I've been singing with Tracy Byrd, the Statler Brothers and my newest favorite, Harry Connick Jr. His "Only You" album has played so often in my attic room- that's where my computer is - it's likely embedded in the paint. I can't praise that music enough.
My daughter put it on my computer last time she was home, and though it took a while to open because the Statlers "Oh, Happy Days" kept me enthralled play after play, once I listened to "Only You," I couldn't give it up.
Harry sings me to sleep every night, and during the day, even when he quits singing, I continue. It just doesn't sound as good. That's a real eye-opener. You're used to sounding good, and just because someone else quits singing, you no longer sound good.
Do you ever want to just get in the car and go? That feeling starts as a tickle in my mind and continues to grow until I think my head will burst if I don't hit the road. That's not a good thing, especially in winter, so I'm left with this niggling feeling of uneasy. I don't like it.
Even the emails I get make me uneasy, as if there's more out there I'm not finding.
Some of them force ideas I don't like, some of them are just plain stupid. But once in a while there's a decent message, though a bit on the "too-sweet-for-me" side, such as: work like you don't need the money, love like nobody has ever hurt you, dance like nobody is watching, sing like nobody is listening, live as if this was paradise on earth.
All good thoughts, if a bit prosaic. Still, as I consider them, I find I do all.
Work like you don't need the money. That's a given, really. I'm working harder in retirement, and it must be like I don't need the money, because there is none.
Love like nobody has ever hurt you. That, too, is a no-brainer. Were a person to quit loving just because she's been hurt by someone, there'd really be no love left in the world.
Dance like nobody is watching. When I dance, it's better no one is watching. When I was in school, I'd put on the record "Moon River" and dance to it. You know, the ballerina type of dance - flowing movement with no constraints. I got good at it, too, though I'd quit the moment anyone might see. In fact, this is the first time I ever admitted to it. I sway well these days; maybe that dancing helped set the groundwork for my current stability, such as it is.
Sing like nobody is listening. I think we've covered that.
Live as if this was paradise on earth. Well, really, if a person lives where a person is supposed to be, it will be paradise on earth.
That doesn't mean a good road trip won't go a long way to saving sanity.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson is retired as lifestyle editor of The Messenger. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org