Life is Like a Song

19 08 2013

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It has been a season filled with friends and music. Songs speak to us and can bring us back to special moments in our lives. From road trips, to weddings, to milestone birthdays, this season’s songs have kept singing to me of love and friendship.

If dreams were thunder
Lightening was desire
This old house would’ve burned down 
A long time ago
—Angel from Montgomery, sung by Bonnie Raitt and by me in my car driving to see her

I took a road trip across the south to listen to Bonnie Raitt perform at the classic Sanger theater in downtown Mobile. Her music has been playing in the background for more than half of my life. The real reason for the trip was to hang out with one of my dearest and oldest friends. She and I have shared our life’s stories over countless cups of coffee and equally countless glasses of wine. There’s been times when I’ve fled to sit on her porch to cry over lost love, but mostly we get together and laugh. We’ve watched our children grow up, seen our life upsized, downsized, our intimate relationships shift and change, our careers evolve and we have always accepted each other for who we are.

We’ve always said when we get old, we’re going to open a Voodoo Shoppe in the French Quarter and live above it and yell at people from our balcony as they pass by on the street. Sometimes we practice what we would yell from her porch overlooking her pool to imaginary people…this always makes us cackle. Bonnie Raitt, John Prine, New Orleans Jazz Fest—music is always playing in the background of our friendship.

And when I tell you that I love you oh
You’re gonna say you love me too oh
—I Should Have Known Better, a Beatles tune sung by my daughter at a friend’s wedding

My daughter is a musician. Her school years were filled with piano/flute/oboe/choir performances. She stepped away from her music for a short while and has recently rediscovered it with an unlikely instrument, the ukulele. She’s playing and singing for the pure joy of it these days. A casual video of her singing caught the attention of a work friend as she began to plan her wedding. And before too much time had passed, there was my baby girl playing her old flute and her new ukulele and singing in her beautiful clear voice at the wedding. With the setting sun backlighting the scene, a fresh take on an old Beatles classic was a perfect song to float in the air at this lovely outdoor wedding. My friend, the bride is closer to my daughter in age and they have become friends.

The bride’s grandmother is an amazing energetic 94-year-old who got up with the band at the reception and sang “Jambalaya”. Her grandmother recently discovered jello shots. She’ll tell you in her southern drawl, “Yes, they are delicious, I like to make mine with bourbon.” We’ve discovered several unexpected connections between our families. There we all were, new friends with old family connections spanning generations, singing and dancing and celebrating with the bride and groom the beginning of their journey together.

Songs about hope and dreams
Songs about loving everything
—Beneath these Strings, a song by friend Martin Flanagan on his new first-ever CD

Flyin Alligator waterfront lounge

Friends and family gathered to celebrate a milestone birthday of my sweetie. A cool, crisp night, under a full moon with it’s long refection across the dark river, sitting on a pier that bridges the space between land and water. Full of gumbo, drink in hand, surrounded by friendships that spilled across decades. A night full of storytelling and reminders of long-forgotten stories. Listening to friends sing their songs and play their music. Well…it all made for a magical evening that took my breath away. I’m also thankful no one fell off that pier.

My sweetie and I have been friends for over thirty years. We know many of the same songs that have been milestones in our separate lives. We’re approaching our fourth year anniversary of our first kiss. Life, love and friendship are all singing together this season.

At last
My love has come along 
My lonely days are over 
And life is like a song
—At Last, me and my sweetie’s song

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32 responses

19 08 2013
Kimberly Crespo

Feeling emotional today and this brought a tear to my eye.
A big toast (of coffee unfortunately because it’s 8:30 AM and I’m at work) to you, my friend!

Kimberly Crespo| Senior Director, Corporate Accounts | Emprint/Moran Printing, Inc.
5425 Florida Boulevard | Baton Rouge, LA 70806 | Ph: 225.923.2550 X: 3030 | Fx: 225.923.1078 | Tf: 800.211.8335 | kim@emprint.com | http://www.emprint.com

“At Emprint, We make our mark by helping our clients make theirs.”

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

Kim, big hugs to you and I’m toasting you with my cup of coffee. I’m lucky to have your friendship.

19 08 2013
Generation Above Me (@TheGenAboveMe)

These are all very sweet. You do a great job showing how each song is entangled with a specific place, time or person/people. Thanks for transporting me into little episodes of your life.

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

I’m so glad I could take you along my journey!

19 08 2013
beverlydiehl

If you open a Voodoo Shoppe, I want to come visit it! Perfect excuse to go to New Orleans. Love this, love listening to the “voice” of the grannny describing her jello shots.

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

Beverly, when we open the voodoo shop, you can come yell at people from our balcony and cackle with us!

19 08 2013
Lois Alter Mark

Love Bonnie Raitt. Angel from Montgomery was one of the songs I put on my original song tape and is still one of my favorites. I think I will go listen to her right now, as a matter of fact! xo

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

I never get tired of listening to her. And she puts on a great live show.

19 08 2013
Sharon Greenthal

I understand your appreciation for your daughter’s musical talents – nothing gave me more joy than watching my daughter sing when she was in show choir in high school.

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

Her musical ability did not come from me, which makes me appreciate her talent even more.

19 08 2013
rodalena

Beautiful…and, thank you for bringing to mind John Prine: that man is responsible for some really lovely music.

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

I love John Prine and he wrote Angel from Montgomery, what a great storyteller he is.

19 08 2013
Nancy Hill

Bonnie is amazing, always has been. Isn’t it great to be able to share friends’ music so easily now compared to the “olden days?”

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

I can’t even keep up with the different ways to get music these days. I’ve just learned about Songza (kinda like Pandora, but different). But yes, it’s all so easy to access and share!

19 08 2013
Jennifer Wagner

What a beautiful story. My sons love the Beatles and when he learned how to play the guitar and keyboards he played many Beatles tunes for us.

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

My daughter loves my classics. I’m so glad that we share the love of the Beatles.

19 08 2013
Donna

The only thing better than listening to music is performing it — but for those of us who can’t, it’s wonderful to have friends and family members who can. This was a lovely story. I would love to see you at that Voodoo Shoppe some day.

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

I’d love to cackle with you at that Voodoo Shoppe some day!

19 08 2013
Lisa Garon Froman

Love all of your descriptions and how you wove everything together. Like a tapestry. Hmm, makes me think of Carole King.

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

Thanks Lisa! I love Carole King!

19 08 2013
Esther Wang

Hi Connie!

My name is Esther and I am with an organization called Caring Across Generations – we are a movement of caregivers and family members who are coming together to change our nation’s culture around aging and caregiving. I have been reading your blog and I think that you have a beautiful story to share.

I wanted to ask if you would partner with Caring Across for our upcoming Grandparents Day campaign (Grandparents Day will be on Sunday, September 8). Through this campaign, we hope to honor and celebrate grandparents and to facilitate cultural change that will enable families to open up the conversation around aging and care.

We are relying on grandparents and caregivers like you to help us spread the word about Grandparents Day and to share your own stories with us. Between August 22 and September 8, we would like to ask you to:

Write a blog post about your grandparent, or about your experience as a grandparent. Possible topics are: a fond memory or a funny story about your grandparent, or lessons and advice from grandparents to their children or grandchildren.
• Please send me an email at esther@caringacrossgenerations.org when you publish your GP Day blog post so that I can make sure to share it on the Caring Across website!

Tweet or post on Facebook using the hashtag #granecdote. We hope to collect thousands of stories about grandparents by tracking the #granecdote hashtag. Here are some sample tweets/posts:
• Just sent a postcard to grandma for #GrandparentsDay for free! Create & send your personalized card at caringacross.org/gpday!
• [Insert story about or advice from grandparent] #granecdote Share yours at caringacross.org/gpday!

We will happily share your blog post and #granecdotes through Caring Across’ social media channels, as well as host your blog post on our site!

To learn more about us, check out the Caring Across website and facebook page. Our Grandparents Day landing page (caringacross.org/gpday) will launch on August 22nd. Please feel free to reach out with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you and collaborating for Grandparents Day!

Best,
Esther

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

Esther, I will be glad to participate. Let me think about how I can best participate and I will be in touch. Thank you for thinking of me.

19 08 2013
Amanda Fox

Connie, I feel like we are kindred spirits somehow. I’ve always dreamed of living in New Orleans, for some weird reason. I don’t know why. I’ve never even been there. And voodoo – I love reading about that kind of stuff. And Bonnie Raitt – so sexy. Love her!

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

Amanda, I feel the same connection. The great thing about a Voodoo tourist shop, is that tourists won’t know if you really don’t know anything about voodoo!!

20 08 2013
Amanda Fox

Perfect LOL. I’m there if you ever need me.

19 08 2013
Phoebe

Cheers to you! My son also took a hiatus from music and did rediscover his instrumental talents…still keeping my fingers crossed on his one day resuming his vocal talents. Your post gives me hope! No hexes on your friends here, please!

19 08 2013
conniemcleod

Phoebe, I think once a musician, always a musician. It just may come out in different ways. BTW, I’ll only pass out good Gris Gris in my Voodoo Shoppe, LOL!

21 08 2013
Helene Bludman

What a sweet post. I love how you link music to your life experiences. I am also a huge fan of Bonnie Raitt.

21 08 2013
conniemcleod

Thanks Helene!

23 08 2013
Eric Cantrelle

Cheers Connie! Very nice post!

23 08 2013
conniemcleod

I still think back on that wonderful night at Maire’s camp. You were a huge part of what made that night magical!

3 02 2014
What Gives You Joy | Connie McLeod

[…] •  Friendships and family […]

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