Tag Archives: life

Take a backroad

snapchat-5802873079169095575Through the years, the world has been brought into our homes first by print, then radio, television and eventually internet. At the tips of our fingers we can “visit” anywhere in the country, and “meet” amazing people. I know I have found some of my best friends via message boards, Twitter, and countless other social websites over the last 15 – 20 years. But is any of it as amazing as “real life?”

My husband and so many of our friends travel across this country all year long, seeing places and meeting people most of us can only dream of experiencing outside of our laptops and smart phones. A couple we consider dear friends has recently embarked on moving across the country, taking their time to visit many of this country’s National Parks. Their photos and Snapchats take my breath away.

I love that they are doing this. Sometimes I sit back and think how I could never just pack up and move as they have done, shaking my head a bit thinking, “they’re crazy.” But even more, though, I marvel at their courage, and I think to myself that maybe they’ve got life figured out way better than any of the rest of us.

My husband and I haven’t taken our friends lead to the extreme that they’ve gone, but we have taken more time the last few weeks to just get away from the house and get out in the world. My husband’s tour schedule is slowing down a bit, and we have more days together to enjoy versus just trying to tackle a to do list. We we’ve headed out with no destination in mind. We may not venture far, but we do escape “real life” for awhile and find… real life. We find the places you can find on the internet or in the news.


On a recent ride, we stumbled upon a little community not too far from Nashville. We’d been riding for a long time, and we were starting to get sore and a little grumpy with thirst. The little general store was like an oasis. Complete with two older gentlemen sitting out front.

As my husband went inside to get us drinks, I was happy to stretch my legs in the parking lot and look at the map on my phone to determine where we were.

But once I looked up and out of my phone, I found myself very quickly enamored with the little community. American flags. Old trucks in the parking lot right beside newer SUVs. People pulling up to the pumps and exchanging greetings with the gentlemen out front.

You could immediately tell this was a close-knit community full of “good ol’ boys and girls.” No one had an age or race attached to them. No one had a hierarchy of jobs or successes on paper. There was an underlying level of respect for all who stopped in to the store.

This. This, I felt in my own heart, was the true heartbeat of America. Not the anger and upset shown on the media. American flags swayed in the soft breeze, and you felt a patriotism and honor in every corner.

When my husband came back with drinks, I told him we should scrap all of our life plans. Sell everything, move to the country and open a general store like this one. He laughed and told me I might be surprised how easy it would be to convince him to do that.


As we put on our helmets and rode away, back home as the sun set, I felt this peace and certainty that deep down the heart of America is as strong as it ever was. I said a prayer that little communities like the one we had just stopped in continue to thrive in their own ways. And I definitely planned to take more back roads and discover more gems hidden along the blacktops and gravel roads.

Let’s just be friends

Almost 10 years ago, I moved to Nashville and quickly fell in love with the city. I loved everything about it!

Nashville skyline

It amazed me, how it was a city, but it had a small town feel. I could go almost anywhere, and chances I’d run into someone I knew was strong. It ceased to amaze me how I’d run into friends at random locations, and a five minute errand would turn into an hour long visit. I never worried about going anywhere alone, because someone would always make sure I got to my truck safe. It was just that kind of place: we all look out for each other.

The history of the city enthralled me. I’d listen to tales of the past with a fascinated gleam in my eyes. I’d dig through archives online or at the library, wanting to know everything. The good, the bad, the changes. It captured a part of my soul.

Important to me was the fact that it was the home and heart of country music. I remember clearly someone walking up to me when I worked at the Dog House to ask, “Where on earth can I find anything EXCEPT country music?” and I gave them a blank stare. Not only was I thrown by the question, I legitimately didn’t have an answer.

07/47: Sunset over Nashville

I would actually get a flutter in my stomach when the skyline would appear in front of me, as I came into downtown. This was MY city, and I loved it.

But I guess as many relationships happen, both sides change. Nashville today is not the Nashville I fell in love with. Establishments that were so secure are now gone. High rises have started changing that skyline I love(d). Cranes liter the spaces in between. History is being torn down (literally) in the name of progress.

Tearing it down to build something new

Progress is so important to a city surviving. I know this, and I acknowledge it. I even respect it. I just wish progress could do more to respect the past. I visited Louisville this summer, and I felt that old pitter-patter in my heart of the past speaking… Old buildings revitalized lined the streets. I looked at them with awe. I looked at them with sadness… wishing Nashville had followed suit in places, instead of opting for new and shiny.

Its really hard to find country music in Nashville today. Drive down Broadway, where 10 years ago you heard country music, you now here rock. Or the new version of country that is pretty much 90s pop. I find myself asking vendors, “Where can I hear country music?” much like those rock fans asked me for anything except country years ago.

I can’t go downtown and be guaranteed to know anyone any more. Because many I know don’t go there anymore either. It’s all tourists and bachelorette parties.


But here is where I acknowledge I’ve changed, too. The thought of going downtown doesn’t excite me any more… it just makes me tired. I prefer an evening at a restaurant or bar with friends visiting instead of the crush and adrenaline of bar hopping. Shots of Fireball or Crown have been replaced by sipping craft beer.

I still get an excited feeling when I see the skyline, and I do still love Nashville… just not as much as I once did. If this were a relationship, I’d ask it if we can just be friends.

Don’t take this as my letter to the world that I’m leaving Nashville and Tennessee. No, this is where my husband and I have made our home, and I do still love being here. I have wonderful friends, and I love our home. I’m branching out in other areas, and I’ve grown SO MUCH in the last 10 years. Like I said, Nashville isn’t the only one in this relationship that’s changed. I have, too.

So who knows what the next 10 years will bring for me as well as for Nashville. The only thing guaranteed is change… and that’s just life.

Sunglass sittin'