If I didn't know my neighbors I would be poorer. I would be poorer in spirit and in material possessions. Part of me longs to be anonymous and so to remedy this longing, I go out of town and play shows for strangers. I really like meeting strangers, but then I get to come home where I wave to everyone and they wave back to me. When my brother died last spring, a neighbor sent a check to cover our plane tickets. When we were expecting our third son and only had a Honda Civic, friends from church came over to our house and gave us their mini-van. When I was by myself in the back of the church on Sunday morning with three kids 4 and under, my neighbors came and sat with me and held my babies for me. In the fall, our neighbors come over with trash bags full of freshly butchered meat they share with us. Our neighbors know our children and let me know when they are riding their bikes uptown without paying attention to the traffic. If I didn't know my neighbors I wouldn't be able to help them in their time of need and they wouldn't know to help me. There is something romantic about walking down a crowded street of a new city by yourself taking it all in. But there's something blessed and priceless about living in a place where we've created a huge extended family. When the retired band teacher who gives music lessons suddenly dies, he is missed by everyone. We need each other. That's a hard lesson to learn without your neighbors.
Tonight our friends are taking us out to Bee, NE. It's another small town famous for its fish fry. We're going there for the fish fry.
Last Friday my neighbors and friends came to the Olde Glory Theatre in Seward, NE for an evening of music I shared with my friends, Mare and Nomad. It was a great night. Mare and Nomad made the drive all the up from Nashville to sing this show with me. Afterward we treated ourselves to late night Mexican food. We got to the restaurant right before they were closing the kitchen. We had a chance to catch up and talk about how great the show was. It was a quick visit, but it was delightful.
My husband, Jon, came up to play with me for a couple of songs. That's always special.
Last week when I didn't know the results of the presidential election I made the decision to quit my job. It's time.
Maybe it was the change in the air, perhaps it was the Cubs winning the World Series, or maybe I just realized I was waiting around for something that might never come on its own. I decided it's time to go all in and do music.
For the last few months I've craved long stretches of time for making something, but long stretches are real hard to come by. Presently I have three album projects in various stages. I have work that's unfinished and it's time to start finishing it. Quitting my day job and getting to the real work is what I'm gonna do. It might be that I'm begging for my job back in six months, but for now I'm going all in. Because what am I waiting for?
If I didn't know my neighbors I wouldn't feel half as confident in this decision. When I'm gone my neighbors know that my boys will need someone to sit with at church. My neighbors know when I'm playing a show and make a point to ask me how it went. If I didn't know my neighbors it would be a lot harder to make the leap. I like going out and meeting people and seeing new things. It's even better knowing that I've got this beautiful place to come home to at the end of it.
IN closing, a BIG shout out to Rex Walton for his photos taken at the Olde Glory show AND during my first concertwindow.com show this week. Rex, you're awesome.