The Long Grey Braid (Long Post)

May 8, 2007 at 10:07 pm (Family, Memories, Music, My Travels)

I’m pretty happy. I haven’t felt that way in a while and I like getting back there. One thing that made a significant difference was buying tickets to see Black Stone Cherry in Youngstown and seeing Jubal Kane this past weekend, and making plans to make a road trip to the D.C. area to see them Memorial Day weekend.

I love music and I love to travel and I love writing about traveling to watch bands play. I love the atmosphere and I’ve been careful, I think, to choose bands to see that inspire me. That make me laugh and sing and dance and feel good about life. I like being able to prop my bare feet up and have a beer or two.

I’m not so sure I’ll make it to D.C, but I have it on the radar. My family reunion is that weekend and … I hate to hear the hell from my mother for not attending but… really, seeing Jubal Kane, in D.C., seeing some friends up there, drinking, dancing, staying out until the crack of dawn… pffft! I’m so there.

I’m really rather hoping that the reunion is on Sunday or Monday instead of Saturday. That way I can drag ass back home and not miss it. (Read: Not catch hell from my mother.) Besides, Nate will be with his dad in Charlotte that weekend and we all know what happens when the cat’s away… this little mouse goes on the road!

Traveling is in my blood. A psychic once told me that I had been a gypsy in a past life. I looked at her and said, “Ya think?!???” Sorry, I already figured that one out sister. I love visiting my friends, especially if they’re blog friends that I’ve exchanged e-mails with, talked on the phone with, but never got to actually meet in person, and then I like going back and seeing them again and again.

Sometimes I visit my family, sometimes I visit old friends, sometimes I just go and I meet new friends. Like the trip to Atlanta last year in September to see Black Stone Cherry at the Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre With The Terrible Parking. I met Kim and Matt there. I knew no one there other than the guys in BSC and ended up meeting two of the greatest people on Earth and I love them so dearly.

And my family, they don’t get it. They don’t understand wanderlust or as my German Papa used to say about me, “Du bist ruhelos, mein Kind.” You are restless, my child. My dad, I think he gets it, in a way. I think in a small way he understands that its not about doing something, its about being there. Like watching the sun set over the mountains in Las Vegas and then walking down the street past where Tupac was killed, seeing the Cascades and Bryce Canyon by plane, oil derricks in Texas, alligators in the bayou and beignets in the French Quarter, the skyline of New York City, the reason the Smoky Mountains are called The Smoky Mountains, Santa Monica pier, the Eiffel Tower, the Reichstag in Berlin, castles and towers right in my own city, sand between my toes at Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach, Galveston Beach, Santa Monica beach, on the Columbia River in Washington, racing on a sternwheeler, riding on a roller coaster, swimming under Tenskwatawa Falls on a hot July day after hiking in 100 degree temperatures, and there’s so much more!

And the people, so many people, so many stories. Like the lady in Knoxville, who after hearing me talk to the owner of an antique store about my fire and why I was buying certain things, opened the trunk of her car and gave me dishes and cups, without ever sharing her name, just smiling and saying, “May God bless you.”

The blind gentleman at a local bar who after regaling me with stories of his sighted life, then asked if he could “feel me up” so he could get a better idea of what I “looked” like. I politely declined.

The seamstress who made my bridesmaid gown for my sister’s wedding, giving me a swan from her bathroom because she found out I collected them. That was 15 1/2 years ago.

The ticket scalper who handed over a ticket to Metallica for free because he made $200 off of every front row ticket he had.

The lady and gentleman who donated clothing to me when I became extremely sick on my last flight to Vegas. Oh yeah, it was that bad. It was horrible bad.

My Oma, who survived the bombing of Dresden in 1944, the death of a child, and desertion by her husband.

My great-uncle, who was a tank gunner in WWII under General Patton.

My little sister, who left her family in Germany to marry and live in the United State of Texas. Ha.

My friend Deb, who married her ex-brother-in-law. What a great story that is! Damn, I miss her!

And my blog friends, what stories, what experiences they have had.

My dads, my moms, my brothers, my sisters, my friends…

Everyone has a story, everyone is unique. How we can we all just sit and not want to know every story, see every place, meet every person, and experience every feeling? As Nate gets older, I feel myself getting younger, at least in spirit. And spirit is where it counts. I’ll share this with you…

When I was a little girl, my mother and I were waiting in line at the communal showers at a campground. An older Native American woman, with a long grey braid, stripped down without shame, and went into the shower stall. My mother was shocked but I thought it was the coolest thing ever. To have lived so much, to have obviously had children, to not be firm and young anymore, and not care, but to be proud that she had lived. Someday, I will be the older woman with a long grey braid, and I will not be ashamed, I will be proud that I have lived.

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17 Comments

  1. kenju said,

    It’s nice to see you happy! You collect swans? I have about 7 of them; six are salt cellars in different colors and one is a larger green glass swan. I keep the smaller ones in the bathroom window.

  2. Jammie J. said,

    When you get older you realize that true beauty comes from the spirit, you see it in the eyes. Not in the elasticity of skin.

    You have beautiful eyes, my friend.

  3. Julie said,

    And because you have gone out of your way to do so much and see so much, when you are old you can say in all honesty, “I have *lived* my life. I didn’t sit around and wait for it to come to me, I went and found *it*.” That is a great way to be.

  4. Myles said,

    kick-ass post darlin. I fully agree with you on the having lived… it’s a wonderful thing.

    so good to see you getting your fire back.

  5. restless angel said,

    It’s good to see you happy, Nanner. Love this post.

  6. Zelda said,

    I’ll be proud too, but I might not get nekkid. I said might.

  7. Inanna said,

    Kenju, maybe one I will see your swan collection!

    *Ahem* J, are saying I’m old??? πŸ™‚

    Julez, and I hope I stay that way forever.

    Myles, fire in, fire out… kind of like breathing…

    Its good to be happy, RA.

    Oh, Z, you know you’re gonna get nekkid! I demand it! LOL

  8. KtP said,

    Great post, Nanner. Good to see you happy again.

  9. Vince said,

    I would so love to come down to DC that weekend but unfortunately can’t.

    So when you gonna come up to my neck of the neighborhood? I got a feeling you can make your way up hear sooner than I can make my way down there.

  10. cybele said,

    Nothing wrong with wanderlust. It works for everyone: those more firmly rooted can look forward to visitors from strange lands.

    Do I have to be old and saggy to be nekkid? (I do have to be warm though- no way I’m freezing my totisicles!)

  11. Ashley said,

    I get you and I’m glad that you get me.

  12. Beth said,

    That wasn’t a long post at all. Seriously. I enjoyed it a lot.

    Hopefully, one day, your wanderlust will bring you to my area. And a pretty happy Peach is a pretty happy Beth. πŸ˜€

  13. LisaBinDaCity said,

    So glad to hear your feeling good again!

    Have a great weekend, Nanner!

  14. Tina said,

    Glad to here your spirits are up higher than ever, hun! I love to read and hear about your travelling stories, especially the Black Stone Cherry ones and meeting up with your blog friends. It’s like me going on coaster road trips and meeting up with my coaster friends!

    It makes you feel ALIVE, just even being on the road, jamming to some tunes with friends, and looking forward to that ultimate destination. That must be the Sagitarrian in ya! πŸ™‚

    One of these times we need to do a concert/coaster road trip! How cool would that be?

    Love ya man, I feel better when you are felling better!

    -Tina

  15. Inanna said,

    KtP, it’s good to be happy!

    Vince, I don’t currently have plans to be in your neck of the woods, but let’s see what we can do after I make it to Chicago.

    Cybele, no mah dear, you may be young and firm and still be nekkid.

    Ashley, I’m glad too.

    Beth, I feel as though my travels may take me through your neck of woods before too long.

    Have a great weekend, Lisa B.!

    Dude! We so need to have a rollercoaster/concert-a-thon. Last time we did that, was when Duran Duran played Kings Island! Hey, dude, maybe we could do that when BSC is in Louisville, that’s pretty close to PKI!

  16. Tina said,

    When? I am dying to see this band that you keep talking about! I haven’t seen a good rockin’ show in a while! Oh fuck King’s Island! If the show is in Louisville we will do Holiday World! πŸ™‚

  17. se7en said,

    When we’re growing up we’re constantly told we can be whatever want to be. The reality is that we’re expected to live up to other peoples ideas of what they think we should be. I say fuck ’em and get over it πŸ™‚

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