As many of you know I am a HUGE Tom Petty fan…….. and in many letters prior to this, I spoke of my desire to go on tour with him and open……….. but it just didn’t happen yet………. So a few months ago, I felt called to go on my own little tour. Both of my children were going on summer trips and my husband had started a new job that he loves and is extremely focused on…….. so I just decided I wanted to see what it would be like to be a touring musician on the road……..and if I would like it as much as I thought I would.
As a mother you bare these children that come out of your body into your arms to hold, love, protect, nurture, teach, and just share every ounce of your heart and soul with. I have always believed that I did not own my children, but that instead I was just lucky enough to help prepare them for flight into this world of the unknown. You understand this going into it, but as the time arrives for them to jump out of the nest…… it brings on a range of emotions that is equal to a squall on a sunny day…….. a tornado in an ocean that just grabs you by surprise and can drown you if you are nor careful.
My first job the past 16 years was taking care of my children and husband, but my second job was creating…..Creating art, creating songs, working at becoming a better musician, and just learning everything I could about music. I created a merchandise line, etc, etc…… all because of this calling I had. Many times I would ask God WHY this calling. It has been extremely difficult on many levels. When you do this music thing as an older married woman, it is seriously rough!!! I would sometimes ask God why could I not be satisfied playing tennis, going to lunches, PTA, and taking care of my kids………. But it just never worked for me. I have had this aching drive that does not wane, but for the first time ever as I sit here in New Mexico, I am REALLY thanking the big guy for this thing that has lived within me since my earliest childhood memories.
This summer my 14 year old daughter went to UGA for a duke tips mock trial camp for three weeks. I was just so proud of her. My son received a scholarship to go to Japan and live for six weeks. Last Friday, I took him to the gate where he was flying to Berkley University for 3 days of orientation with his scholarship organization, and then off to Japan. As he gave me a hug and walked into the security line, I just started to weep from somewhere deep inside me that I didn’t even know existed. It was awful….. I mean I spent the last 16 years preparing and hoping for something incredible like this to happen for my children, but when they jump out of the nest it is just nothing you can prepare for. Upon arriving home to an EMPTY house I just looked at my husband crying and said, thank god I have my music, because this is unbearable.
The following morning I hoped into my car and headed to New Mexico. I was going to go alone, but about a month ago, I was introduced by a friend in Macon to woman named Brenda
Stepp who is a music lover and music journalist who loves Santa Fe, so she joined me…..I was a little nervous to travel with someone I hardly knew, but something just said it was a good thing.
First stop on my mini tour was Memphis, TN. We spent the day at Graceland and then in the evening I sang at this incredible coffee shop called Java Cabana….. and it was just an awesome experience. The following day…. We went to Sun Studios, and I felt a magic that I will blog about another time. Absolutely mind boggling. I truly am so excited to go back to Memphis.
On Monday…… we headed to Taos New Mexico. Somewhere in Arkansas I get a call that my son was in an accident. On Monday morning he was on a bus on the San Francisco freeway with 19 other students en route to airport, when his bus driver suffered a seizure and then heart attack and crashed into the barrier skidding about 20 feet. My son’s friend tried to give the man CPR, but unfortunately it did not work and God rest his soul, the driver passed away right before the children’s eyes. The children then had to climb out of the window onto the freeway because of gasoline….. but fortunately the children were not hurt. They were taken to a hotel and arrangements were made for them to fly to Japan Tuesday morning.
A few hours later in Oklahoma a State Trooper pulled me over because he said the word Atlanta was obstructed by my license plate holder. He took me into his truck with this big giant muzzled dog who had a terrible stench. He questioned me for 45 minutes. When I told him I was going on a mini tour, and that my kids had gone to camp, about my sons accident, etc, etc……. he decided I was suspicious and at that point it got pretty scary. I guess he thought I was making it all up. He then went to my car, and left me with the dog while he questioned my friend. The Dog started getting angry and the only way to calm him was to sing to him. When I sang he would lay down. So there I was somewhere in Oklahoma, worried about my son, as I’m singing to a dog in a cop truck….. wondering if he was going to take us to the slammer even though we had done nothing………. It was just so scary. Of course he finally let us go. And when he came back to the car and heard me singing to the dog I did get a kick, because he had entered the Lexer twilight zone, and that smokey just couldn’t comprehend what was happening!!! :0)
Finally….. I lay here in the middle of the night in Taos New Mexico writing this blog. A few hours ago I was singing at the Alley Cantina, making new fans, and having a ball. I came home exhausted and went to sleep and awoke to a text from my son saying he was safely in Japan. I am so thankful I have the music to funnel my energy into rather than being paralyzed at home obsessing about my children… and that my husband is supportive in me following my calling. Instead of asking God why….. I am just asking God to help me continue to listen, and have strength to follow my calling….
To all my friends with children who are growing up…… I will tell you…. Pick an adventure….. work hard for it………. And get excited because even in the midst of the pain of my children leaving the nest………. It is bearable because I am doing something I am passionate about……… I will tell you, even the desert is beautiful when it is where you are suppose to be!!! Can’t even wait to see what I learn in Santa Fe……..
I know I was “Born To Run’ and I still am hoping to find the “King’s Hiway”…… and although “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” The song “For The Children” is enlightening………As I sit here and watch the birds flying in the desert sky I know we are all truly in the end “Birds Of A feather” and that life is just sweet as a peach if
you can be patient enough to plant the tree, watch it grow fruit, pick it, and let it all ripin up naturally and organically!!! Thanks for reading and wishing us all some peace, love, and hope from somewhere in the New Mexican desert!!! :0) To Be Continued!!!!