Deja vu… didn’t we JUST do this?

It was actually much more difficult to leave for this tour than I anticipated. Typically, by early May, Jared and I have the road itch (not easily cured with a cream), and we are chomping at the bit to get our little “Amelia” (our Honda Pilot), outfitted and ready for a few thousand more miles of asphalt to be traversed, rest stops to visit, and overall adventure to be had. But Amelia, with an entomological menagerie still stuck in her front teeth from our recent seven weeks on the highways, and a dusty film from the general funk of middle America still coating her white exterior, protested just a bit as we began to prep for take off. Amelia had begged for a bath, but we had the cracked windshield to repair, then replace AGAIN due to ANOTHER crack it received while the original change had happened. The new windshield was put in place just a couple hours from departure, and was discovered upon the first real inspection to have a warp just slightly distorting the driver’s side viewpoint. Not terrible, but worth noting to the company. I suppose we’ll have to replace it yet again when we return because it was now close to 7:00 pm, and we knew we had to get moving. 

Our time home between trips was one of limbo and waiting. Too much time to justify NOT unpacking from before, and not enough time to really sink into any big projects or creative endeavors around the house. The few weeks of June we were home were full of gigs, Rudy’s first recital (piano AND vocal!), and Rudy’s last bit of 4th grade, and then sending him off to camp. This last bit may very well have been a blog post in and of itself, but as it was not “technically” part of the ‘23 Summer Tour, I will just say that, in a whirlwind five days, Rudy “graduated” 4th grade, had an awesome party to follow, went to a movie, went to the ER til 4:30 am Saturday morning (he’s ok…we thought it may have been appendicitis. Turns out it was just “apoopinside-is” and I’ll let you deduce what you will from that), flew to Albuquerque Sunday, airline lost one of his camp bags, drove four hours to Durango, CO, had one epic day of summer together, dropped Rudy off Tuesday at camp, Jared and I drove BACK to Albuquerque, then flew back to Seattle, only to sleep at home one night, and hop on the road by Wednesday night to head to Utah for our gig on July 1st. With sixteen hours of driving in front of us, some deep breaths could finally be taken and some serious reflection could begin. 

As Jared and I settled into our all too familiar roles, the seats barely re-inflated from the butt prints left on them from only a few short weeks ago, I couldn’t help but notice a certain spark missing in the cab. Please don’t mistake our lack of enthusiasm to mean a begrudging attitude towards the journey at hand, I am merely pointing out that the fervor with which I typically begin my blogs felt like more of a quiet nod to what lies ahead for us, as opposed to a shout-it-from-the-mountain-tops holler. 

Since I like to combine driving days into one blog post, I am now typing the remainder of this first blog from the comfort of our friends’ (Randy and Jennie) RV in Manila, WY, after a full night’s sleep, a strong cup of coffee, a hearty smoothie made by Jennie, some great conversation with our hosts, much-needed rehearsal time with my husband, and a peaceful mind because our son’s bag of camp gear FINALLY got delivered to him…(only five days late).

My optimism has returned and I am far enough away from home to be excited to be on the road again. 

The constant battle between roots and the road is funny like that. 

Home can be a place you love being, want to leave, and long for when gone, all at once. We have put a ton of effort into creating a paradise of peace and a safe haven in our house, and it is a place we all truly enjoy being. Our “show faces” are relaxed, our guard is down, our sweats are on, and our hair is messy. It is safe and welcoming to any who enter and encourages all to bring whatever they feel like to the table, and they will be accepted for whoever they show up as. And that includes us as well. After being away from it for seven weeks, it was so nice to be back. We had just enough time to begin to feel comfortable again, to sink in and start making plans for domestic things to occupy our next six months or so. We sat around our dinner table in a “Leave It To Beaver” configuration, with father at the head of the table, flanked by son and mother, but with more of a “Married With Children” dialogue to accompany the picture. We Fredeens live in that dichotomy that tends to consist of Norman Rockwell meets “The Osbournes” kind of format, but we love it. We practice some of the “conservative” or “traditional” day-to-days of the nuclear family, while actually being nothing of the sort, and it really works for us. 

We love our little nest so much, that, when any amount of time has been devoted to being there, it becomes increasingly more difficult to walk away from, even for something we love. Yes, I know we get to come home to it. I know it’s not going anywhere. But I feel obligated to defend myself as to why I am whining like a little first world brat. “Oh, sad me…has to leave my beautiful home in the suburbs to go travel the country with my incredibly handsome husband (Jared here: Aw!), while my intelligent and talented son enjoys his two-week “Camp Incredible” experience away from us, and then we all galavant around the US together, singing songs and being loved by happy humans everywhere.” Yes, barf. But that has not always been my life, and I treasure it beyond measure. 

I do think a lot of artists feel this way though. We WANT to spend time in the homes that we have worked so hard for, and yet we absolutely do NOT want to be home, growing complacent and lazy with each passing month!!! We are constantly in a flux state of, “Ok, this is too comfortable. Back to the ordered chaos of the road we’ll go!!” and, “I am so OVER sleeping in other beds, away from my things, pets and loved ones, and grass to mow…” It’s no wonder why so many of us have split personalities… All this to say it was tough to leave, but now that we’re far enough removed from it, we are in full tour mindset, ready to have revelations galore, deep conversations, life-changing experiences, and share our awesome music with the world!

And this ….

Jessi, “How many tubes of Chapstick do you think it would take to cover an average human’s entire body?”

Jared, “I suppose it would depend on the thickness of the layer.”

Jessi, “It would probably take a long time.”

Jared, “I’ve got nothing else going on…”

Welcome to the Summer Tour ’23! It can really go any direction. 

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