When Country Wasn’t Cool

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Last week I was writing a post about music when it occurred to me that I could write a thousand posts about the different songs that never fail to remind me of something or someone! I have seen Trashy Tuesdays, Wordless Wednesdays, Light up the Bloggoshpere Thursdays, and Six Word Saturdays, and I was thinking, how about a Monday Music Memories?? Surely I could rope a few bloggers into joining me.  You could write about a song or a band or a movie soundtrack or a concert, anything that relates to the impact music has on our lives!

By nature, Mondays suck, so why not start the week off with a good memory, a little nostalgia? Steal the graphic and join in, I have it in plenty of colors!

Since this weekend was mother’s day, I thought it was suiting to start off writing about my own mother. I always think about her, even though our relationship isn’t exactly where we both wish it could be. I love her, and I know she loves me. I think about her the most when I’m driving my car and the kids are singing along to the radio.

She used to do that a lot with us. She would crank up the radio and it didn’t matter if we were out of tune, off-key, and behind the beat, we could sing as loud and proud as we wanted to! Lucky for us Simon Cowell never hitched a ride on any of our expeditions. My favorite songs were the ones that weren’t necessarily playing on the radio like Sneaky Snake and Zippity Doo Dah. (I know, they did play on the radio at some point, but they were already old when I was young, so they rarely crossed our airwaves.) My mother was the first karaoke queen of the front seat!

I remember watching her reflection in the rear-view mirror, and if she was singing and smiling, I was happy.  That’s probably one of the best habits I got from her, using time in the car to be silly with my kiddos.  I tried my darnedest not to pick up her compulsive need to make lists, but the older I get, the more I scribble them down. Right now I just finished a list of things I need to pick up at Wal-Mart, a list of bills I need to pay, and I added to the list of things I’d like to blog about. So try as I may to avoid the dreadful lists, they’ve caught up with me!

I even have a list of songs that make me think of my mother. She loves that old country music so much she somehow embedded it into my soul. Even though I branch out and listen to everything I can, so many times I hear George Jones in the back of my mind. My mama loves to dance! I can remember her getting a big grin on her face whenever “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” started to play.

I can remember pulling into the drive-in movies to see Blue Thunder, and as she pulled into the parking lot, we had to listen to the rest of her song before we could change it to the Drive-In’s station! “I was listening to the Opry when all of my friends were digging rock and roll and rhythm and blues, I was country, when country wasn’t cool!” That’s still the ringtone whenever she calls me!

When I was young she worked as a waitress at a place called The Texas Tumbleweed. It was like Coyote Ugly Texas style, and sometimes my sisters and I would go up there for the evening. I can remember my grandpa taking her out on the dance floor and they were so good people would step aside and just watch them go!

My mom always worked really hard. She held two and sometimes three jobs the entire time we were growing up. Often I think she worked way too hard. When she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, I figured she might take a break, give herself some time off, but she actually worked all the way through chemo and radiation without ever calling in sick!

She’s faced a lot of adversity in her life, and still she keeps on going. I know she always wants to help me, to help my sisters, and sometimes she does so much for everyone else that she forgets to do for herself. Sometimes she really needs to just say no! I remember once she had worked all day and then worked all night. She must’ve come in around 3am. We were getting ready for school and I asked her for some lunch money. She went to get out a few dollars and her wallet was empty.  Someone had taken her money, and I saw the heartbreak on her face. I have never forgotten that moment. Now, it makes even more sense to me, to know how hard it is to put $20 in your wallet, and then it just disappears…

When I was born, she used to sing a song to me all the time. It was “Don’t Cry Out Loud“. “Baby cried the day the circus came to town, cuz she didn’t want parades just passing by her. So she painted on a smile and took off with some clown, while she danced without a net upon the wire!”

Funny how the older you get, the more you read into things, the more you understand things, the more you cherish things! I’m sure it will be many years before my mother knows how many good things I do see in her, how many memories I cherish of her, how deeply I love her and how often I wish for us a stronger relationship. There may be some misunderstandings, a few differences in opinion, but there is no lack of love on either side. There is no lack of compassion. There is not a burnt bridge. There is simply a difference in style that surely will melt away someday, and it will be like looking at an old photograph, where you can finally see past the ridiculous outfits and crazy hair and see the aura of love in the air.

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7 responses »

  1. Pingback: When Doves Cry « Life With Blondie

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