Friday, March 29, 2013

My Country Stroll Down Memory Lane

I have told you in a past blog about the first time I ever heard Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks. What an amazing moment in my life. Such a short, sweet memory that was so intense that I can remember it vividly. Where I was, what I was doing, who I was with, the scenery, everything!

The top 3 country albums (cassette tapes actually)  to impact my memory bank the most are some that I will love forever, even though some of them take me to a dark time in my history.

Time travel with me, if you will, back to 1990 when I was sweet sixteen. I had a wicked crush on a boy from school that drove a Camaro. We had  fun together, a lot of laughs.  He was however, a bit of a heart anyway.
He was  in between bouts with his own girlfriend of hot and heavy turned hot and cold every other day, it seemed. I was the one on the sidelines. But the short times we did have together, I'll never forget! 
There were lots of good tunes on the radio that year and I listened to all of them, but I had one cassette that I played constantly during that tempestuous time. It was Tanya Tucker's album Strong Enough to Bend.  I knew every word to every song from beginning to end. I always played it while I was getting ready for work at Showbiz Pizza Place, now known as Chuck E. Cheese (sadly). I would sit at my lighted  mirror in my basement bedroom of wood paneling and faux wood carpet (yes!) and blare Tanya's  music while curling my hair.
My relationship with this boy would last into our 20's but we were never exclusive, nor were we ever consistent. We would sometimes go years without talking. But when we got together it was like we never left off. Alas it was always over as quickly as it began.
I don't look back sadly at those times. It gave me my first real taste of angst, longing and heartache. Those are good things when  you are young. I'll pass now days, but you get my meaning I hope.
I can't hear Tanya Tucker without thinking back to those times in my life.

Fast forward a few years after highschool. I graduated in 1992 and had been in a relationship with a boy soon after the one I just told you about. It was a rocky road from day one because we were not meant to be together. I know that now, I just didn't know it then.  I hung on, thinking things would get  better. I had no idea that the sooner I broke free, the better my life would get. Which it did but it took me years to do it.
Even more than heartache that I had felt from other boys in my past, this one caused great heartBREAK. Very different. It wasn't a fun, achy, longing type. It was down right brutal on my  heart.
During this very dark time, I also had a lot of fun. I was, afterall, growing up! I drank too much, smoked too much, partied....just entirely too much. And it was a blast. But amidst all of it, I was also hurting deeply. I was so lost and I didn't know how to get myself out of it. I eventually figured it out but in the meantime I dove into music, as I always did.
I had 2 cassette tapes that I listened to non stop during some of those times. One was Tim McGraw's All I want is a Life. The other one was a George Jones greatest hits album with the song He Stopped Loving Her Today.
Unlike the Tanya Tucker songs, when I hear these songs now, they take me back but to a dark time. I don't like the feeling they give me. I'm slowly getting reaquainted with the songs and learning to love them again but it is not as simple as you might believe.
 When I hear the Tanya songs, I get lost in my own mind, a fun place. But these others are taking me a little longer. Even after all these years.
Of course we all know that I am a very happily married woman these days. I have been deeply in love with my husband for almost 13 years now (and counting). Memories are so deeply embedded in my mind though. Some I can just never forget. Some I can even recall certain smells, the day of the week, was it sunny or cloudy. So many details are remembered.
Even more profound than my memories themselves are the songs I connect them to. Songs are POWERFUL!! 
I am thankful for music. All the heartaches have led me to the most amazing places. And the music along the way, well, simply marvelous.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. You may know George Jones will soon perform his final concert in Nashville, and Garth Brooks (and possibly McGraw) will soon join him. What made "He Stopped Loving Her Today" the perfect country song was it was full of lines which could be just as easily about breaking free of relationships as they were about death itself. ("Now he's over her for good," George speaks in a voice so low you can barely hear it.) MM, George sang another song called "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" about the country legends who sang songs like this: not about trucks, and beach parties and how country they are, but the feelings of heartbreak and loss and a man and woman's relationship with their God. If you have Sirius satellite radio check out "The Roadhouse." It's an oldies country station full of songs like that.

    1. Thank you for commenting but mostly thank you for understanding exactly what my blog meant today!! I love that. I looove Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes, it is a wonderful tune. I don't have Sirius but my husband does, I'll check out that station, thank you so much!

  2. Wow, you have sparked quite a flame in my memory. When the Jones song came out I recall my Daddy saying it was the saddest he had ever heard. A man of few words and opinions even fewer. And Garth, well well I will have to right my own blog soon about that....hehehe. Keep up the good work here.
    Honey Stop The Car

    1. Hi!! I'm so glad you commented, I love your page so much. I love this comment you just made about your Daddy. So sweet, thank you for sharing!


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