Food Trucks and Concerts

Even though my most favorite thing is being home, last weekend I had the opportunity to do some fun stuff here in Nashville.  After a great service and teaching at The Move Church by pastor Josh Hawk, my housemate and I headed out to Centennial Park to Nash Spring Bash

It was a beautiful day, about 85 degrees and sunny.  We’d made our selection ahead of time so we headed to the line for the Grilled Cheeserie Food Truck.  There were lots and lots of people ahead of us so we had plenty of time to soak up the sunshine and get the first sunburn of the season. 

The Grilled Cheesery

The Grilled Cheeserie Food Truck

First Sunburn 2016

It only hurt a little bit

My selection was the French Onion sandwich, Swiss/Gruyère Blend, Onions & Shallots Slow Braised in Organic Beef Broth, Sherry Wine & Fresh Thyme on Rosemary Garlic Bread, kettle chips and some Boylan Ginger Ale in a glass bottle.  It was fantastic, definitely worth the wait. 

French Onion Grilled Cheese

I may have eaten a few bites before I remembered to take a picture . . . 

Boylan Ginger Ale

Bradleys Creamery

No room for Bradley’s Ice Cream after that giant sandwich!

Check out that cool old bike!

While we wandered around the venue checking out the vendor’s tents, we listened to Beatles tribute band, Sixty Four.  Afterward we strolled around the Parthenon and headed back to the car. 

The Parthenon

 From a distance

Parthanon Up Close

Extreme Close Up!

The plan was to rest and have a bite to eat when we got home, but after that giant sandwich, I wasn’t even remotely hungry.  Before long it was time to head down the road to a concert at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church. 

The first band up was I Am They from Carson City, Nevada.  It was a short set, but they played one of my favorites, From The Day.  You should give it a listen.  Next up, Hawk Nelson.  They were full of energy, decked out in their skinny jeans, leaping all over the stage.  While I was familiar with a lot of their songs, I didn’t know a lot about them as a band, so I thought one of them was actually named Hawk Nelson.  It turns out that there’s absolutely no meaning behind the name – who knew?  When they sang Drops in the Ocean, I was singing at the top of my lungs.  Last up, from West Palm Beach, Florida, Tenth Avenue North.  By the time their set was over, I felt like Mike was an old friend. Song after song, so many of my favorites, By Your Side, Healing Begins, and Worn.  You should listen to all of them. 

Hawk Nelson

I Am They

I Am They

Hawk Nelson

Tenth Avenue North 2

Tenth Avenue North

Tenth Avenue North

Tenth Avenue North

No doubt you’ve enjoyed hearing all about my big day in the big city, but here’s something I’ve been thinking about that I want to share.  Thanks to The Minimalists, I constantly ask myself whether what I’m doing with my time or money adds value.  In our consumer culture, it’s really easy to get caught up in the moment, in trends, in what other people are doing, in what looks soooo appealing in advertisements.  Sometimes I say yes to something and when I think about it later, realize that’s not what I really wanted at all.  In addition, it’s hard for me to spend money on entertainment.  It seems so selfish and far from the altruistic life I desire to live. Here’s what I’ve come to realize. I love music. I love to sing and I love to dance. Though I am not good at either one of those things, what I lack in talent, I try to make up for in enthusiasm!  Music adds value to my life and I want more of it.  Don’t worry, I’m not about to become a groupie or anything, I’m just going to go to more concerts and I think you should, too!  Is what you’re doing with your time and money adding value to your life?


The last week hasn’t been conducive to thinking about any stuff whatsoever, let alone getting coherent sentences on a page.  Instead, life seems to be happening in snippets, some of which I’ve shared below.

Hours in the car, driving, driving, driving, a route I can do in my sleep.  It’s not necessary, but the GPS is on so there is visible proof that I am moving forward, making progress, getting closer to the destination.  The back seat is full of stuff but empty of someone to share my chips with, to make me laugh, to pant on the back of my neck when I dare to inch the thermostat up to a comfortable temperature.  The walks, playing ball, the way Hannah is just so happy all the time, I miss it more than I thought I would.

  Hannah in my Chair

Doesn’t look like she’s missing me . . .

Little girls in pink and white dresses, faces beaming, innocent and confident in their beauty, so much more so than we bigger girls who spend much more time primping, yet never quite feel beautiful.

Tiny seedlings pushing through the dirt, the combination of seed, soil, water, and sun creating a miracle capable of sustaining life. 


Watching Dad and the speech therapist interact, refraining from giving a fist pump of victory when he correctly sorts the hearts in a deck of cards and and is able tell the correct meaning of various idioms.  Surprised by how much I want him to succeed, amused by his sarcasm, the way he uses it to cope with all the things over which he has no control.

Applying mascara, I contemplate which takes more energy, faking fine or being real.  When I look into my own eyes, I see no answer there.  Seems prudent to stick with faking fine.

A co-worker shares that his father is dying of cancer after being in remission for several years.  He smiles and empathizes with me, with all of us whose parents are aging, whose lives keep changing.

My efforts at helping are met with anger and harsh words.  A short list of my infractions is delivered. Do better I must, Yoda’s voice says in my head, an attempt at comic relief to hide the hurt I feel and the bewilderment about how I’ve lost my voice in this relationship. 

Seeking distraction in a game of Scrabble, I accidentally choose random opponent instead of playing against the computer.  Despite a rack full of vowels, I’m in the lead. Apparently too much time goes by before I get back to the game and I get a ‘nudge’ from Random Opponent 9587.  Really, a nudge?  Spurred on by my own immaturity, I vow to win by an obscene margin.  Game on!


Yes, that’s my bingo

While reading about lazy pirates who don’t do anything, he gently rubs my hand.  For the last year he’s talked about my hands a lot, wanting to know if they look the way they do because I’m old.  Yes, I tell him, that’s why they look this way. And I love that he’s perfectly okay with it.

Sharing a room with Silverstein, a much loved but very sick cat.  Sleep eludes me with him by my side, his paws kneading me, his too sharp claws catching on my flannel pajamas.  I know – I know – that cats will purr in distress, but with each purr I convince myself that he is getting better, he’s going to make it.  “Get well,” I whisper, “I am over my limit on the number of sad things I can endure right now, please get well.


Playing outside with the grandkids, pushing them on the swings, helping them load buckets of dirt into dump trucks, burying treasure and marking it with an ‘X.’  Holding their hands while they play the dangerous game of running down the slide.  The two-year-old birthday girl bursting into tears when I say it’s time to go inside.

 Selah on her Birthday

Before the meltdown

Lying awake, listening to the thunder, watching the lightening illuminate the room.  A thunderstorm in March in Michigan? 

No point in crying, it doesn’t help, the stuff that doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. As I think about how much I hate that saying, I notice that my cheeks are wet, tears slipping down without my permission.

Still awake at 2:00 am I quietly sing, Come, Lord Jesus, Come, then stop when I remember how few people I’ve shared the good news with, how much I suck at evangelizing.  It would be selfish of me to hope for Jesus to come now and make everything right when there’s still work to do here on earth.  I switch to singing Amazing Grace and finally sleep comes.

Experiencing Nashville

This week has been an absolute whirlwind – from the moment I opened my eyes Monday morning to the moment I laid my head on my pillow and closed my eyes Friday night – a succession of work and home and events and dinners with co-workers and friends.  This is not my preferred way of life – it’s exhausting and after a day or two of it, I wanted to put my head under the covers instead of leaping out of bed to face a new day when the alarm went off.

And yet, I got to experience some fun and amazing things.  After living in Nashville for over three years, I finally made it to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  Country music is not my favorite genre, but I enjoyed walking through and looking at the memorabilia, from Elvis’s gold plated piano to the set from Hee Haw, from Johnny Cash to Keith Urban. 

Country Music Hall of Fame

Man in Black

The Man in Black

After the tour, there was a touching speech by Titans punter Brett Kern, followed by an amazing speaker, Esther Fleece.  That would have been enough to make for a fabulous evening, but that wasn’t the end.  Scotty McCreery (2011 American Idol Winner) took the stage and gave a delightful performance.  Even though he’s only twenty-two, when he sang See You Tonight, he made me believe wholeheartedly in people falling in love forever.  My absolute favorite, though, was Five More Minutes.  If you’ve not heard the song before, please give it a listen (even if you’re not a country fan!).  

That’s a pretty good week, right?  But then the next day I got to see a live performance of Chris Tomlin singing Good Good Father.  If you’re not familiar with that song, please give that a listen, too.  Go ahead, the message is far more important than anything you’ll read next on this blog.  You can also hear the story of the song here.

Topping off the week was a trip to The Soda Parlor.  Normally I wouldn’t leave the house on a Friday night or go out for ice cream after such a busy week, but Kayli is back in town for the weekend and I didn’t want to deprive her of the pleasure of my company.  The Soda Parlor has ice cream from Mike’s, a local Nashville business.  The Master Commander (vanilla ice cream and root beer) was my selection and Kayli and her Mom had the Battle Bear (Moose Tracks with Cream Soda).  Delicious! 

Master Commander

I might have had a couple of bites before I remembered to take a picture . . .

Battle Bears

Battle Bears!

And for those of you who’ve been wondering how the kitchen is coming along – we’ve now got a texturized ceiling, all prepped and ready for paint!

Texturized Ceiling