A Trip Down Memory Lane- Songs that remind me of another place and time.

It never ceases to amaze me the power that words have on my life.  Words have the power to uplift me, but they also have the potential to break me down.  So much for “sticks and stones,” people. A great example of this WORD POWER is in songs.  I bet if you closed your eyes and thought about it, you can remember eventful times in your life and along with them,  songs that accompany those memories.  This activity is quite easy for me.  I think because when I hear certain songs the words come crashing into my mind like waves into the shore. So, take a trip down memory lane with me ( gas prices have dropped, so it won’t cost too much), and then think for yourself.  A few stops for me on this musical highway of life are as follows:

  • “MOMMA’S DON’T LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO BE COWBOYS” This tune by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings was an anthem of sorts that we sang along to on a trip out west in the late seventies with my parents.  We traveled from coast-to-coast that summer.  My daddy would be up in the driver’s seat of our RV, and I would be standing behind him, and we would sing along with these two modern-day outlaws. It was awesome.

  • “THE FIREMAN” by George Strait was a popular country tune during my high school days.  I honestly don’t know why it stands out in my mind so much. Maybe it was the carefree attitude of the song. When I hear it, I take a trip back to my teenage years. “They call me the fireman, that’s my name.  Making my rounds all over town, putting out old flames.” The fact that George Strait was an absolute dream to look at and listen to didn’t hurt!

  • “TAKE IT EASY” by the Eagles was a song that brings me back to my senior trip in 1985. We were freshly graduated and headed to Florida for our Senior cruise.  It was during that lengthy bus ride that my classmates and I would sing along to the Eagles, “Take it easy, take it easy.  Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy.  Come on baby, don’t say maybe, you gotta know that your sweet love is going to save me.” Now, looking back in the rearview window of life, I realize that that time was some of the most freeing.

  • “LOVE CAN BUILD A BRIDGE” by The Judds takes me back to the early nineties.  I was freshly married, and my husband and I took a trip out West with two of our friends.  That was a crazy trip.  We rented this awful Ford van that honestly looked like we were a pack of pervs- you know the kind.  It is always a white van with tinted windows.  Anyway, we traveled from South Carolina to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in twenty-eight hours of straight driving.  It was exhausting. Anyway, when you are in the desert of Arizona miles away from anything, you better like country music because that is all you are going to get on the radio.  Yeah for me, I love country music. However, going from the North rim to the South rim of the Grand Canyon I swear we heard “Love can build a bridge between your heart and mine. Love can build a bridge, Don’t you think it’s time? Don’t you think it’s time?” about a million times.  I am only slightly exaggerating.  It got me to thinking though.  If someone would build a bridge over the Grand Canyon, it would seriously cut down the drive time, seriously.

  • ” DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA” makes a stop in this musical memory trip.  My kids and I were traveling from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Williams, Arizona, in 2005.  That whole radio thing all over again, so we had in the Charlie Daniels Band.  My kids and I sang loudly and proudly the words to this song as we made our way over the Hoover Dam.  “The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal, he was in a bind, cause he was way behind, so he was willing to make a deal.”  My ten-year old son was having a field day.  He got to say “bitch” and “dam” without getting in trouble.  He loved it.  I have to admit that I loved it, too. We had such a great time.  Those two were my whole life back then, and it was a wonderful trip for us all. Unfortunately, we left the tape in the Jeep rental, or was that lucky… Guess it depends on if you love hearing a song over and over and over again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnepPZChA5U I could continue on with this list, but I think you get the gist.  For those of us who love music, we can equate it to certain times in our lives.  For me, music is a form of therapy.  It allows me the opportunity to reflect and feel.  So, sit yourself down and think about this.  Now, what are some songs that cause you to stop, listen, and remember?

Five Places Every Southern Girl Should Travel -at Least Once

      There is nothing quite like home sweet home.  While Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz clicked her ruby slippers to make her way back to Kansas, this Southern girl clicks her wide variety of flats, boots, or sandals (depending on the season)  to find my way back home.  My home is my refuge, and it is one of my favorite places to be. However, I believe that every Southern girl should travel to these five beautiful and different destinations at least once in their lifetime. 

     When I was about twelve, my parents loaded up our RV with my two sisters and me, and we took off to tame the wild, wild West.  We took in a lot of our beautiful country that summer; but one place we visited, the Grand Canyon, left an impression on this country girl that I will remember forever.  I was young, but when I saw that beautiful canyon carved out by the Colorado River, I believe I had some sort of a religious experience.  I have travelled back to this National Park two more times since, and I still have that feeling wash over me.  The only thing better than the first two times I went was my third trip I got to watch my own kid’s expressions as they viewed this marvel. This place should be on your DON’T miss list.

     Our next mandatory place of travel is New York City.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  I know that one may feel like a fish out of water, but this big city is something else.  When you are there visiting, please don’t pass up the opportunity to go to The Empire State Building. I felt like Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle.  Also, it is imperative that you take the boat over to the Statue of Liberty.  I realize that she was a gift from France and that may offend some, but I have always believed this Lady Liberty to be somewhat of a Southern girl.  She stands tall, represents freedom and truth, and makes people feel welcome when they arrive.  Doesn’t that sound an awful lot like your Southern grandmothers? 

     I may get laughed at for my next pick, but I think it is a wonderful, confusing adventure everyone should take, Paris, France.  It was great in Paris, as long as I didn’t have to open my mouth to speak.  I am an educated country girl, but as soon as I would say, “je ne parle pas francais,” grand laughter would erupt.  Let’s face it, you can take the country girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country accent out of the girl. I would have it no other way, but it was a challenge.  Thankfully now, you can just goggle voice search, and it will show someone what question you may need answered.  I just think that being able to eyeball the Eiffel Tower, walk down the streets lite in pink, and take a boat ride on the River Seine are just awesome experiences.

     Next, I am going to travel closer to my South Carolina home.  The South is packed with beautiful, interesting cities that people should explore.  One such city is Memphis, Tennessee.  Please, splurge a little, and stay at The Peabody. As my grandmother would say, “If you do something, do it right.”  It is beautiful and friendly.  I think that their iconic “duck parade” is a site, and I was fascinated at the people who would come to watch them.  If you are anywhere in the neighborhood, you need to go to Graceland while there whether you are an Elvis fan or not.  Fascinating, truly, fascinating.  I loved the fact that from the parlor of the home to the cars and Lisa Marie airplane, there are no fat pictures of Elvis.  I thought that was quite a trick, and I am saying this with envy in my heart.

         Lastly, I am going to end with one of America’s treasures, Old Faithful, in Yellowstone National Park in Teton County, Wyoming.  Yellowstone National Park is a beauty in her own right.  However, Old Faithful is like a fireworks show on the Fourth of July.  It just seals the moment.  Now, you will have to exercise patience.  This natural wonder only likes to show herself every forty- five minutes or so, but she is as predictable as watermelon and boiled peanuts in summertime.  And, like those afore mentioned summertime staples, she never disappoints. 

     So, pack your bags with only what you need (yeah, right), and visit one of these magnificent places.  Please, soak all of it in while you are there enjoying every moment, but remember, home is only a click or two away.  And, this country girl must always return to her little slice of heaven- HOME.