What's the story?
Listening to: Joan Baez – “Forever Young“
Note: This is unlike most of my blogs, but is a big part of my life.
It’s been twelve years since April 20, 1999. An ordinary morning.
That was the morning two teenage boys woke up, got dressed, and went to school to embark on a deadly rampage. They killed 13 people, injured 24 and committed suicide. Columbine became a household word. The bullets fired that day tore a gaping hole through the heart of America, leaving each of us groping for a sense of security that will be forever lost.
Listening to: Guy Clark – “Instant Coffee Blues”
I drink coffee.
It’s a new thing.
Diet Coke was my beverage of choice in the mornings. A boiling cup of joe couldn’t hold a candle to that first chug of icy cold Diet Coke burning its way down my throat to wake me up.
Listening to: "In This Life," by Iz
"The only dream that mattered had come true..."
It’s a simple red, leather journal, thick with memories and promises, dreams, and dares, and the opening chapters of a happily-ever-after love story.
The unedited version.
Once in a while, I read back through the pages of this book. My gift to you on the occasion of our first Christmas together. Our first emails and notes are glued to the pages, quilted together with song lyrics and poetry and notes in the margins.
Our paths had crossed many times before we started dating. More than a parallel universe, at times it seems we traveled two lanes of the same highway, heading in the same direction.
In those early days, we grew together as friends as we cautiously mended our broken wings and cynical hearts. With baby steps, we carefully introduced one another to our worlds. We had doubts along the way. We wondered if it was worth the effort. And we laughed. A lot. And I learned that love can be easy. And life really can be seamless.
In our wedding vows, we said to one another, “You are my best friend, my last first kiss, my coat from the cold, and the great love of my life. In all ways and forever. And nine days. That is my vow to you.”
Today, we celebrate seven years. And truly, I’d wish for seventy more years in this. Realistically, we know we won’t get that, but we have had a chance to see what all those folks have been painting and dancing and writing and singing about for thousands of years. True love. It’s easy. And it’s worth it.
“Let the world stop turning, let the sun stop burning,
Let them tell me love’s not worth going through.
If it all falls apart, I will know deep in my heart
The only dream that mattered had come true.
In this life, I was loved by you.“
– Mike Reid, Allen Shamblin
As I archived and clipped and glued and scribbled notes in the margins, I came to the last pages of that journal. I couldn’t – no, wouldn’t think of a way to fill the final page. It is a book of beginnings.
Someday, I hope our children and their children will stumble across this story of how we came to find the great love of our lives. I wish for each of them one true love. And the chance to feel – if only for one moment in forever – the way I feel about you.
Happy anniversary, Mark.
Happily ever after. We’re living the dream.
Listening to: Willie Nelson – “Whiskey River”
Do you remember the first record you ever owned? Mine was the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” and Santa brought it with my portable record player the Christmas I was six.
We had a stereo console in the living room. It was a big piece of furniture, encased in a maple finished cabinet and had two sliding doors in the top and gold flecked speaker upholstery. My mother had a good collection of albums: Roger Miller, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, The Ray Conniff Singers, Vikki Carr, Perry Como, Ray Price, and soundtrack albums of every musical Rodgers and Hammerstein ever wrote.
Reading is more than a hobby for me. It is an addiction. I read at train crossings and long traffic lights. I read to go to sleep, and sometimes while I am blow-drying my hair. I read acclaimed memoirs and trashy beach novels, best sellers and quirky sleepers. I read cereal boxes and instruction sheets. And I have read my car owner’s manual from cover to cover.
As I set these lofty goals, and say that I really am going to write here once a month, I am already figuring out how i can "submit" some of the papers I write for school - book reviews, biographies of music writers, etc.
I am going to start this list of my favorite blogs in no particular order -(okay – maybe alphabetically), and add to it regularly. Starting with my friends’ blogs – and those I read regularly. As I go along I will add strangers’ blogs. I will try to track my wandering and share what I find along the way.
But you are going to have to do your part too. Send me links to your favorite backroad blogs.
Coach Stacy Fowler: The most upbeat fitness guru and buddy I know. She’s in it for the long haul!
Pat Conroy: Sometimes I just want to virtually sit at his desk for inspiration.
daughter of dreams. sister of songs. champion of both.Susan Hanson: Her version of life.
Joe Nick Patoski: writer, historian, Texan.
Mary Mikel Stump: A Hand Upon The Latch.
Janice Williams Loves Austin: Title pretty much says it all.Susan Wittig Albert: Notes about writing, landscape, and life in the Texas Hill Country