Saturday, July 28, 2012

( T ) R A I N

So, if you know me, or have ever ridden in my van, you know that I'm a Train fan. Train- as in "Save Me San Francisco" & "Meet Virginia".  They make my heart go all "Chugga-chugga-choo-choo" <3
I heard they were coming to town, but alas, my single mom budget couldn't justify the ticket purchase.
But nothin' stops a Train. ;) I happened to win two free tickets from a radio station via Facebook.

I have a friend whose been a long time Train fan and has seen them once before- he wanted to go with we hit the mainline for Raleigh. The show started at 7:30.

We got to our seats....and Mat Kearney (the opening act) started playing....and ZAP!!!! Lightening started coming down in bolts. The sky was dark. The wind was picking up. He played three songs and was cut off in the middle of his hit song (the title escapes me) by a huge bolt of lightening.

Did you happen to catch the part about lightening???


Under the tarp
They began evacuating the park 10 minutes into the set. They never even introduced Mat!! *LOL*

Some nice ladies sitting behind Troy and I offered us to climb under their tarp...and so we did. Seven adults under there. Seven strangers very close. The rain was pouring- almost felt like hail. The wind was picking up our makeshift tent in huge huffs and puffs....and the lightening kept coming. Our butts were soaked. Our feet (sticking out from under the tarp) were soaked.

Security came screaming at us in the rain and wind, "YOU MUST LEAVE AT ONCE!!! ALL OF YOU!"

Troy, being the man he is said,"NO!!! WE DON'T WANT TO LOSE OUR SEATS!!!"

Talk about a die hard fan.

Security came back, " LEAVE!! YOU MUST LEAVE!!" Their screams were carried off by the wind.

The arcs of light kept diving towards the earth in spectacular Zeus like bolts.

I was beginning to question my, sanity. I'm not a fan of lightening storm...especially, when I'm a sitting duck in the middle of an evacuated amphitheater...with strangers.

Um....the seats aren't THAT important. Right?

Then the police came...holding their billy stick."LEAVE THE PREMISES!!!!"

I think my desire to be hit by a billystick at a Train concert is as high on my "wish list" as being struck by lightening!

So, we ran through the puddles, through the rain, instinctively ducking each time the lightening cracked through the atmosphere. It was NUTS!!!

The show was delayed until 9:45.

We hung out in the parking garage, mingling with fellow drenched Train fans. 

The Sunset was awesome! See the bands of rain??  I wanted to see the band TRAIN!

We mingled. A lot. Made friends. Made small talk. Pulled up the radar until our batteries went dead.
Eventually, we sold our tickets to the show.

Yes, we did. And decided to watch the show from the parking deck, IF the show were to happen.

The rain never stopped. But the show resumed.

My fave picture from the night!

See the rain??? 

The show was phenomenal. They hit the stage with all the energy you'd expect from Pat Monahan & TRAIN. The set list was par-none. New stuff, old stuff, cover invited to the stage,  a woman was asked to come up and sing "Bruises", a marriage was performed on stage. The couples first dance was to an acoustic version of "Marry Me" was sweet.

Due to the rain- there were a number of concert goers up on the level 3 parking deck with us. Dancing. Cheering. Singing along to all the lyrics. One particularly enthusiastic professional air guitarist stands out in my memory. We had a blast!! During Save Me San Francisco....we sang loud enough that the traffic police were looking up at us through the rain.....we got a thumbs up...and sang louder. :)

Due to time restraints there was no encore- so Soul Sister, Drive By and a cover of We are Young were done at the end....I hated to leave. The "vibes" were awesome. The music wrapped around us, echoed off the cement walls of the parking deck and embraced us in a surreal way.

Maybe it was the rain, the rolling thunder, the threats of the police officer, the loud music...the drive home...or just the happiness of "just being"....but it was so hard to fall asleep last night.

And just as hard to wake up today. :)

I will forever remember my first Train concert....because it was also my first threat from a police officer with a billy stick. LOL. :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Elsewhere and "Where?"

A few weeks ago the girls and I were in Greensboro and visited a "living museum" called Elsewhere. The museum used to be a thrift store and has since been turned into a living art project full of past treasures and junk made into evolving works of art. It's very american of me, I'm sure, but I was really impressed by the huge bin of McDonald's Toys! *LOL*

Last weekend Mike and I headed out to Hanging Rock State Park to find a rumored "secret lake" that's not on any maps of the park. We found it. In the search, we also spotted some wildlife and a few muscles we had forgotten we had!

Nosy lizard

White tail deer- he wasn't shy in the least 

The secret dam and lake was beautiful

The garden is coming along well. I'm taking pictures to make a book for Mike's Dad for his birthday.

Jakey's  birthday picture HAPPY SEVEN!!

My daughter Rebekah and her special friend. 

Soak up the sun---and SHINE! :) 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stories: What's Your Point?

I heard a motivational speaker a few weeks ago. He was the first motivational speaker that REALLY inspired me without addressing his audience in a condescending tone. I always leave those lectures feeling guilty- like a dieter caught licking from their child's ice cream cone. *ahem* (not that I would know anything about how that feels!)
The speaker was Dennis Miller and he was speaking about story telling. 
As a photographer, this really piqued my interest, because all photography (no matter the subject) is telling a story....but, he wasn't talking about photography- he was speaking about LIFE. 
He said that all GOOD "Stories" have the following basic similarities: Lead Character, Protagonist, Ambition, Conflict & Resolution. 

Simple enough. 

All lives are "Stories". And you ARE the lead character- living out a narrative of angst, conflict and victories against a backdrop of everyday life....everyday struggles....but, in the end, after it all boils down to a headstone and a plot of dirt----is the story worth retelling? Is there enough inspiring drama there to be interesting? Every life has conflict.....but does your story have ambition AND resolution? And if not- what are you doing to properly WRITE your story?

The simplicity of his message was so phenomenally powerful. 

As a Christian and a Decent Human Being...I want my story to bleed into other peoples story...I want the chapters to overlap, the tapestry of kindness, love and charity to interweave my story with be the kind soul that spurs their narrative along to a "Happily Ever After". 

One of the challenges that Dennis gave the audience was to make an effort to plot our story- and not just "accept" the narrative but actually DIRECTING it. ( Not in a "wipe God out of the story" kind of way) Add value to your actions, direction or journey in a way that you start living with purpose- begin steering your life in the direction that you want your story to take. Make TODAY matter in the long run.

Seems simple- but it's not. I have thought about this for several weeks now, and to live each day in such a way that it has PURPOSE that expands to the next day (outside of daily living ie: paying utilities so that you can run the dishwasher tomorrow...or emptying the dishwasher tonight so you don't have to do it tomorrow)....To live with a PURPOSE which will spill-out and change someone else's life for a greater purpose and so on and so on....that's TOUGH.  It's not enough to just "shine" may not just need to light up another persons day, but put some elbow grease into it and lend a hand...carry there. Make your "story" have a POINT. A reason to be shared to generations after you. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Land That I Love

I have said this before- growing up- patriotism was taught, lived and bequeathed. Honestly, if you had to ask me (as a child) who was the MOST like answer would have been Ronald Reagan. I was quite sure he was able to walk on water- if the need arose. 

 Ronald Reagan was the epitome of Americanism in my grandmother's eyes....he came from nothing and became a leader of the free world and....he was a cowboy. He was Jesus and John Wayne personified in one body. Truly.  At least, that's how it seemed.



Anyhow, a thread of patriotism  runs in my blood as richly as caffeine and is a life line. I can succumb to tears at the sight of a military man in fatigues, a flag on a headstone, the reading of "We the People", or the faintest whisper of Taps. I have an unquenchable appetite for American History especially the Wild West, Oregon Trail, Gold Rush and founding of California. At one time I was convinced that I was going to name my first born Wyatt....and was going to call him Wyatt Twerp.

My love for this country only grows. My heart will always swell with pride and love when hearing The Star Spangled Banner. I will always be proud of the Red, White and Blue...from sea to shining sea, the land of the brave and the home of the free.

One of my favorite Reagan quotes: "The poet called Miss Liberty's torch 'the lamp beside the golden door.' Well, that was the entrance to America, and it still is. And now you really know why we're here tonight. The glistening hope of that lamp is still ours. Every promise, every opportunity, is still golden in this land. And through that golden door our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America. Her heart is full; her torch is still golden, her future bright. She has arms big enough to comfort and strong enough to support, for the strength in her arms is the strength of her people. She will carry on in the '80s unafraid, unashamed, and unsurpassed. In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America's is."

 Keep shinin' America,