Tuesday, November 11, 2014

THANKS



THANKS

The other night as I was coming home from work, I noticed this absolutely stunning sunset. I had to stop for a long train (yes, we have those in Central Texas, too), so I just parked and took it in.  After a moment, the colors of the clouds had intensified, so I decided to take a quick picture with my phone. I snapped two, then took a quick look to see if they were blurry, or if I needed to take another one.  They were good, so I looked back up. The colors were gone, replaced with the dull, grey clouds of twilight.

I just sat, searching the sky for any remnant of what had been there just a moment before.  The crossing arms went up, and I traveled on to the house, but my mind was still taken with how fast the sunset had disappeared. Just a few minutes before, I had passed yet another huge wreck on IH-35 that had the whole North-bound lane closed.  This was the fifth wreck in four weeks I have passed like that--where all the lanes were closed due to a serious wreck, with traffic backed up for miles.  Every time I see these, I do two things: pray for those involved, and give thanks it was not on my side of the highway or involving me.  So, the timing of this little gift from God was very reassuring.

That beautiful sunset reminded me of how fleeting everything can be. It was as if God said, “Here you go, take this gift” and gave it to me, and then it was gone from the sky. How many times do we give or take gifts in our day?  Like the smile from the older lady at the grocery, or a really good cup of coffee? What about a hug from someone you love, just when you need it the most? Personally, I am always thankful when I take my shoes off after a long day.  And yoga pants. I am thankful for yoga pants. And good music. And a good night's sleep. And cheese...whoa, sorry, I got distracted there for a minute! Anyway, the point is, we don’t have to just be thankful for the big things in our lives, as the little things sometimes mean just as much in the long run. And you know I can't go without an appropriate meme. 








Hee hee!  


Usually in November, I practice the daily “giving thanks” ritual, where I pick one thing each day to be thankful for. Of course, we all try to be thankful all the time, but when Thanksgiving appears on the horizon, we all go on notice.  There have been times in my younger years (Hold the old jokes, please) that the days flew by so fast, we often forgot to stop for a moment, breathe, and give thanks. We stayed so busy with the day-to-day of work, kids, and other activities that there was no time to reflect on things in our lives that were a blessing. Now that my life moves at a slower pace, I find myself taking lots of little moments to appreciate this life and all the things in it.  I try to focus more on what I have, rather than what I do not have.

As we move into this holiday season, I am taking a moment to be thankful and grateful for the blessings in my life, both big and small, and try to remember to pass those blessings around a little more. Maybe we are old friends, maybe we are new friends, but I want to thank you for being in my life!  We are all a sum total of our life's experiences, and you are in there somewhere! I want to wish you a wonderful, blessed holiday season! Buckle up, Buttercup, because we will be celebrating New Year's before you know it!


Peace, friends.




Sunday, August 17, 2014

With This Ring I Thee Wed...And Happily Ever After


August 24, 1979

The old ball and chain.
Getting hitched. 
Tying the knot. 

Most common slang terms used to describe marriage often conjure up images of torture. And yes, some folks will tell you that is what being married is for them—torture. Many people marry thinking it is about "love", and living "happily ever after". While love is definitely on the list, there are many, many other things that make "happily ever after" happen. During these 35 years of marriage Chuck and I have gone through several on the list at one time or another to stay hitched:

Love/Lust—Passion is a powerful emotion that begins a relationship.  A feeling of completion by another person, and it can literally be the glue that keeps you together as a couple. It also makes butterflies appear in your stomach and simultaneously makes you blind to the other person’s faults. Trust me, that weird chewing thing he does will come back to haunt you later when the new has worn off.

Trust—Mutual trust is foundation of any relationship.  If you don’t trust each other with your heart, soul, car keys and credit card pin numbers, don’t walk--RUN out the door.  You are not ready for marriage to this person.

Commitment—The building blocks of the marriage. Most think love is what a successful marriage is built on, but it's really commitment. Love/lust ebbs and flows over the years, but commitment is what keeps you there. When times are trying, remember love/lust will return and make you butterfly-e and blind again, and even that chewing thing won't seem so bad.

HumorThere is nothing better than sharing a laugh with your loved one. Finding humor in stressful situations is often the best medicine! Laugh until you cry, snort, pee, or whatever it is you do when you are overcome with joy. Laugh at each other, and laugh at yourself once in a while! Trust me, no one cracks me up like me! I’m hilarious!

These are just a few “textbook” descriptions of what makes a lasting marriage. Then there are the real truths:
 
There should be a hotline for homicidal housewives.  I can name countless times I actively planned the hubby’s murder while cleaning the bathroom or picking up his stuff strewn from here to yonder. Or held a pillow at the ready at 3 a.m. when the snoring reached buzz saw pitch. Thankfully, my senses returned and I put those plans on hold. For now.

There should also be a hotline for homicidal husbands. For when their wives move their stuff. Or throw out their stuff. Or drink all their whiskey. Or spend too much money. Or when he wants to hold my mouth shut at 3 a.m. when that annoying popping noise I make when I sleep nearly drives him over the edge. 
Or when I Won’t. Shut. Up.

Time apart is important. Interesting fact: Paul and Linda McCartney lived together 29 years and only spent 10 nights apart. (When he was in a Japanese slammer for marijuana possession.) While I see the value in this for some couples, we have always embraced doing things separately.  We can enjoy our different interests, and come home with great stories to share. I think the hubbs would agree that going to 55 junk shops is not high on his list. And for me, indoor car racing on a dirt track doesn’t even make my top 20. That still leaves plenty of stuff that we enjoy doing together, and I won’t come home with dirt in my ears.

Time together is equally important.  Take time every day to have a real conversation. Ask what is going on at work or how their day went, and you will understand what is going on with your spouse. Sometimes we forget to separate our personal lives from what is going on at our jobs, and good communication helps us to diffuse a cranky partner.  Always try to "check work at the door". If all else fails, have a cocktail and put on some music. It's hard to be a "cranky pants" in a happy atmosphere.

Be flexible. Age, children, job changes, health problems—they are all powerful game changers in a marriage. Friends come and go, children grow up and move out, parents graduate to heaven. In the end it is you and your spouse against LIFE. Make sure you choose a good teammate that knows how to protect the goal, and don’t let your personal selfishness derail the team. 

Recognize who you are individually. Chuck loves tinkering in the garage, smoking meat, watching movies and TV, and playing cards. I like to cook, paint, write, refinish furniture, sew, do photography, and remodel the house.  Thankfully he has learned how to stay out of my way when some of my above-mentioned tornadic activity is happening, and I don't bet against him in card games. 

Recognize what you are together. We have worked together to build the life we have, with each of us bringing different aspects to it.  It has been 35 years of changes, as we have changed as people and learned to agree on a path going forward. Does that mean we always agree on everything?  Oh, HELL no! (Anyone who has been around us more than 15 minutes knows that!) While we might go to sleep aggravated with the other, thankfully neither of us remembers it when we wake up. (Best advice, right there.)  Life’s too short for grudges.

Don't,  for even one second, think the grass is greener somewhere else.  The grass is greenest where you water it. 





A few years back, I wrote a poem and would like to share it again:

Perfect Love

If you're looking for perfect love, it just doesn't exist

It changes completely after that first sweet kiss

Challenges present themselves every day

Making it hard to find your way

There's love and lust, and sweet adoration

All of which have brought down nations

The strength of them just boggles my mind

But it is nothing compared to the daily grind

Constant see-saws in the struggle for power

Moods swinging wildly, almost by the hour

A woman marries a man, thinks all his faults she will tweak

He'll even clean and wash all the stuff in the sink

He'll iron all his shirts, and give her a massage

And he'll mow the yard and clean out the garage

He'll bring her fresh flowers when her day has been rough

And serve breakfast in bed, and all that kind of stuff

A man marries a woman, thinks she will forever be the same

Not even prepared to play the marriage game

No more parties with the buddies, no nights on the town

And God help him if he doesn't put the seat down

Forget the sexy jammies, they are long gone

Replaced by a t-shirt—NOT worn with a thong

And then come the kids, the pawns on the board

Here everybody wants to try to keep score

Oh yes, there are good times, and time spent in bliss

Then times you are not speaking, much less want a kiss

You are up, then down, then spun around crazy

You gotta hang on tight, you can't be lazy

Love takes lots of work, lots of give and take

You can't have it all, you have to give them a break

Yes, stand up and demand it, if it's something important

If it's not, let it go, it will all get sorted

Once you get by that first flush of love

You need help from heaven above

'Cause Lord knows, none of us are perfect

Love is hard and something you have to work at

It's not about finding someone who perfectly fits YOU

It is not like going shopping to find the right shoe

It is more like searching for buried treasure

You can't see their worth, can't even measure

It's all just a gamble, just rollin' the dice

But so is everything worth having in life





Now, some awesome wedding photos. Enjoy. (If you can't tell, our colors were blue. You gotta love the '70's.)
The Announcement
The Wedding Party

 L to R: Carrie Bryant, Christie (Miers) Beer, Sandy Bryant, 
Blushing Bride, Handsome Groom, 
Jimmy House, Randy Miers, Tom Shimon

The Bridal Portraits...


And the Groom...





And don't forget to laugh.










Happy 35th Anniversary, Chuck. You are my "Happily Ever After" 






Friday, June 27, 2014

CHANGE



Change. You either love it or you hate it.

We love it if it is our idea. We hate it when it's not our idea. And sometimes, we hate it even when it IS our idea. The hard fact remains that change is the only thing in our life that stays the same. Everything around us and in us is in a constant state of change.

Planet Earth changes. The scientists study it, the scholars write about it, the Chicken Little’s warn us about The End coming any day now. They chronicle earthquakes and volcanic explosions with great alarm, like this was the first time EVER this has happened, and are genuinely shocked that it does, and “what can we do to stop this terrible thing”. Droughts come and go, as do rainy seasons. Rivers flood, change paths, and dry up completely. Pretty much the only thing that stays the same on this planet is the wind blowing in the Panhandle of Texas, but even then the dirt it is blowing in changes--sometimes it is Colorado dirt, sometimes it is New Mexico dirt. (Insert theme song from "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" in your mind here.) Fact is, this planet is in constant flux and always has been, always will be. It is a growing, changing, expanding piece of the galaxy, and there is speculation that in a few hundred million years our Sun will implode and Earth will forever be gone. As much as I try to watch my health, I don’t think I will be around to see it, so I am not concerning myself too much with this fact.





Technology changes. I deal daily with computers. They are truly both a blessing and a curse—love them when they work, hate ‘em when they don’t. The software constantly needs updating, and then you can’t find a blinking thing on your desktop anymore, and there are all new symbols and a jillion new options, most of which you will never have the time to learn to use...all part of the culture. However, for all their pitfalls, I would never go back to the “old way” of doing things, and quite honestly don’t think anyone else wants to, either. Notebooks, ledgers, file boxes, filing cabinets, snail mail…no thanks. But please, let’s all stop reminiscing about how easy Windows XP was to use and move on. Everything is stored in the cloud now, you can access anything from anywhere—the convenience this brings has quickly advanced our culture and lives. Can it be a pain in the butt? Absolutely, but only if you let it.



Jobs change. If you are one of the bazillion of us out here who make up the working sector, you know the challenge of change in the workplace. New programs, new equipment, new insurance, new employees, new owners, new brand of toilet paper in the restroom—the list of “new” goes on and on. I have never understood why people will leave a job they know well and have done for years because of changes within the company, and go to a completely new job. The fact is, there is more change involved in that move than there is in tweaking the one they have! But it goes back to my first line—if it is not our idea to change, we are usually going to resist it. If we choose to change jobs, it is a choice we make, and therefore embrace it. Aren’t we humans funny?



Our bodies change. They grow, evolve and age. First we grow from a child to an adult, then revert in many ways to being childlike again. We gain weight, and we lose weight. We get “in shape”, and we get “out of shape”. Our hair changes color, either with help or on it’s own. Parts get wrinkled and saggy, joints quit working like they used to, and some of our "innards" do too, even on a healthy body. We can fight these physical changes, but they come on steady and sure. There are a plethora of solutions from creams, to supplements, to surgery, but at the end of the day, improvement is still change, and believe me, I am all for improvement.


Our minds change. And no, I don't mean that whimsical "I changed my mind about what shoes to wear" kind of change. Our thoughts and opinions mature through the years, with accumulated experiences and attitude affecting change. Well, most of us do anyway.  There are those who are so unsure of themselves that they refuse to grow and increase their knowledge and experiences because they feel safe doing things the same way they always have--change frightens them.  Some of us expand ourselves, sometimes learning from the past, sometimes learning from repeating it.  Our perception of the world and those around us changes with every life experience.  A choice few embrace change, loving the challenge new ideas bring, excited to step out into the unknown and gain new knowledge. People are born, people die, disasters happen. Disease and other physical ailments plague us. Our bodies wear out. Our spirits can go from the dungeon to the stars in an instant. Every day changes us—more on some days than others. It’s what life was meant to be.

                                                                        


Our daily life changes. Our reluctance to change really becomes apparent when it comes to our "stuff". I can move the furniture and paint the walls, and the hubbs will be like, "Wow. You changed things. OK, I will get used to this." But move the man's remote control to another drawer and watch what happens. Switch his sock drawer with his underwear drawer, and stand back, it can be drama for days--because his "stuff" isn't where he is used to it being. Now, I have to admit, I wouldn't like him moving my "stuff" around either, but let's face it, sometimes re-organizing is necessary--no matter how traumatic. And yes, I am that person who will look for something "where I used to keep it" 10 times before the change sticks. But then sometimes I think I could hide my own Easter eggs, so that isn't new.


Change. The bottom line is, you can make it EASY or you can make it HARD. It’s all up to you. But if you stop and consider for one moment that the main thing God asks of us is to trust in His plan for us, what really is the big deal? Why do we let our egos get "too big for their britches" and have all control? In the Bible, it was called "pride", and was a block to entering God's kingdom. I have a sweet friend whose father has had some serious ongoing medical problems, and her mother uses the phrase in her updates, "I am holding on to the hem of His garment in faith" to describe her trust in God concerning her husband's recovery. What a perfect description of what we all do when we trust our faith! Whatever change is handed us, is always manageable with faith--all we have to do is hang on.




So now,  I guess we need to make another "change" to our thinking, because "hanging on"  really means "letting go" doesn't it?  

Peace, friends.




(Want to listen to the theme song to the movie, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"?  Listen here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFa1-kciCb4 )

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Flying



As a child I dreamt I could fly 



Soar at dawn across the sky 




Gazing down on the houses below 




Seeing things I couldn't possibly know 




The fading street lights, the shadowed yards 




The old dirt school yard where I played so hard 




The tiny churches where I learned to pray 




Never thinking I'd grow up some day 




Above the elevator, I'd fly so high 




With no fear that I might fall from the sky 




The dusty old fields, the tractors at rest 




As for dreams, this one was the best 




Again and again it would come in the night 




And while I slept I would take flight 




I'd awake in the morning, wishing it wouldn't end 




But I never told anyone, not even a friend 




"They'll think I'm crazy" is what I always thought 




But the freedom of that dream was constantly sought 




I wish I could dream it again to this day 




But I grew up somewhere along the way 




I still believe one day my soul will take flight 




And fly again over those houses at night 






Like ·  · 

When the Stars Go to Sleep

I love early mornings, it's my favorite time of day

When it's cool and dark, before the sky begins to grey

From the sun coming up to illuminate this globe

But you have to have the constitution of Job

To make yourself calm down, clear out your head

The night before, and just get your butt into bed

So you can breathe fresh air early, when you arise

And get out and enjoy all your daily exercise

I love being out there, by myself, all alone

To sort out my thoughts about work, life, and home

But there is something magic that happens each morning

I try to watch for it, it comes without warning

The stars go to sleep, but I never seem to catch them

When they close their eyes, and I've tried to see when

They twinkle out, it seems they are VERY sneaky

Like they are shy, don't want me peeking

One minute it's dark, and they are shining brightly

Next minute they are gone, and they do it again nightly

I swear, they are here, and then they are gone

Hidden by the glory of the breaking dawn

My morning date, with the stars I will keep

And keep trying to catch them when they go to sleep



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Food, Glorious Food



I am a foodie. Love to cook it, love to eat it, love to talk about it. I am a walking, talking officially certified foodie. Food is such an interesting, broad subject, and I find that most people are fairly opinionated about their food. We all know food is a very personal connection we have to home, family, and our childhood.  Our likes and dislikes all started when we took that first nibble of gooey rice baby cereal. The ensuing personal path we each chose differs from person to person. Some kids use food as a tool in a power game with their parents; others sometimes don’t eat at all. Apparently my brothers and I "bellied up to the table" every time we were called, regardless of what was served. There was none of this nonsense that if we did not like the meal, a better option would appear; there were no options. Eat what was here and be grateful for it, or leave the table. 

Growing up during the 1960's, our house was served typical country food—fried chicken, meatloaf, ham, roast, potatoes with gravy, green beans, corn, lettuce salad—basic menus.  Oh, and that ever-present pot of pinto beans. Growing up with limited resources for my parents meant you boiled that little smoked ham hock in with your pinto beans, and served it with a heap of homemade chow chow, chopped onion and crispy scratch made cornbread. (Pintos are not my favorite bean, so I always piled on the chow chow and ate lots of cornbread.) There was rarely steak and never fish. We seldom ate at a restaurant, and when we did it might be a burger at Myrtle Armstrong’s cafĂ© or The “Y” cafe. A “fancy” meal out would be at Meyer’s Fried Chicken in Amarillo. I always wanted to eat something exotic like pizza or Chinese food, but never got to.  (I have to say however, I would kill right now for some of that yellow gravy from Meyer’s over some mashed taters….)

See? Just thinking about those times at the dinner table as a kid has taken me back to that very moment when I could dig into my mother’s fantastic cooking. Mmmmm. But I have come to realize that every person has their own version of that memory. My husband’s family never ate black-eyed peas in Iowa, so he does not share my fond memories of a big, steaming bowl of those things cooked with salt pork and served with a big slab of cornbread. (And that was after I spent the morning picking them and the afternoon with a newspaper in my lap shelling those little boogers.) Like my dad’s biscuits and bacon gravy for breakfast and epic Thanksgiving dressing, every household has their family food legacies. I have some Hispanic friends who get all swoony talking about their mother’s menudo. (Gag, gag, shudder.) Or the friend who talks about her family’s traditional Russian meals with names that I don’t understand.  And even the friends whose mothers did not cook remember the pancakes or bacon-egg sandwich that their dads used to make.



When I think back to those days, Hartley had a tiny grocery that had a small meat market, and a few rows of staples. We did not have these massive grocery stores that we enjoy now. Our grocery trips were pretty simple, because at our house we had the four basic food groups: Miracle Whip, Velveeta, Spam and the garden. We had huge gardens and canned almost everything imaginable. My grandmother had a good two acre plot full of fruit trees and we planted that to vegetables too. My mother made jellies, relishes, pickles, canned green beans and tomatoes, froze corn and fruit. That is when I honed my sous-chef skills peeling, chopping, seeding, shelling and dicing.

My mother always had a plan for her meals—she said you needed a meat, a vegetable, and a starch at every meal. Desserts were for special occasions.  We always had a slice of bread and butter with our meal.  Various salads were common—carrot-raisin, waldorf, cabbage-apple, and at least a thousand variations of Jello salads containing fruit or vegetables. You could always count on knowing what the holiday meals were going to consist of. 

Thanksgiving: Turkey, Daddy’s dressing, mashed potatoes and giblet gravy, candied sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, a cranberry Jello salad and cranberry jelly, and a huge relish tray and homemade bread. Pumpkin chiffon pie with Cool Whip or fresh pecan pie followed. 

Christmas and Easter:  ham, mashed potatoes, ham gravy, candied sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans, corn, a fruit salad, a jello salad, rolls, and that ever-present relish tray and loaves of delicious freshly baked bread. Dessert was usually homemade pecan pie, apple pie, and occasionally a chess pie. 

If everyone was home, they would have both ham and turkey, with all the above. Occasionally, she might make baked beans instead of potatoes to have with the ham, or occasionally throw in a broccoli rice casserole. The amount of food was ridiculous--we ate on platters instead of plates.  But we were young, and usually all "made a hand" at this table of plenty.



When I walk the grocery aisles now, I can get overwhelmed by the thousands of products available.  All of that pre-cooked, ready-to-eat stuff contains ingredients that have more letters than the VIN number on my car. I can avoid whole aisles, as they don’t have anything we eat on them. I don’t cook anything remotely like the way my mother did these days as it is not prudent for our health. (Mother’s food was usually delicious thanks to butter, salt, bacon/bacon grease, or sugar.) These days I just throw a piece of meat, chicken or fish on the grill, roast some fresh vegetables in the oven, chop up a salad, and call it. I really look forward to having company to cook for, as most recipes make more than a party of two can eat. That is when I might make a good chicken fried steak and potatoes or huevos rancheros for breakfast. I have my mother’s recipe book with all her wacky hand-written recipes on napkins, waitress tickets, grocery receipts, and more. I love my old Hartley Cookbook, and the Dalhart Community Cookbook, and my Beta Sigma Phi cookbooks.  Donna Bryant’s “Thumbprint Cookies” recipe, and Karen Brown’s “Chicketti Cassarole” recipe from the Hartley Cookbook are both favorites.  Helen Summerour’s “Snickerdoodle” cookie recipe from the Dalhart Community Cookbook is the best ones I have found. I have adopted Opal Baker's oatmeal coconut cookies recipe as my own.  It is kind of sad that I have most of my recipes on the computer or pulled from online these days, cookbooks may soon be a thing of the past—heck, at the rate we seem to going, COOKING may be a thing of the past!





I wonder about parents now, feeding their kiddos fast food meals and fruit drinks that aren’t really fruit, all the while complaining about the GMO foods, and demanding free range chicken. Some kids eat more meals in the back seat of the car than they ever do at a table. They don’t consider that all our non-GMO vegetables were bathed in pesticides to be able to make a crop, and  I wonder how people would react if they knew that “organic” veggies and fruits they are eating were probably fertilized with cow or chicken poop. I am sure there would be an outcry, spreading poop on the fields would be outlawed, and we would be left with mountains of poop sitting around to deal with. 

The bigger picture is that the only real bonding time for a busy family is often at mealtime. We always turned the TV off and sat at the table to eat. Even until my girls were grown and left home, we tried to eat together at least once a day. With school and sports, at times it was just a rushed lunch--but it was a little window to talk with each other. It really doesn’t matter so much what the food is, it’s about the love and connections we make while eating it. What are some of your favorite family food traditions? Are you continuing your family traditions? Leave me a comment below.


Peace friends--






Sunday, March 9, 2014

Life is a Rock, But the Radio Rolled Me



I was pretty young when I figured out that music was something that would be a constant in my life. I remember learning how to do “The Twist” as a very young girl, and moving to the music of the 1960’s. I was too young to faint for Elvis or scream for The Beatles, but they still drove the evolution in music that I became immersed in.



The music of the 60’s went from the chorale sounding groups like Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons (Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, My Eyes Adore You), the Shangr-Las (Leader of the Pack), into a blues-driven sound of the Isley Brothers (Who’s That Lady, It’s Your Thing) and Wilson Pickett (Mustang Sally). Some of my favorites from that era:

         Incense And Peppermints---Strawberry Alarm Clock
         Venus---Shocking Blue
         Time of the Season---The Zombies
         Lightenin’ Strikes---Lou Christie
         Sounds of Silence---Simon and Garfunkel
         To Sir, With Love---Lulu
         Dizzy---Tommy Roe
         We Gotta Get Out of This Place---The Animals
         Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In---5th Dimension
         Crimson and Clover---Tommy James and the Shondells




The socially conscious era of the Vietnam War and changes here at home had begun to surface in music. Many groups addressed the political and social unrest of that decade through music, creating some of the most powerful songs to date:

         War---Edwin Starr
         Ohio---Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
         Paint It Black---The Rolling Stones




The 1970’s moved us into even more of a rock mode. The heavy hitters of the early 70’s were still influenced by the evolving technology of recording. The 60’s were dominated by vinyl records, but there was a new chick in town—the multi-track tape recording.  The 60’s had moved us from 4-track to 8 track recording. Our first car audio system was a 4-track, installed by my brother. It was not long until it progressed to 8-track, and I lugged those cases of tapes all over the country.  I was one of the few who had a quadraphonic stereo at home that simulated surround sound, after purchasing that specific type of 8-track tape.




A few of my 70’s favorite singles:
         Holdin’ On to Yesterday---Ambrosia
         A Horse With No Name---America
         In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida---Iron Butterfly
         Mama Told Me Not To Come---Three Dog NIght
         Dream Weaver---Gary Wright
         Never Been Any Reason---Head East
        The Rapper---Jaggerz
         My Sharona---The Knack
         Bad Motor Scooter---Montrose
         Rock N Roll Hoochie Koo---Rick Derringer
         Reelin’ In the Years---Steely Dan
         Lady---Styx
         Roundabout---Yes
         Ride Captain Ride---Blues Image
         Come and Get It---Badfinger
         Hooked on a Feeling---Blue Suede




Also, I want to thank pretty much all the biggies: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Kiss, Bad Company, Led Zepplin, The Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Boston, The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, Elton John, The Guess Who, Heart, Jethro Tull, Queen, Seals and Crofts, Rush, Steve Miller Band, and ZZ Top, just to name a few. I knew the words to every song on every album , and you made it heaven on earth for me. Disco made a short visit, and while I loved me some BeeGees and Donna Summer, it was not altogether my favorite. I went to bed listening to KIXZ, Amarillo TX, or KOMA, Oklahoma City, OK. I woke up to the same thing. In Hartley, TX , those two radio stations were the only musical influence I had.




But the world was about to change again. Those big bulky 8-tracks were about to be replaced with slim little cassettes. I actually still have my first cassette tape—“American Pie” by Don McLean. This meant those huge tape carriers could be replaced by a much smaller version, and might even fit under the seat. And, I had a little portable player I could cart around! 


As we slid out of the 70’s into the 80’s, things really began to change. August 1, 1981 the way we look at music as well as TV was altered forever. A little channel called MTV (Music Television) debuted with a video of the song, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles, and the era of the music video was born.  Oh my goodness, this time period was the heyday for magnificently hokey videos. The special effects were not special, the themes were ridiculous, and I loved every second of it. The hair was big, the pants were tight, the sets were crappy, but the music was awesome!  For the first time you had a visual to go with the music. I still remember so many of the videos—they did not really have to have anything to do with the song, but they always made you remember it! I can still hear my girls, at four or five years old singing "The Warrior" by Scandal, and "Sara" by Jefferson Starship.


Some favs:
         Take On Me---A-HA
         Girls Just Wanna Have Fun---Cindy Lauper
         Karma Chamelion---Culture Club
         How Will I Know---Whitney Houston
         Cradle of Love---Billy Idol
         Pour Some Sugar On Me---Def Leppard
         Sweet Dreams---Eurythmics
         I Want A New Drug---Huey Lewis and the News
         Like a Virgin---Madonna
         Beat It---Michael Jackson
         She Drives Me Crazy---Fine Young Cannibals
         We Got the Beat---The Go-Go’s     
         Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go---Wham



Who can forget Tawny Kitean writhing around on the hood of that car in the video for “Is This Love?” by Whitesnake? Or what ridiculously good dancers Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson were? Or any of Madonna’s or Michael Jackson’s outfits?  How about those gorgeous models in black dresses in Robert Palmer’s video “Addicted to Love”?   Or the chicken dancing in “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel? How about the Thompson Twins’ goofy haircuts?  Was it only me, or were all of Duran Duran and The Car’s videos really odd? 

And then there was Rick Springfield. Oh. My. Goodness.


I still love to watch those old videos.  Somewhere things went awry with the video channels- they started adding regular shows and movies, then reality TV, and then it was no longer about music. I can’t quite figure it out, we have more artists out there now than ever before, but they lost a great platform when MTV and VH1 stopped music video programming 24/7. Youtube is great, but you have to be looking for that particular artist. And let’s face it, the videos today are just not the same. There is not a sequined glove or mullet in sight. No weird costumes, fake space ships, or over-stretched spandex.  No Walking on Sunshine, Dancing in the Dark, Bette Davis Eyes or Sunglasses At Night. 

I have found a couple of Youtube channels that have some good videos. Here is the link for the 70’s one- since videos were not that popular yet, a lot of them are from TV shows, which are just as good-some are just still photos. Either way, it will stir a memory.


If you are lonesome for the 80’s, go check out this video on Youtube. It is 5 hours of 80’s videos in one link. Take a look and enjoy!

If you don't recall these songs I listed above, check them out. They are the building blocks of pop culture for the last 30 years! And, in case you don't remember the song I pulled the title of this post from, listen to it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15wq1Yg_Ac4


Please comment about the cool bands that were your favorites!  I love remembering good music!
Peace friends!  Rock on!