to see before I die”.
Oh, now that I think about it the Bluebird was first b/c I can remember more of it and the Ryman was last b/c, at that point, all reason and sensibility fled and Jessie of Yore made her appearance.
So, if you’ve never heard of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, now is the part of this story where you must either Google them or start humming along to the song they are most known for “Home is Wherever I’m with You.” It’s a catchy tune and they are something to see live. He’s good looking in this Dirty Hippie who doesn’t bathe or wash his hair sort of way and his music feels partly like you are partying on the beach and partly like you are in a cult swaying to a chant that is hypnotizing you. They clearly enjoy some good drugs and the woman’s face really bothers me, so I can’t describe quite why I’m oddly extremely attracted to him, but will let you watch the video for this song in order to let you get a feel for the next part of the story.
I will also tell you that I don’t *love* the song, it is somewhat annoying with the whistling and one of those songs that the only words anyone knows is the chorus, but it’s now meaningful and will eventually make sense in this story. *click link to watch, I can’t get video to embed for some reason
Okay, so at this particular point in the evening I’ve been drinking steadily for about 10 hours and eaten maybe a bucket of fries. I don’t really drink anymore b/c I’m always breastfeeding (my goal is 2 years with both boys), but I’ve got those boots on and no kids and Kirk and I are pretending we just started dating and are going to music shows like it’s 2009.
What happens next is basically a blur. I’m hippie dancing in the aisle at what is basically one of the Churches of Music alongside 1,000 college students. Kirk is equally amused and annoyed. My arms are swaying and my eyes may even be closed. Home Is Wherever I’m With You is the song by ESMZ that EVERYONE knows and so when it starts playing the place goes wild. I’m pretty sure even the Ghosts of Music Past who haunt the Ryman are up and going. (PS…this night left such an imprint on me that I wanted to name Lowe Ryman at one point).
So, the security guard is yelling at me every couple of minutes to get out of the aisle (we are in the balcony and I’m sure I could easily fall over to below as I’ve worked my way down to the front of it) and I’m yelling back at her. I’m falling. Tripping. Dancing…..I remember Edward is wearing a church robe and he’s barefoot and he’s letting kids up on stage and someone says that their music kept him from committing suicide and a kid with red hair came down from the balcony and played the harmonica. It was a spectacle and so perfectly what I love about music and hippies.
then it all goes black and I’m screaming Rocky Top Tennessee in one of the Honky Tonks on Broadway Street after Kirk has begged the bouncer to let me in after he takes one look at me and says, “I’m not letting her in.” Kirk says (remember he’s been drinking too) “why, because she’s so hot?” bless his delusional heart and the bouncer says, “no, because her eyes are rolling back in her head.”
I am singing Home Is WHerever I’m With You and dancing and falling…it’s really quite embarrassing. We stumble back to our hotel, me barefoot and Kirk trying to keep me from falling in the street. I wake up the next morning and the bottoms of my feet are BLACK with dirt. Our friends are set to arrive to meet us that day and we have ruined any chance of having fun with them the rest of the weekend because we are so hungover the next morning we can’t even walk, let alone be enjoyable.
I drink maybe 2 more beers over the next 3 days and Kirk ends up with a GIANT tattoo on his arm. We eat a pizza with an egg on it and see Billy Ray Cyrus perform. The weekend was basically one big Shit Show.
So, what the hell does this story have to do with anything you may be asking yourself at this point?
Well, I think about that night a lot. I think about that song and dancing and how I’m not really very fun anymore. How I can’t drink and party, but I can dance my ass off and sing along to songs at the top of my lungs even if my voice sounds like a stray cat being strangled….and I do….daily. I sometimes call Kirk in the middle of the day if he’s in a bad mood I start singing just to cheer him up. When A Man Loves a Woman is my Go To song. I can still wear cute boots and I’ve got an awesome husband who loves the shit out of me. We have two boys who breastfeed for too damn long and I NEVER get to be alone b/c of it. I don’t care if I fall over, I dance in aisles and jump up and down to good music. I FEEL things. It’s both a blessing and a curse. My heart is on my sleeve and I swear I was born with it broken just a little bit b/c I really, really *feel* the the things I feel. I’m don’t see things in black or white, but about every shade of gray in between and my husband loves me despite all of that. I appreciate dirty hippies and love a good bohemian crowd. I’m irrational and emotional and this song and that night just remind me that my spectrum of emotions is about 97 times more complex than the average person.
So, when I think about this adventure and our new house out in the woods and the somewhat solitary abode we’ve chosen to raise our boys in, I think about that night and, particularly, that annoying/catchy/cliche song because….
Home IS wherever I’m with them.
And I feel like I may need a visual reminder of that which I can look at daily. See, you will hear me say the following QUITE often. I am a VERY visual person and my surrounding affect me deeply. If I’m happy to look at where I am, I am happy. If I’m in a space I don’t find aesthetically appealing (doesn’t have to be MY style) I am in a bad mood. Colors affect me deeply and fonts really do make my brain smile. My former roommate one time painted her bedroom red and to this day I can hardly stand the color, colors just do that for me.
So, the following three pieces really speak to me. When I read those 6 words I just smile to myself. I need one of them in my home to remind me of that awesomely awful night and that it doesn’t matter if I can’t see the mountain, my HOME is where my boys are.
I guess my long story simply boils down to I may need something in my home to remind me that even if I’m in the middle of nowhere in Kansas with horses and soon a baby goat and it may not be the mountains it is HOME. We all know Home isn’t a place, but a feeling, right?
First Option is my favorite. Likely b/c it’s the most expensive…of course.
I love any and everything from The House of Belonging and it goes so well with some of the other pieces I already have.
The second option is quite different and I love turquoise, but it might be a bit much, you know? It’s really pretty though.
The third option is the most affordable b/c you buy the image and print it yourself in whatever size you want. That also means you have to frame it yourself though and who knows if I would ever get around to it….but for only $6 I might.