Monday, August 29, 2016

You and your dear Ivy

MM#90 Dancing in the Minefields, Andrew Peterson [New]

H/T to my friend and regular reader @BooksForMe who posted this song on my Facebook...and nailed it.
I was nineteen, you were twenty-one
The year we got engaged
Everyone said we were much too young
But we did it anyway
We bought our rings for forty each
From a pawn shop down the road
We said our vows and took the leap
Now fifteen years ago

Yeah. I was nineteen when I got engaged.  (Which made a very interesting conversation on my 20th birthday two weeks later.)  And, yeah, people questioned our readiness.  My youth, how far I was away from getting The Job™, how things had went with her last relationship, etc.  But we did it anyway...We said our vows and took the leap.

And we went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storms
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

I underestimated the challenge.  I overestimated myself.  And it was harder than we dreamed.

'Cause He promised not to leave us
And His promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby, I can dance with you

With everything I've been through, I can tell you that God has been with our family.  He hasn't forsaken us.  But often He's let us go through enough to remind me that I'm not all that.

Monday, August 22, 2016

believe me, I havent figured out a song that fits you better

MM#51 Second Chance, Shinedown [Xanga 2009 Aug 17]

There are two songs that are atop the list of Monday Melodies.  One won a weird bracket competition that my brother and I ran years ago.  This is the other one.

You know the sign that says, "Teenagers!  Move out while you know it all!"  Well, when I was 20, I thought I knew it all.  And I had a bachelor's degree to boot.  And I was in love.  And I was, to a degree, arrogant, naive, and stupid.

Some of my friends and family discussed their concerns with me.  I blew them off.  They declined to attend my wedding.  That hurt.

I burned some bridges that weekend in April.  And it took a long time for some of them to be rebuilt.  Years.

"Tell my mother, Tell my father. 
I've done the best I can. 
To make them realize. This is my life. 
I hope they understand
I'm not angry.  I'm just saying
Sometimes goodbye is a second chance."

HBD Rachel.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Colonel's Toyota, sans radio

MM#2 Someday, Out of the Blue, Elton John [Xanga 2007 October 15]

As the MM clock ticks towards current time, we move to the 11 months where I was a double-bachelor.  (BS, Compsci & Unmarried).

"Well, a lot changes in a few months for a man who falls in love with a woman.  Especially when it's love unrecognized, followed by love lost (x 2).  And during that crazy summer - oh, and trust me, it was crazy - this song haunted me.  Something about it being a big hit in the summer of 2000.  I told my brother, "I hear this one more time, and I'll tear the stereo right out of this truck...oh, wait, it's Grandpa's truck...never mind..." "  - Excerpt from blog 15 October 2007

Yeah, pretty simply, I had one more chance with that friend from Iowa.  And with our paths crossing as often as they did (church, choir, Mom's sewing business)...maybe it was inevitable.  Maybe it was destiny.  Maybe it was...but that's a comment for another blog.
By mid-June 2000, things were back to the way they were before my East Coast trip.  (Long story).  And you put two good friends together that much...sometimes...

Monday, August 8, 2016

Where those years have gone

MM#74 I Hope You Dance, Lee Ann Womack [Xanga 2011 Sep 5]

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance, 
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance...

Lee Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance"
I had a few very good friends in college.
"He wasn't a great friend.  He was a lifelong friend."
POTUS, Clear and Present Danger (film)

I exchanged gifts with one of those friends upon my graduation.  I gave her a biography of a recently deceased person who had the same first name.  She gave me a CD of Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance."

First...even at the shindig / formal dance events, I was the guy who sat out a lot of dances.  Heck, I remember one party where I was talking to the dog.  I've never been good at social functions like that.

Second...yeah.  After sixteen years, the idealistic me has been kicked to the curb, with a sadder but wiser and scar-covered me. sappy as this song is, it's ok.  There are songs that exemplify perseverance (see MM#8, later this year.)  But there's some that discuss the attitude.  The love and wonder and all that sappy stuff...that we actually need.  That makes the journey worth taking.

Thanks, Cassie.

People with such strength in faith and the blinding light of Christ in their hearts will never be unimportant or invisible.  You have been such an inspiration in how to live a God-dependent life, I'm so thankful for your amazing presence, your friendship.  The future is never clear, but I know that God has you in His hands, He will lead you.  May He make your way clear, full of His peace.

Monday, August 1, 2016

3rd down, give Steve the ball

MM#79 The Boys of Fall, Kenny Chesney [Xanga 2011 Sep 26]

It's I got your number, I got your back
When your back's against the wall
You mess with one man, you got us all
The boys of fall

Some songs have a catch line that hits you long before you listen to the whole thing.  (Also see Carrie Underwood's "Change" - "You're just a fool, just a fool to believe you can change the world")  This one first caught my ear for the band-of-brothers / musketeers part of the chorus.

I have four brothers.  But, as it can be imagined, I've always been closest to my twin brother Robert.  We rocked the world.  (Sort of.)  We were legends.  (In our own minds.)  We were part of the greatest team ever.  (No, we won actually finished 2nd to those rascals from Maryville).

But from bike rides to mowing lawns to killing lawns playing backyard football to programming backyard football to programming classes...we were a great team.  He had my back many times, even after we went our separate ways.  And the day he offered his help in my darkest hour - I am eternally grateful to him.  And to a God who thought that I needed a friend from day 1.

"I kicked him out.  Then I got bored."  - Robert Pratt, on being the second-born twin.

@Romans_837:  I still think that @Romans_837 and @rjmarathon could rock the free world.

@rjmarathon: the whiz kids, amateur philosophers, political sports junkies, red team for apologetics, or just two dads with used minivans?

@Romans_837:  replacement and stunt double for World's Most Interesting Man™.