Of Music and Dreams

There was always music in our house growing up. No matter where we were or who we were with, music was always a part of our daily life. To say that I had a diverse exposure to music would be putting it mildly.

Granny taught us to sing as little children from old church hymnals. My cousin and I cut our teeth on old 8 track tapes of Kenny and Dolly, trucker music, Conway Twitty, and Hank Sr. We were always singing at Granny’s and even now I think she had the sweetest singing voice I have ever heard.

At Uncle Doug’s house, where my older cousins controlled the tapes (Cassettes ya’all!), it was Motley Crue and … ok, so thanks to my cousin Tim it was mostly Motley Crue! I still get excited when I hear the motorcycle rev at the beginning of Girls, Girls, Girls. Sad, yes?

Spending the night at my best friend Angel’s house meant that I would get to enjoy Meatloaf, the Eagles, and Nancy Sinatra. I used to think it was ridiculously cool that none of our friends had any idea these people existed and we knew all the words on all the albums.

In my dreams, I was going to have a career in music. I sang constantly and was told over and over again how talented I was. I just knew I was going to be the next best thing since The Judds. Of course, those dreams have changed and evolved over the years, but the music has remained a fixture.

So when my daughters all expressed an interest in singing, I encouraged them to participate in chorus and follow their dreams. Last Thursday night, the musical theme in our family brought about one of my happiest moments as a parent. Anna stood in front of a theater of people at her Senior Recital and entranced us all with her voice. Her talent, hard work, and dedication have brought her dreams… once the dreams I thought were mine, but were generation too soon… into the realm of the possible.

Wherever she decides to go in life, I hope she takes my love of 80s hair bands and Mark’s love of Elton John and Stereophonics and all of the other musical influences in her life and keeps heading toward her dreams.  I may just be a proud momma, but I think she’s going to go a long way.

Fair Weather Friends

Over this past weekend, I realized that I’m a really crappy fair weather friend.  I know that people generally see the term Fair Weather Friend as a negative… someone who is only around when times are good.  But what about the friends who only make time for you when times are not?  Is that just as bad?

I forget to return phone calls and emails, can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to reschedule lunch appointments and just quiet hanging out time, and can’t be found on sunny breezy days.  Is your life falling apart?  Need an emergency babysitter or a place to crash or help with a crisis?  I’m SO there.

I had to stop and wonder if that makes me a rubbernecker.  You know the people I’m talking about… the ones who seem to ALWAYS be around whenever something bad happens.  Do I just enjoy the train wreck?  Is it that I’m ridiculously curious about other people’s bad luck?


But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that every single person that I count on to be there when I need them… the ones who come hold my hand in the hospital… the ones who helped shovel out my parents belongings after the 500 year flood… are the friends that reschedule lunch, forget to return my phone calls and emails, and can’t be found on sunny breezy days.

I think it boils down to this… everyone I think of as a good friend shares only one trait.  They all need to bring something of value to the table.  If they can’t lend a hand, lend their experience, lend their knowledge, or lend their shoulder, chances are that I’m going to spend more time thinking “I haven’t seen her in a while, it’s been too long” instead of saying “It was great seeing you today.  Same time on Thursday?”

I’m sure there are some people who manage to find a balance… who manage to be there often during sunny times and just as often during storms.  Maybe they don’t live between 10 and 75 miles away.  Maybe they have better time management skills.  Maybe they try harder at it.  Whatever it is, I am certain I’m never going to achieve that balance… so I’ll just be thankful to have my stormy weather friends and our sprinkling of sunny days together.