As I sit here, with my trusty MacBook Pro on my lap, I am reflecting on some of the incredible moments I have shared with friends and family, since returning home to Iowa.
The smell of our sweet, crisp air has brought tears to my eyes on a number of evenings. Driving home from a gig at Doc’s Lounge in Johnston, Iowa was one of those nights. I was alone, with my guitar in the back seat, my windows rolled down and my arm roller-coasting up and down in the midnight light. I was overwhelmed with happiness. A small group of warm faces surrounded me that night. My family, my friends, new and old all gave a hearty clap following each song. Thinking of those small moments and the feel of that early summer air on my skin, instant happy tears.
Performing on the Simon Estes Amphitheatre. The Des Moines River flowing swiftly behind me, creating a kind breeze, cooling off the thousands of friends’ faces who were turned to the setting sun. Standing there, alone on that big stage, with all those faces, looking at me. I was overwhelmed with happiness. Downtown Des Moines at my back and the blood-line of Des Moines to my front. With the final word of my closing song, there fell the first tear. A dream had come true and I was able to share it with my home state’s support system.
Standing alone, outside in the backyard of my hometown Norwalk’s bar, 804 Main. I was able to tell my story. To childhood friends. To my guitar teacher Sharon Ewell and her incredible husband Bud. To strangers who engulfed me in their arms with tears in their eyes. Challenging my knowledge of sign language I ask a man if he could feel my music. His response was, “yes.” I was overwhelmed with happiness. I was able to travel the world and bring my story back home. Where I used to drag a pop can filled, Radio Flyer wagon with my brother to the grocery store.
My parents just “pop by” my house now. Margarita mix in my dad’s hand. I am overwhelmed with happiness. Some moments seem to drown me. The next moment I give in to fits of laughter. Like waves, I am hit over and over again with this time in my life. Grateful for every single moment.
My stories continue as I now prepare to embark on my first tour. Setting sail out east first. Then to the south. When the winter months take their cold hands off our back, I will then turn to the west. I have never taken anything for granted. I am grateful for all the moments I have experienced thus far. I will embrace each moment that is yet to come.
My strength I gain through you and I am overwhelmed with happiness.