Saturday, November 15, 2008


The last week has been something of a slow and steady race. I feel like I am still in the slight fog of a mild cold, and catching up from a typically busy week on top of which I turned 43, attended-- with two of my fave people--what appears to be a fairly successful fundraiser for one of my fave orgs, and sat working at my dining room table for about 6 straight hours while a surprisingly slight person installed a new furnace in my home. I later sashayed to the fitness center where I realized I really do lose a little ground on the weeks I have the kids and am not pushing myself as hard. That is probably true in every category, because then they leave and I spend the days following in hot pursuit of making up for lost time in all departments.

I had my music with me the whole time, I did play a little more last weekend while they were around than I typically do. But thanks to not feeling well I missed two shows at The Kent Stage during the Folk Festival. And tonight's show, with the amazing Nanci Griffith, is sold out.

But it's ok. It's been the kind of day when it might be just as pleasant and maybe even more productive to pull out the mando, tune up, and set the dial to a song like the one I'll share tonight.

This week also included some very upsetting news about a longtime family friend, my brother's brother-in-law who suffered a stroke last weekend. Only 50 years old and truly the very picture of health, this man is now learning again how to walk, move, eat, teaching one half of his body how to do things he's always done. My sibs and I found ourselves asking each other things like "When was your last doctor's visit?" and "What was your last BP?" I had just been thinking that I need to have my cholesterol checked (it runs rampantly high in my family, part of the rationale behind my more vigorous approach to exercise and more judicious, lighter carbon-footprint diet) when this happened. I found out when my brother called to wish me a happy birthday after we had meandered through many memories and stories about the places and people where we grew up.

So I guess I've been just taking some time this week to keep my head above water and figure out what's next. What do I need to do to take care of myself and my kids? And beyond that, what should I do to keep enjoying life, make more room for myself. Am I missing something? If I had a stroke tonight and couldn't dial up my neighbor or 911, that might pretty much be it. Yet this guy had a housefull of people and still ended up in the same position. Is there anything I should be doing differently?

I dunno. More than once this week I thought, "I'm pretty much who I'm going to be at this point." Not that I don't have room to grow or change, but I'm not a kid anymore, I know a lot about who I am and what I believe, and the older I get the less tolerant I become of bullies, bigots, and ignoramuses. I wasn't born yesterday, and I still have some pride. I'm proud that I have made it this far, proud of my kids, proud to be part of the family I was born into, proud of my work, proud to have so many wonderful friends, and proud that I managed to buy myself a new furnace before the old one broke down.

Pride has a certain place, like, in this song, "This Old Town." It came back to me one night as I plugged my iPod in while cleaning up, not long after my restorative visit home about a month ago. It grabbed me as so much of the stuff of the little chain of river towns I call home. I played it over and over, and learned it the best I could. Tonight might be a good night to pick it up again.

Enjoy, and take time to feel a little pride in your deeds and efforts as you inch along as we all do through life.


At November 16, 2008 10:31 AM, Blogger Blueberry said...

You had a birthday? And we missed it? Well, dang! Happy belated birthday! You are a youngster. I mean it.

Nanci Griffith, she is an Austinite... but moved away before we got here so we never got to see her playing in the small clubs, although I have seen her here, playing at the Austin Music Awards with Buddy Holly's old band. I was listening to her a lot before we moved here, it was part of the draw of *this town*.

At November 16, 2008 1:01 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Thanks, Blue! Something about that number felt surprisingly "bleah" to me. I think I thought 42 was going to be The Big Year I Figured It All Out but, alas, I'm still waiting.

I remember finding out years ago about Nanci Griffith from a college friend. When I learned she was from Texas I was so confused! But the Austin think of course makes sense. I really love her no-nonsense and straightforward writing her lovely clear unadorned voice, and the way she cleverly throws in these little syncopations. She's the bomb, really. The show at the Kent Folk Fest was SOLD OUT which to me is very good news. Yeah, it snowed today, but maybe there are some good things and nice music-loving people lurking about.

Enjoy your day!


At November 17, 2008 8:59 PM, Anonymous Fearless said...

A belated Happy B day!

Too bad that you missed the shows at Kent. Matt and Shannon Heaton were great. Shannon got Anita to sing "The Diggers" at a house concert they did over in C'bus.

At November 19, 2008 9:51 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hey Fearless! Nice to hear from you and thanks! It sure would be hard to beat last year's birthday -- Tim O at the Stage with you and Nita! I hope Matt and Shannon found the sound system they needed.


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