Memories have a way of sneaking up on you, of taking you by surprise. One second you are heading out the door for an autumn walk, and the next you are swept back to fall and football and leaves on the small town Nebraska streets and your hand in your grandpa's. He and grandma have been dead for ten years, and yet in that one small moment you swear you can hear his voice and smell what his his hugs felt like. Would he be proud of me? What would he and grandma think of my house? What would their faces have looked like when I told them I was (finally) dating someone? Would they have cried at my wedding? Would he still give me kisses on the cheek, rubbing his whiskers to make me laugh? Would we still be playing intense games of UNO and Aggravation? Words come out of someone else's mouth and if you close your eyes you can see the man who said them first. And even though he has been dead for months, you can still see that twinkle in his eyes and feel the love of his intentionality. No, Jerry, I haven't been keeping out of trouble. Have you? We're finally married. And we missed you at our wedding. Thanks for always telling me how proud you were of me. Of us. I miss hearing your laugh that made your face turn red and your head fall back. That usually meant that the rest of us were laughing so hard there were tears in our eyes. The mundane task of clearing out the spam in your email account: Farmers Only Support: New! Top Profiles Selected Just for Givemeabeafyhorserider. It's been years, and still that day that you sat giggling at the computer with fellow pranksters is clear in your mind. I should probably go unsubscribe from that website, but I just can't bring myself to delete forever that one little memory of the pranks that we pulled on each other. I still think about you on the 6th of every month. I miss your "Are you being safe?" texts. Our Middle Child holiday. Emails with jump kits for EMS wilderness response. Texts of your latest crazy hairdo. I think of you every time I am car dancing. I can't ever outdo your moves, still. Singing, stories, arguing, laughing. I miss you at every reunion, Defompt.
It's a gift, really, having those memories come sneaking into life.
It seems like I have been on the road a lot lately between work and weddings. Just this past week, we took a quick trip down to the homeland to hug our Brasilian family goodbye for the next couple of years. As we drove across the prairie, I started compiling a list of my top road trip albums. I thought I would share the list with you. The Outsiders -Needtobreathe. this album never fails to bring back memories of college buddies crammed in the back of vans and miles and miles covered during choir tour. (Honorable mention: Rivers in the Wasteland, but we've already talked about that)
Young Love -Mat Kearney it was the winter after I came back from Johannesburg and I was trying to figure out what life was supposed to look like and where I was supposed to fit in. this album kept me company on many solitary drives. Babel -Mumford and Sons lyrics from this album find themselves scribbled all over my pages. trips I did take. trips I dreamed of taking. dishes and laundry at the house on days off. homework and the hammock.
Home - Mike Mains and the Branches highway 71 and that summer I spent with sand on the seats and lake water in my hair and a map of the Black Hills at the ready. I tried to narrow it down to ONE Jack Johnson album, really I did. But, I can't unravel lyrics from each other and songs from albums because they have so intertwined themselves to the soundtrack of my life, that I can't pick just one. Although On and On brings back memories from school breaks and talks with friends that made me look hard deep down in my heart and challenged my perceptions and paradigms. Growing days, shaping days.
I and Love and You -The Avett Brothers. because, this is so stamped upon all of my newly married adventures. and them live has forever endeared this album to my heart. Love and War and the Sea In between -Josh Garrels. northern california and wedding shenanigans and hiking through snow drifts and past frozen lakes in tank tops and shorts. driving down to durango for a weekend ski trip that turned into a weekend hospital adventure. middleofnowhere south dakota and The Resistance on repeat for an hour or more. I could list more. But these are at the top. My top 7. Ish. Whatever. How about you? What are your go-to road trip albums or playlists?