Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oldies

Yeah, yesterday was one of those days that really, your best bet is to end it and go to bed early. We didn't get to do that though. I went to my dentist appointment. Shortest one that I ever had. The insurance that is 'accepted everywhere, by everyone' is not accepted at my dentist. I had not even considered that possibility.

Tim had his work physical. It was a two hour drive so I went with him. The appointment was long too. We allowed ourselves extra time because of the heavy rains (flooding in some areas), and were shocked to discover that the 4:45 appointment time given to us by the company was wrong. His appointment was actually at 5:30. The appointment itself took an hour and a half. There was a lot of reading time there. Unfortunately, I had not brought a book. I flipped through some old magazines while I waited.

After the physical was done, we stopped for a bite to eat, and headed the two hours back home. It was pouring and dark and New York State's roads were rife with potholes, a sign of our poor economy. It used to be just the opposite: you could tell when you hit the New York State line even without the sign, because Pennsylvania's roads were bad, theirs well maintained. So we bumped and rattled along, the rain and the fog making it very hard to see what was ahead of us. The radio faded in and out but just as we entered the Seneca Nation, an oldies station came through clearly. We listened to Harry Chapin sing 'Taxi'. I sang along ('another man might have been angry, another man might have been hurt. Another man never would have let her go. I stuffed the bill in my shirt....' ) It had been years since I heard that song, and it brought back memories. The Doobie Brothers came on to sing 'Black Water', and I sang along with that, as well. That song was popular when I was 16. When I was 16, my father had seen the light and herded us all off to be baptized and confirmed. I took the confirmation classes, but I did not believe. I tried to, because I worried about being struck by lightning when I stood before the church and lied about what I believed. I had to acknowledge the irony. If lightning struck me dead, at least in the one moment of clarity, I could be sure of His existance. The Doobie Brothers assured me that 'old black water keeps on moving,' It had been a comforting thing to think that even when lightning struck me dead at the front of the Episcopal Church, the Mississippi river would continue to run, as it always had. I saw the Doobie Brothers in Erie, with Heart and Rush. Then Cheap Trick sang 'I want you to want me...' and I remembered being stationed in San Antonio and going to see the Texas Jam Fest. I saw Cheap Trick sing that song live. VanHalen came on and I remembered meeting my ex-husband's family for the first time as he graduated from Rutgers. His grandmother, in her 70s had sung 'Jump' as we waited to be served at a crowded restaurant. It was hilarious. Then Aerosmith was singing 'Dream On', and I was remembering what it was like to be 18 and realizing that 'dream on, dream on, dream until your dreams come trruuuuuuuueee,' was a load of horse pucky. It might happen if you're Steven Tyler, but it wasn't going to work like that for a skinny shy girl from podunk Pennsylvania.

Life has its highlights and its big moments, and they are grand, although few and far between for most of us. But the small moments also make up a life, and I realized that I had a ton of those to think on. For awhile, in a dark car, I listened to old music and I sifted through those glittery small moments, reliving little pieces of my life.

Deep in the Seneca Nation, we lost that station. It began to fade, and the static started. Tim hit the seek button, and Beyonce was singing about single ladies. The spell was broken. We continued driving on, in heavy rain, fog so thick that you couldn't see what was ahead. We hit some bone jarring potholes. Our two hour drive home took closer to three, but in the end, we made it home safely.

17 comments:

steviewren said...

Music holds such powerful memories. More powerful memories for me than smells do.

Sounds like you were seeing your life flash before you....glad you two made it home. hehe

Caroline said...

I always say that if I don't bring a book to a doctor's appointment I am doomed for a long wait. I personally have found that the hospital I go to has two copies of National Geographic from the 1970's - and I have read them both. They have other magazines but these were provided to me while being stuck waiting a couple of times.

I love to sing along to the oldies when I drive.

Bush Babe said...

Wonderful evocative images Deb... making me think of my 'special songs'... hmmmm.

Glad your day ended OK (or at least ended!). A fresh one tomorrow!!!
:-)
BB

Bush Babe said...

Or is it today now?? Gosh I get confused... end of wednesday here!!!!)

Redlefty said...

Beautiful imagery.

And to think, before long someone will write a memory-filled blog and note how a Beyonce song about single ladies triggered those poignant moments in her brain.

Pam said...

I'm laughing at Relefty. But, it's true. Someday Beyonce with be a part of someones musical life track.

This was really evocative as has been said. Loved it!

I could do one on just my concert history: Elvis and Elvis and Elvis again, Cher, John Denver, Kristofferson and on to U2, twice to Sting to White Snake to Melallica to Kiss to Madonna to Rush to More hair bands to Bon Jovi back to Metallica again to Dave Matthews...

What a crazy bunch of memories that evokes! LOL!

Kelly said...

Oh, my. I'm sitting here immersed in my own memories that each of those songs evokes....

jeanie said...

Oh nothing like an old song to evoke images and memories.

We were only saying the other day that there are adults who only remember Kurt Cobain as a dead guy.

PaintedPromise said...

wow... music and memories. yup. uh huh. me too...

Pam said...

Ah jeanie....the birth of grunge. Nirvana, Pearl Jam's "10"...

Lavinia said...

Those old songs can be pretty powerful in dragging us bound hand and foot back to the vanished past.

Hal Johnson said...

"We were only saying the other day that there are adults who only remember Kurt Cobain as a dead guy."

Yeah Jeanie, and that's really jarring me, since I still think of Counting Crows as a new group.

Rhubarb Whine said...

Posted here since you closed comments!

You are beautiful.

I hope you can look at that image and see what I see - a beautiful, gorgeous, courageous lady who takes life by the balls (can I say that?) and runs with it.

I think that is the most gorgeous image of you I have ever seen.

Bob said...

I love this. The music of "our" era sustains us. On my recent trip back "home" I listened to XM radio, a 70s station, and they played a Casey Casom's Top 40 from Feb. 1978. #1 song was "Staying Alive" by the BeeGees, there were three BeeGees songs on the Top 40 and 5 that had some connection to the Brothers Gibb. They were Ok but those falsetta voices wore on my nerves after a while. Give me the Doobies, James Taylor, Carol King, Harry Chapin and The Eagles.

Bush Babe said...

Rhubarb - thank goodness!! I have come here to post my "nude nut" comment too... I totally agree and have already emailed Deb your sentiments almost verbatim.

Isn't it funny how we see photos of ourselves and can only find negative things (I know I do!) and yet others can immediately pinpoint the core and power of the person. Your light shines through Deb. Look again.

:-)
BB

Lori said...

Great entry! I loved sharing the memories evoked by those songs with you. You're so right; sometimes it's those small moments that really make up our life that are the ones most precious to us when we're lucky enough to relive them.

quid said...

Spencerport, suburb of Rochester, NY. Home for some 10 years. Also home to the world's largest chain of potholes. I swear. I miss them sometimes. (not!)

My son gave me a lift the other day to pick up a rental car when I had some new schism with the old Jetta that had to be addressed. On the way to the airport he set the IPod to "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?". Imagine our collective surprise when we both started to sing along and knew all the words. I told my son that Creedence was the first concert I ever went to, back at 16 in the Duluth Arena. I know he told his friends, because Chase told me that was the coolest thing ever. Perhaps there is a Creedence revival in today's 20-somethings. Anyhow. I had my own Deb moment. Very evocative.

quid