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I have hated being away for so long. It’s weird not to write a post every other day. But, I must admit, I have been doing nothing but relaxing, reading, and drinking wine–just like promised. But I am back. I have two more weeks of vacation left, and I cannot promise, but I vow to at least make a concerted effort to do two posts a week during those two weeks.

The list of songs today made me happy and reflective simultaneously. Beyond the list of six, there were about 12 songs staring me in the face, begging me to write about them as well. But, that’s not the deal, right? So hopefully they will pop up soon because they are a proverbial thorn in my side.

It’s funny how ears work. Physiologically of course, but also metaphorically–in a sense. I was making fun of my mom’s music this week while being home. She just discovered Pandora, which means she has no idea how it works. She loves Adele and Rod Stewart and The Beatles and Norah Jones and Willie Nelson (see where I get it from?!). But, sadly, Mom doesn’t know how to “dislike” songs, since she doesn’t use Facebook. We were in the middle of a very important discussion on life at 11:45 the other night, at least a few glasses of wine each, and suddenly some techno crap pops up, and the two of us stare at each other. Wide-eyed, she informs me, “I didn’t sign up for this shit!”. It was great.

Meanwhile, the next night while washing dishes, I thought I heard “Ol’ 55” come on Pandora and I got a little misty-eyed. I love Tom Waits. Sadly, it was something else. I am used to hearing his much more up-beat version of “Ol’ 55” but tonight’s is the slow version, and I love it still. It’s so haunting and delicious and gut-wrenching.

I have been filled and surrounded by beautiful things for the past several weeks–pregnant bellies, gardens bursting at the seams, dear friends, sunsets over the Sierras, three amazingly devoured novels, lively discussions on education, nephews telling me jokes, puppies learning how to finally behave, the strong women of my family laughing at the top of their lungs, friends urging me home to hang out once again, finally spending time with my old friend The New Yorker once again. I don’t know if there has been a sea-change in my behavior since losing my weight, or if it is just having a summer to take it down a notch. Either way, I have always felt blessed. This summer, I feel much more pleased and even entitled to allow myself to feel such a blessing fall on me.

I remember living in England in 1997 with my friend K. Even then, I purchased music from abroad. One of the hot songs that year was “Brimful of Asha”. I brought my copy home to Colorado and proudly played it for my friends, since it hadn’t made it’s way over the Pond yet. The line that got everyone was “Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow”. When you are barely 20, songs such as these make you feel like somebody, even if you didn’t really care for them. Meanwhile, after my return that August, I took my Dad to see B.B. King, Taj Mahal, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd for his birthday. I had never known about Taj Mahal. To Dad and I, he and Kenny Wayne, twenty at the time, might have actually surpassed Mr. King and Lucille.

I don’t think I have too much to say or write, or whatever tonight. All I know is that for the first time in five summers, I actually feel ready to return to work in two weeks. I have always had to emotionally manoeuvre through a short transition on both ends of summer (or Bread Loaf, depending on how you look at it), and this year, I don’t have to.

Yes, it’s a shorter summer for me than previous summers, but I think I will survive. I am good to go. As Mr. Waits says, I have Lady Luck on my side. “Stars beginning to fade, and I lead the parade”. Who could ask for more? Happy late summer, everyone!

Queen Bee–Taj Mahal

Alfie–Joss Stone

Ol’ 55–Tom Waits

Sometimes I’m Happy–Joni Mitchell

Brimful of Asha (Remix)–Cornerstone

Mothers of the Disappeared–U2