Category Archives: road-stories

No, thank YOU…

July 4, 2009
July 4, 2009

My  husband had a show this July 4th only four hours away from Nashville in Rogersville, TN. My parents are visiting from Texas, and so we made the trip to see him play. East Tennessee is absolutely beautiful, so it was a treat to make the drive out, and its always fun to see a show!

After a fantastic concert, we settled in to watch the fireworks. I was about to sit down on my lounge chair backstage when a man standing at the barricade asked me to come over. My initial thought was, “Oh no…” already anticipating a request for an autograph.

Now, I don’t make promises that I could even remotely fill such a request… especially since generally such a request is frowned upon. Or at least it always has been with past artists. My husband is still the “new guy” and I don’t want to make waves. So it was definitely with trepidation that I approached him.

Within moments of walking up, I was handed a military ID, and told that he had just gotten back from Afghanistan and would be returning in 28 days. He’d traveled himself from Nashville specifically hoping to meet Joe Diffie (whom my husband works for). He asked if I could possibly make that happen.

I paused a bit, but I decided the least I could do is try. So I headed towards the bus… not entirely sure what to do. I was saved when I saw the tour manager coming at me.

So, starting with, “please don’t hate me…” I explained the situation. And much to my pleasant surprise, he said he’d ask Joe! While I waited, two women approached me asking if Joe would be doing an autograph session after the show, then asking who I was, etc. I was, quite frankly, blind sided by them… and it is also people like these two women that make me hesitant to speak with show attendees. Its questions being shot at me rapid fire that will fluster me, and in turn irritate.

I was TICKLED when the tour manager came off the bus to say that Joe definitely wanted to talk to the man, and I lead him over and introduced them.

Over the course of about the next hour, I had the opportunity to interact with the soldier several times, learning he was originally from Texas — attended my rival school of University of Texas — and that he had come home on leave with many injuries. Shrapnel in his leg, a broken finger, bite wounds on his hand, etc. The fireworks freaked him out (understandably so!) but his kids loved it.

Finally, when he met Joe, he told several stories of things he had experienced while in Afghanistan. And afterwards, he came over and thanked me profusely for taking him seriously and making it happen that he got to meet Joe.  He hugged me several times and gave me a kiss on the cheek (telling my husband that if he pointed out that he’d just kissed an Aggie they’d tussle right there!), and all I could keep saying was, “No… thank YOU for all you do.”

The experience of meeting this soldier was a highlight of my July 4th. Getting to thank a soldier… we should all have the opportunity to do that. They are the true heroes.

Would never do otherwise

There is one really big perk to having a husband that is a traveling musician: you DO get to do things you’d never do otherwise.

For example, two years ago I had the opportunity (which I took!) to go to Hawaii over the 4th of July holiday. Would we have gone otherwise? It’s possible, but also fairly doubtful. Honestly, I’d have never in a millions years thought I’d go there. Growing up, I never even listed Hawaii as a place I wanted to visit, simply because I knew it would never happen…

And then… it did. So beautiful! A wonderful trip! I’d love to go again some day, and who knows… we might. But, if we don’t, it’s okay, too. It’s a memory I will never, ever forget.

I also went to Las Vegas to see my husband do a show, and then just countless venues around Texas and, now, various locations close to Nashville. It’s a nice “perk” to the life. We spend so much time apart while he is on the road, but we do get advantages of getting to go and do things we’d never do otherwise. Occasionally, the random show sponsor will provide band members with gifts, or we’ll end up with the random CD of new music. It doesn’t make up for the time spent apart, per se. But, its a nice little bonus of sorts.

This last weekend, when everything went haywire due to a last-minute show being added, we again landed on things coming out better. Plus, we got to once again do something we’d otherwise have never done.

I drove up to Indianapolis, IN, for their show. Now, being from Texas, its still very strange to me to be able to drive to another state — much less through a whole state into yet another one! — for a concert. The 5 hour drive wasn’t bad at all. It was actually a very pleasant and beautiful drive.

The show was great, and we had friends there who we got to have fun with after the show. Due to checking in to our hotel so late, we ended up actually having our room through Monday! We discussed it and decided to stay an extra day.

I would have never known that Indianapolis was such a fascinating and beautiful city! We got to explore downtown, and I just could not get over how much there was to see. I sent my parents a cell phone photo of the skyline, and they too were amazed we were where we were… doing what we were doing. Heck, we discovered we enjoyed the city so much, we want to go back when it is warm so we can explore on foot! (It was SO cold and we had not packed for it, thinking we were going straight back home on Sunday.)

I plan to travel South soon to another show, and I will get the chance to explore some Southern history… whereas in Indiana there were such old buildings from a more Northern perspective. (Duh, right?) I have my fingers crossed my husband will soon get to fulfill one of his life-long dreams of played an awards show, and that I’ll get to come along to see that. I spoke with one of the crew’s wife and she plans to go with them on an upcoming California trip.

California would be so wonderful to get to come out to see them. I have friends there that I am itching to see again. However, funds will keep me grounded for this run. But, perhaps some day! You never know. All things are possible…

Coming from a girl who grew up in a small town, that has been quite the lesson learned. Often small town minds don’t see beyond their city limits. But there is a whole world out there to explore. And so many things that seem impossible, ARE possible. And I am forever grateful to the things I have gotten to experience…

Like I said… its difficult to be “a musician’s widow,” and its not a “job” many are cut out to handle. But, if you’re willing to put the faith, trust and belief in your marriage out there… it does come with its perks: both tangible and intangible.