Tag Archives: gig

Dreams, Revisited

Since I was sixteen, my mantra has been “no regrets”. In other words, when I near the end of my life I want to be able to say that I have no regrets for the way I lived. When I was 16 a friend of mine died in a mountain climbing accident. At the time I had recently given birth to my first son. I was still in high school. That was my first wake up call. Life is short! I HAD to live it to it’s fullest! What if I died tomorrow?

I had a few years of floundering around, married the father of my son, joined the military, had a couple more sons, and started my first art business. Not long after my divorce from the father of my sons, I discovered that I was in love with my best friend. We moved in together and married 1 1/2 years later. We had a lovely little family, my new husband was content to help me raise my boys since I could no longer have babies. Basically, I have lived and continue to live my happily ever after. Fast forward 15 years, my youngest son has moved out of the house and we now have an EMPTY nest! When I was young I sacrificed some of my dreams in order to be the best mom I could be. Always with the thought that we would have an empty nest around the time I was 42, leaving plenty of life left to live out those long forgotten dreams.

For a few months, I have floundered around, yet again. Wondering what was next? I still love being an artist and have many plans and goals yet to achieve. Regrets? I still have none. My life isn’t over YET, after all. I’ve been revisiting some of the dreams I had way back when I was fifteen years old, before I became a young mother. One of them was to be a singer/performer/actress. It just so happens that I am married to not only my best friend, but a highly talented musician. We had tried to work together on a music project back at the beginning of our relationship. Before my husband earned his bachelors of music, before he had the patience and knowledge to help me find my voice. We had one gig back then. I SUCKED! I was so nervous, my voice never really came out, it just wavered and trembled and I was so embarrassed that I gave up on the dream. I went back to my art, my comfort zone.

Back to the future and 2008. April 2008 to be exact. My dad passed away unexpectedly and my brother (who is also a professional musician), husband and I decided we would play a couple of my dad’s favorite songs at his memorial services. The idea was reborn then. A folk trio playing all the old folk music my brother and I grew up listening to in my dad’s record room. Yes, my dad had a record ROOM. He had a record collection of over 40,000 records(which I now have). Yet another reason why my brother and I always loved music. We used to sing songs together as kids and even made it on the radio once! On our dad’s Oldies radio show. πŸ™‚

When dad died, it seemed perfect that we would put together an act in remembrance of him. So, for the last 4 1/2 years we’ve done nothing but talk about it. We always sing songs around the campfire when we take our yearly “memorial dad” camping trip.

This year, finally, now that we have so much extra time on our hands, Aaron and I started practicing folk songs together. We told my brother about it and now we are working on putting our folk trio together. We spent 4 evenings in July practicing before, during and after our yearly camping trip. We have practiced since then separately, and together (via recordings and email).

This Thursday is the moment we’ve been practicing for! It’s our first gig! We live 3 hours away from my brother, but we will be driving down to play and also, spend some time in his recording studio making demos of the music we have down so far. If you happen to be in or around Las Cruces, NM this Thursday, stop by Uno’s between 6:30 – 9:30pm and have a listen! I promise my confidence in my singing has improved. I am SURE it will be a good show this time around! I promise to share some photos and possibly video when I get home! πŸ™‚

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Camping, Aaron’s Music and Yosemite

Last week Aaron and I went to California for our annual anniversary vacation. Aaron had a gig in Santa Margarita, California on June 2nd, so we planned the trip around that date.

Fremont Street

Aaron and I standing at the entrance of the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas

We left Albuquerque on May 31st and drove to Sedona, Az the first day. We had planned on camping in Sedona that night but quickly found that there was no place available to camp, not even a primitive campsite! It seems we are pretty lucky here in New Mexico.

Dale Chiluly sculpture

Me standing in front of a Dale Chiluly glass sculpture in Las Vegas

On our entire 2,500 mile trip through Arizona up through California to Yosemite National Park, camping is basically limited to KOA campgrounds or established National Park campgrounds which must be reserved 6 months in advance! Unfortunately, we are more spontaneous than that, in other words, we don’t plan that far ahead.

paula

Me at the entrance to Yosemite Valley

We ended up staying in hotels all but our last night, when we stayed at the Williams, Az KOA. It’s one of the best KOAs we have stayed at, with the added bonus that they have a hot tub! Actually, TWO hot tubs!

bridal veil falls

Bridal Veil Falls

The second day we decided (spontaneously!) to head up to Las Vegas and spend a night there since we have never been. Now, if you know us at all, you know we have never had much desire to go to Vegas. It’s just not our style, we prefer to spend time in National Parks, camping, hiking and picnicking and if we do go to a city, it’s to visit museums, galleries or see the sights. Not that Las Vegas isn’t a GREAT place to see the sights! Anyway, we decided to go and experience it so we could say we did it. I have to say it was a lot of fun! We rode the roller coaster at the NY, NY casino, rode a double decker bus down the strip, and walked back to the Fremont Street Experience. We stayed at the Golden Nugget hotel so it was perfect that there were live bands playing on Fremont Street. We stayed out until 3am dancing to 80s cover songs(my favorite)! Oh and we played $10 on the slots and walked away with $30!

Half Dome in Yosemite

Half Dome in Yosemite

The third day was Aaron’s gig at The Porch in Santa Margarita, California. The place was packed and we discovered a couple of new musicians who shared the stage with Aaron. Jean Butterfield, Three Legged Sister, Don Lampson and another guy whose name is escaping me right now. Thanks to Laura Meyer for recommending it to Aaron. Everyone was very welcoming and the food was good too!

Aaron playing at The Porch

Aaron Lewis playing at The Porch in Santa Margarita, California

The fourth day we drove up to Yosemite. It was so amazing and awe inspiring, now THAT is my kind of place! I only wish we could have spent more time there. We had planned to camp, but there was not one single campsite available. There were some tent rentals in the Yosemite valley, but there is no way in hell we were paying $110 to stay in a TENT! This is apparently what is called “deluxe camping”, everything is set up for you, you just bring your suitcase. I don’t know about that, seems kind of counter to everything camping is about! For us anyway, to each his own I guess. Turned out the pass we had planned on driving over to go home was stilled closed for the season, so we ended up going back down to Fresno to get a hotel room. When we woke up in the morning it was pouring rain and the weather showed snow up in Yosemite! We were grateful that we didn’t end up camping that night! Since rain was forecast for the next couple days, we decided to head home a day early. So we drove back to Williams, Az and then the rest of the way home the day after that. As always, good to be back home!