This year feels so different to me. I was saying to Jared how I feel a bit bad for our blog readers because nothing very exciting has happened. Our shows are going well, our car is holding up great, our health is fine (now), the weather is temperate. The most adventure we’ve had have seemed to be all about Rudy losing teeth! 

I think things will pick up now that we’re out of Montana. Montana is big and beautiful and the people really like us. We feel safe there. There’s a ton to see while driving, and the truck stops are clean and easy to find. We all feel so comfortable, we could probably live like this. As a matter of fact, I think Rudy sometimes thinks we are! Last night he said, “We had some fun times in our house, but now this is good. I like this too.” He’s so adaptable. But it’s only been 9 days…we’ll see in a few weeks how he’s feeling; how we all are feeling. 

Jared and I seem different this time too. Maybe last year, that big promise of the “Nashville dream” and the strangeness and disappointment that accompanied it left us changed. The idea that there is no “bigger and better”. It’s truly whatever you are making and creating right now. This year, our tour was the big thing we were all looking forward to. Now we’re here. We’re doing it. When the dream becomes the reality, a new dream must be grown. A new adventure sought out. 

When I was growing up, my whole life was planned out by whatever production the community theater was producing, or what program the choir or theater was putting on. They would mostly run about 3-4 months all together. The whole process was so great because there was little to no down time. First you’d find out what show they were doing. Next you’d research the character you wanted and what to audition with for said role. The auditions, call backs, the rehearsal process (longer for musicals), the run of the show (sometimes 3-4 weeks), and then, almost before it’s over, you start the process all over again for the next one. The years flew by, and were filled with 1 million things to do and awesome memories. Because every show is different, and every cast was different, you never had the same experience twice. In a way, I think it was a little bit like a drug. Only one summer I asked my mother if I could take the summer off, and not do any activities. I wanted to see what a “normal summer“ was like. It was the worst. I wanted to die every day. I was bored and sad and felt like I had no purpose. Of course, all the drama without the show! Anyway, I think it was that summer that I made a promise to myself to never be without something grand to be working on and towards. 

With Champagne Sunday, we have had to create those things ourselves. Nobody is telling us what shows to get ready for, or how to rehearse, or what roles would be the best for us. The idea of a manager or a record label setting all of the things up for us sometimes sounds so wonderful. The effortlessness of just showing up where you’re told to, and then putting on a killer show certainly has its draw. But then the challenge may be gone. The freedom to veer from the map, to change the plan, to take an alternate route…these are the things that are exciting and create the real adventure. 

I don’t know. Somewhere between the lyrics and melodies of Ben Folds, Ani, Adam, and Hozier, plus a million miles of road, I set the cruise control to 70 (what? The speed limit was 80!) and I let my mind wander. I’m feeling more my age now than ever before…maybe that’s good. Maybe not. At least Rudy says I still look younger than dad. 

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