List # 52: The Night Before

My Dad is having surgery tomorrow morning. And though I don't really want to talk about it much tonight, I am asking for love, good thoughts & prayers sent my family's way. We won't know what type of surgery they are doing until he gets into the surgery room tomorrow, but we are hoping for a hip replacement and one that goes well. I'm actually not quite sure how everyone in family will take it if other news happens...so please, send all kinds of positive energy on over.

But with all of this worry & nervousness, today has been a day of moments. I keep listening to music and it is one of the days where each song on my iPod brings back a flash of memory. I have always been a girl with a flashbulb (oh my, will today's generation even know what this is) memory and you tell me a time, a place, a day and I could probably recall one specific thing about it: what I wore, what you wore, what song was playing or was popular at the time, what class assignent was pressing, etc.

So tonight's list are three songs I that always pop a memory:

1. Cheeseburger in Paradise, Jimmy Buffet: For my Dad. Not that he is even a ParrotHead. He isn't. But this song reminds me of Saturday afternoons as a young girl, dancing around the dining room table in our old house in Brookline. Wearing a white tank-top and sunglasses. Cause I was the epitome of cool and my parents were always in favor of letting me be kooky and awesome.

2. Breakaway, Kelly Clarkson: Traveling out of my Greek hometown for the last time. Wearing capris that were too big because I was the skinniest I have ever been in my adult life and a red & pink shirt. Sitting in the front seat of the bus and trying not to close my eyes because I didn't want to miss seeing the sights for what just might be the last time. And I remember thinking about how this song was singing about why I left in the first place. And how deep down I was hoping, upon hope, that coming back was the right thing to do. I still take the long way around. Traditional girl, non-traditional ways.

Wagon Wheel, Old Crow Medicine Show: Car trips to the woods of West Virginia, sitting in the front seat next to the best person I thought I knew. And knowing, deep in my heart and in my head, that he loved me with all of his heart. Loving him even in my fingertips and soaking up the sun and the future that was ahead on the road. Road trip to Kentucky, and feeling a part of another's family; all the bruises and rough spots that come with the people we grow with and love, even if it's hard. And the trip back to Pittsburgh, understanding that even if I got jealous and even if I didn't always feel myself he was still there, like a rock who could match, what I thought, the endless love that I could pour out for him.

So tell me, lovelies? What songs throw you back to a moment that you just can't escape? Do you play these songs just to feel that moment again? Or does the song cast you back unexpectedly in the middle of an afternoon and have you feeling like that point in time is just. within. your. grasp. If only your arms were a little longer and you could reach a little further.

Because I do both. And thank you, ahead of time, for sending love to my family tomorrow. We need it and appreciate it.


  1. Shannon, I will definitely be thinking of your family and your dad in particular tomorrow. Keep us posted.


  2. Cheeseburger in Paradise took me back to 8th grade when I was a Chester Jr. High cheerleader. We listened to that song an infinite number of times going to a basketball game at Brooke. That's for bringing tears to my eyes (after reading about your last song) and a smile to my face and thanks to Bobby Bowen for bringing his speakers for his walkman so everyone on the bus could hear Jimmy Buffet.

  3. Best wishes to dad and your family in general. Trust the doctors...that's what I've always done.

    RE: Music as Time-Travel device

    Sometimes my iPod will be on shuffle and I'll hit some of the music I used to listen to when I was a dishwasher at the North Park Lounge Deckhouse. (Long name, I know. I think they've changed it somewhat.) And sometimes - particularly if I'm out walking - I'll go back in time a little. Things were so much simpler then. Yes, I was abnormal - always was, always will be - but I wasn't depressed out of my mind or nearly as anxious as I am now.

    I'll feel the boost of adrenaline...the endorphins start to flow...and I'm back in a job where I was generally liked and respected...where I worked hard and my hard work and dedication were acknowledged and for which I was decently compensated. (My final pay rate was $10/hour...only had to ask for a raise once.) I can hear the noise...the clanging of pots and pans, knives, boiling water, deep fryers...I can smell the food...I hear the shouts..."Order up! Behind! I'm missing something! Where's dish X? Table X needs Y and Z! Pickup on saute! I need plates!"

    And yes, I'm still paying for my time there. I have tendinitis in both wrists and a bone spur on my right ankle from twisting it too many times. (Need to get that fixed....) No, it wasn't idyllic...came home soaking wet and smelling like bleach and fryer grease...soaked in sweat. Not all of my coworkers were winners, either. But on the whole...yeah, I miss it.