Search

The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's

lives.

 

ORDER NOW

 

 

Glorious Rejoice Dots Glitter

JOIN THE

FRIED NERVES AND JAM

PODCAST!

 


Subscribe to the Fried Nerves and Jam Podcast!

Socializing
« The Chiseled Wall - An Unexpected Love Story | Main | Blue's Suede Shoes »
Saturday
Jul132013

Broken Song

There's a freedom that comes with misfortune. When you have an I-almost-made-it story. Because at least you can say you bothered to dream at all.
---

The wheels hit the runway. The flight attendant sang a parody to the tune of She'll Be CominRound the Mountain. Her performance resulted in the passenger's applause. I imagined she was probably 40. Like me. She probably wrote songs in Nashville, when I did. She had a dream, a knowing that there was something larger than herself, waiting to whisk her life into a fluster of lightbulbs and agitated autographs. The PA system was now her mic. The Dolly Parton of Southwest Airlines.

We had just landed in Nashville. Only now I wasn't returning to Nashville to write. There wasn't a song I hadn't written about divorce, death, or being a single mom.

I wondered if anyone in Nashville ever wondered what happened to 'that girl'. I was an oddity. A blonde California girl who was born in Iceland and raised in Hawaii. People tried to make me country. I'd been writing songs since I was 14. They just knew I was blonde. But not the good ole country-girl type of blonde. I was the Rodeo Drive blonde. The kind with trimmed ends and polished roots. I was the blow-out blonde with the $30 hair dryer. My producer tried to tone me down. Just blue jeans, no makeup and boots, "But be yourself!".
I was in my early twenties then and flew into Nashville every 6 weeks to work with Kenny Rogers's nephew. He'd set up writing sessions for me. Then I would record his songs. Then one day, my story was written. The one I tell when people are surprised I like to write music.

I entered the office of Martha Sharp and Jim Ed Norman at Warner Brothers. My mouth dry and knees knocking to the rhythm of insecurity. Even though I was on time, I was still too late. See, they weren't so sure about this California blonde girl thing going' on in town. And to top it off, they had just signed a new, unproven girl named Faith Hill.

It may have seemed like a dying dream. The kind a former singer tells confesses to a barkeep at an old watering hole under bad Christmas lights. But In retrospect, my timing was perfect.

I was pregnant. It was not only a wanted pregnancy, but a license to stop the insanity of Levi's and ashen cheeks. My songs that had once fed my soul, where many a broken heart went to die, had become someone else's song.

I wasn't Levi's. I was sweat pants. I sometimes sang from my throat. I never knew if I was on key, but I knew what felt right. And transforming myself into the perfect southern belle to be authentic, seemed, well, nothing more than a practice in irony.

My children were born and my heart woke to its own first breath. Then I became a single mother with a one year old and a three year old. Suddenly every note I sang before this time, felt hollow. It wasn't until I was barely making ends meet, as my car got towed in the rain and the collecting agencies stalked me - did I become authentic. You can't fake authentic. That's why they call it authentic.

We taxied into our gate. It flashed in my mind that Gate 28 would be a good country song. But then I remembered I already wrote a song called 37D - and people thought it was a bra size.

Moving on.

I debarked with children in tow. But this time it was different. This time it was on my own terms as a wife and mother of four, with a career in photography and a life fulfilled. I had married the love of my life. A man that embraced my two children 14 years ago and together we were blessed with two little girls of our own.

I had recorded my own CD to get it out of my system. The divorce, the pain, the joy of newfound love. Recorded on a rented piano, where I would write to avoid the walk down the hall past the dresser with memories. I would write to forget the other side of the bed was empty or the toilet seat was always down. I recorded my songs to remember someday that there was one night I cried because something was good. To never ever forget the depths a heart can go alone. I wrote to say to myself, look what I did when I wasn't in a fetal position on the floor. Life was more real than it had ever been.

When I met my husband, my world changed. It wasn't supposed to change. I had made up my mind that I would never marry again. I'd gone back to school full time to get my college degree that was put on hold.

Then I saw him. At a Fourth of July parade. And I knew. He was it. I was wrong. He was real. I was gone. A one way ticket to stars and stripes and the whole parade. He worked as an accountant on a small pilot called Arrested Development. His crystal blue eyes beckoned Matt Damon only wiser. He made my world stop. He made it all ok. His curls peeking from under his baseball cap signaled a kinder, gentler time. Love makes you crazy. He made me the good crazy. He still does.

After 14 years and a family of 6, we landed to reclaim a Nashville soil of sifted dreams. On this trip to Nashville, my music sat in my piano bench at home in a binder with tethered ears. A binder filled with broken songs - because I wrote them when I was broken. Things are better when they're broken. They're honest and imperfect. I could've been Faith Hill, but then I wouldn't have my broken songs.

As we approached the glass partition to the arrival room I saw him standing with his eyes that still made my heart skip a beat. The children and I had arrived. In Nashville. The air was warm and sweet. We passed a grocery store with live music and my heart recalls the pull. The calling. I silenced the voice, looked up at my husband and breathed.

Life is funny with curve balls. The following day we had VIP access to the city's fireworks displays on the anniversary of when we met.

Nothing about Nashville was the same as 20 years before - but neither was I. So we were even.

I followed my husband down the hallway to our loft.

Nashville was my oyster - 20 years in the making - for stars to align and irony to build a precious pearl that ground against my teeth. It was a different world, I was a different girl. We pulled up to our building. "Church and 7th". Our address. And I thought, that could be a cool country song. But I was no longer broken enough to hear the melody , of what that song should be. something larger than herself, waiting to whisk her life into a fluster of lightbulbs and agitated autographs. The PA system was now her mic. The Dolly Parton of Southwest Airlines.

We had just landed in Nashville. Only now I wasn't returning to Nashville to write. There wasn't a song I hadn't written about divorce, death, or being a single mom.

I wondered if anyone in Nashville ever wondered what happened to 'that girl'. I was an oddity. A blonde California girl who was born in Iceland and raised in Hawaii. People tried to make me country. I'd been writing songs since I was 14. They just knew I was blonde. But not the good ole country-girl type of blonde. I was the Rodeo Drive blonde. The kind with trimmed ends and polished roots. I was the blow-out blonde with the $30 hair dryer. My producer tried to tone me down. Just blue jeans, no makeup and boots, "But be yourself!".
I was in my early twenties then and flew into Nashville every 6 weeks to work with Kenny Rogers's nephew. He'd set up writing sessions for me. Then I would record his songs. Then one day, my story was written. The one I tell when people are surprised I like to write music.

I entered the office of Martha Sharp and Jim Ed Norman at Warner Brothers. My mouth felt like dried rubber, my knees knocking to the rhythm of insecurity. Even though I was on time, I was still too late. See, they weren't so sure about this California blonde girl thing going' on in town. And to top it off, they had just signed a new, unproven girl named Faith Hill.

It may have seemed like a dream filed within a crypt. The kind of story a dying star confesses to a barkeep at an old watering hole under bad Christmas lights. But In retrospect, my timing was perfect.

I was pregnant. It was not only a wanted pregnancy, but a license to stop the insanity of Levi's and ashen cheeks. My songs that had once fed my soul, where many a broken heart went to die, had become someone else's song.

I wasn't Levi's. I was sweat pants. I sometimes sang from my throat. I never knew if I was on key, but I knew what felt right. And transforming myself into the perfect southern belle to be authentic, seemed, well, nothing more than a practice in irony.

My children were born and my heart woke to its own first breath. Then I became a single mother with a one year old and a three year old. Suddenly every note I sang before this time, felt hollow. It wasn't until I was barely making ends meet, as my car got towed in the rain and the collecting agencies stalked me - did I become authentic. You can't fake authentic. That's why they call it authentic.

We taxied into our gate. It flashed in my mind that Gate 28 would be a good country song. But then I remembered I already wrote a song called 37D - and people thought it was a bra size.

Moving on.

I debarked with children in tow. But this time it was different. This time it was on my own terms as a wife and mother of four, with a career in photography and a life fulfilled. I had married the love of my life. A man that embraced my two children 14 years ago and together we were blessed with two little girls of our own.

I had recorded my own CD to get it out of my system. The divorce, the pain, the joy of newfound love. Recorded on a rented piano, where I would write to avoid the walk down the hall past the dresser with memories. I would write to forget the other side of the bed was empty or the toilet seat was always down. I recorded my songs to remember someday that there was one night I cried because something was good. To never ever forget the depths a heart can go alone. I wrote to say to myself, look what I did when I wasn't in a fetal position on the floor. Life was more real than it had ever been.

When I met my husband, my world changed. It wasn't supposed to change. I had made up my mind that I would never marry again. I'd gone back to school full time to get my college degree that was put on hold.

I met him and I knew. He was it. I was wrong. He was real. I was gone. A one way ticket to stars and stripes and the whole parade. He worked as an accountant on a small pilot called Arrested Development. His crystal blue eyes beckoned Matt Damon only wiser. He made my world stop. He made it all ok. His curls peeking from under his baseball cap signaled a kinder, gentler time. Love makes you crazy. He made me the good crazy. He still does.

After 14 years and a family of 6, my own photography career and his rise to Producer, we landed to reclaim a soil of sifted dreams. On this trip to Nashville, my music sat in my piano bench at home in a binder with tethered ears. A binder filled with broken songs - because I wrote them when I was broken. Things are better when they're broken. They're honest and imperfect. I could've been Faith Hill, but then I wouldn't have my broken songs.

As we approached the glass partition to the arrival room I saw him standing with his eyes that still made my heart skip a beat. The children and I had arrived. In Nashville. The air was warm and sweet. We passed a grocery store with live music and my heart recalls the pull. The calling. I silenced the voice, looked up at my husband and breathed.

Life is funny with curve balls. The following day we had VIP access to the city's fireworks displays on the anniversary of when we met.

Nothing about Nashville was the same as 20 years before - but neither was I. So we were even.

I followed my husband down the hallway to our loft.

Nashville was my oyster - 20 years in the making - for stars to align and irony to build a precious pearl that ground against my teeth. It was a different world, I was a different girl. We pulled up to our building. "Church and 7th". Our address. And I thought, that could be a cool country song. But I was no longer broken enough to hear the melody , of what that song should be.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>