My family was a musical family.  Guitars, a few beers, and homemade rootbeers chilling on ice in the picnic coolers.  Fire roaring in the backyard firepit, kids running around dribbling mustard and ketchup from their barbequed hot dogs, the dog yapping in the background begging to be untied and wanting to play, the tunes filling the air and dancers swaying or stomping to the music; another serious ya-hoo was about to commence.  Grammas and Grampas tapped their feet while rocking in the rocking chair, infants and little ones cuddled up on their laps.  My sisters sang and played their guitars, spoons, tambourines, and squeezebox right along with my brother’s guitar and my father’s harmonica, as they played and sang all of those old country and western songs, mixing in a few rock and roll, or blues songs when Mom wasn’t paying attention.

I miss those times.  I miss my parent’s laughter and my grandparent’s warmth, but those memories will always be with me.  I just wished that I had a way to bring my memories out of my mind and into films to share with everyone.  I suppose that’s why I write books now; using words to paint the pictures that float in my mind with fond emotion or tragedy.  Life in a big family – eleven children from one couple – it was a hard life, and we were not well-off, but the love that filled our home, never held any bounds or limits.  We always had good food, a warm bed, clean clothes, a few toys to share in play, hugs, laughter, and my parent’s hand of discipline was always fair and just.

I grew up listening to my brother singing songs by Merryl Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Willy Nelson, Chris Christopherson, and George Thorogood, and so many other great musical artists.  My sisters sang songs by Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Anne Murray, Dolly Pardon, Reba McEntire, Rita Coolidge, and so many others.  Country music was the chosen genre. To this day country music is a very real part of my life.  I enjoy songs that tell a story, a tale or offer advice, insight, or tell of a lesson and experience.  Today, my imagination can run rampant with ideas as scenes flash in my mind while listening to certain songs, songs that bring you back in time when men made promises and women worked alongside their men to create a life of stability, honor, and truth.  I gain inspiration, insight, knowledge, and receive the advice offered while listening to the past music world that I grew up in.  We were poor, but we had love.

Even today, in the state of our current world, these musical greats and their vocals tell it like it is.

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