Monday, October 14, 2013

Connecting the dots...


We were going to Nashville, for a little hockey.  To shoot photos of Matt Cullen, of the Nashville Predators for the Fargo Forum, and for Cully's Kids, Matt and his wife Bridget's children's foundation.

But really, what we had was an experience bigger and better than I could have hoped for. I've been searching for perspective.  For that "thing" that makes it all tie together.  I had been thinking this trip was meant to be about travel and fun and some work.  And it was all of those things.  But so much more.  

Really, it was all about connecting the dots.

"...you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."  Steve Jobs

Over the next few days I hope to connect those dots for you.  To tell the story of the dots, that were never really supposed to be about a trip to Nashville.  But were.  And how, in one amazing week- so many of them connected in the most powerful way.  Just wait... you'll see. 

First, let me start at the beginning and lay the foundation of all the dots...



Leaving Saturday was hard- those boys so have my heart.  And yet, I love to travel.

I have to admit, traveling in the car was hard on me.  My lungs and back were not enjoying the damp and cold. We drove through two solid days of rain spending our first night in Omaha, and then arrived in Nashville late Sunday night.

But Monday morning we awoke to sunshine and blue skies.  We strolled around a bit, but were too tired to venture too far.  We drove out to the mall as I was looking for comfortable walking shoes.  The Mall at Green Hills is so not in my league- but we had fun window shopping.  We ate a light lunch and then napped that afternoon, knowing our friends were arriving and we'd join them for dinner.


This was the view out our window.  Our hotel was within walking distance of most everything.


At 530 pm we took off to meet our friends.  They wanted to eat barbecue.



And "Jack's" was highly recommended by all.  




I grabbed a seat and watched with big eyes as the line formed all the way through the restaurant and right out onto the street. 


Flying pig chandeliers were part of the funky charm.


The food was inexpensive and to me the epitome of Southern cooking.  Tasty, with just the right amount of seasoning and a heaping dose of love added in.  No wonder this place was popular.  Rick and I went back for lunch the next day.


After dinner we strolled around outside taking in all the entertainment and establishments.



Walking into The Ernest Tubb Record Shop felt like stepping back in time.  In the back of the store is a stage, where singers still come to play on Saturday night, after having performed at the Grand Ole Opry.  The store is literally lined of autographed photos of everyone from Johnny Cash to Loretta Lynn to Vince Gill, etc.  One of the employees gave an impromptu history lesson about all the singers known to come and play at the store.  One of the things we experienced over and over again, was a downright passion for all things music on display everywhere.




Rick and I were thrilled to be spending the night with long time friends Slick and Ronette who flew in to watch the hockey game the next day. 



Superman and I.


We had decided to find a spot to listen to some live music... just which place would it be?




The Whiskey Bent Saloon was just warming up when we arrived.  We were so taken with the whole musicality of all of the singers.  The guy below had been sitting in the audience and then popped up for just a couple of songs before sitting down again.

The two dancers in white t-shirts below were a country song in the making.  He had been singing and she had come in and sat down alone.  She sat by herself for the longest time, song after song, at the table, clapping along to the music.  After his stint on stage, which we all enjoyed, he went and introduced himself to her.  I saw them shake hands.  He stood, she sat.  They chatted at their table, just across from us. Over the course of the night he eventually was asked to sit down.  They were both enthralled with the music.  Ronette and I were enthralled with them.  







Then suddenly, the right song played, and they were both up dancing... and dancing well I must say.  They knew their way around the dance floor and fell into an easy groove with each other.  A part of me was cheering them on.  He seemed the perfect gentlemen, and she the perfect lady.  When they weren't dancing they were deep in conversation.  

At one point they put on their coats and left.  He graciously extended his arm, and she grabbed ahold of it.  Polite, and still reserved.  But smitten, so it seemed. 

To our delight, they returned shortly thereafter.  And danced long into the night.



Ronette and Slick had left, but Rick and I lingered just awhile longer, enjoying the music.  





This singer was from Winnipeg and we laughed at how close to Fargo she lives. She could do a mean Shania Twain song, and some Miranda Lambert on request too.  


While the crowd waxed and waned all night, we eventually grew tired and headed out long before the music ended.  





And this is the place where I'd love to upload my videos.  The songs, the sounds, the frame-by-frame play of so much of our trip.  But in trying to get it off my phone this morning, my phone reprogrammed to an older version of itself.  Sadly, I lost all of my photos, videos, contacts, texts, etc, from the last year and 1/2.  I've spent all day learning, there is nothing I can do to recover them.  I'm deeply mourning the chunk of history erased at the mere errant click of a finger. 

At least I had my Canon with and am so happy to have those photos still to share.   

I have more to share and will do so over the next few days...  

But first I will see Dr. Panwalkar tomorrow and have infusion.  













26 comments:

  1. Sorry about your phone, Vicky! I know it has to be frustrating. You look GREAT in these pictures! It looks like it did you so good to get away. Now, I am eagerly awaiting for the rest of the story!

    Hugs!

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    1. Oh thank you Eileen- I felt good- and was able to rest when I really needed it which helped. I'm working on the rest- I think you'll enjoy it for sure! Hugs to you!

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  2. 'you cannot connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards' love this...I to have been connecting dots... I said it like "puzzle pieces falling into place". I love this quote and connecting dots so much better!!! I love the ambiance..the couple that met, and my mind is twirling and whirling...trying to connect the dots looking forward lol. I cannot wait to see were this leads....and Lady, you looked like a very trendy 20's something leaning by that barrel... how do you do that!! beautiful!

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    1. Ha- you're too kind- as I couldn't have felt further from 25, but I did love the environment for sure. I think you'll like where this goes- I'm excited to be sharing all about it.

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  3. Oh, I have been waiting for this post! I've never been to Nashville, but your photographs have convinced me that it's a city I would love to visit one day. It sounds like it was food for your soul - good friends, wonderful meals, amazing music, and of course...time with your Superman. You are positively glowing in the photos, Vicky! Can't wait to hear more. :)

    Wishing you love and light, peace and healing~

    Steph

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    1. Oh thank you Steph- it truly was food for the soul- I love that take on it! I feel so blessed to be able to go and to have the freedom to rest when I needed it and which I did often. More coming soon!! Love to you!

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  4. Vicky,
    When days go by without hearing from you, I do get concerned which immediately turns to prayers for you and your family. Although I am just one of you "blog followers"- You are not just "one of those bloggers". I connect with you as a mother, one trying to be at all the games, and to teach them the ways of the Lord. Through these stories you tell, I feel like we are friends, (only I know you but you don't know me.) Yet, it is exactly as God has planned. We are sisters in Christ. I hope to carry some of your aches and pains straight to the Cross of Jesus where His head is bowed down trying to "kiss" us through our pains. May God be with you as you write, as you live fully, and love completely. Thank you dear friend. Kathy

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    1. Kathy- how wonderful to hear from you! There is no such thing as "just a blog follower." I treasure each and every one and am so honored you choose to come and spend your precious time reading here :) Thank you for your encouraging and uplifting words friend! Thank you for your prayers- truly they see me through and I am so thankful for them. Love and blessings to you friend!

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    2. What a beautiful note, Kathy. I avoid writing comments when I am using my phone because I hate typing on it versus a computer...

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    3. What a beautiful note, Kathy. I avoid writing comments when I am using my phone because I hate typing on it versus a computer...

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  5. Dearest Vicky.
    What a wonderful post and quotation about connecting the dots. In my experience, when we look back, over time, we can often see God's handiwork in a way we could never have imagined or caused to have happen. That sense of wonder is one of the miracles for me of loving God and giving my life over to Him. He is in the story, ALL the time. It's only in looking back that I can see His footprints in the sand as the bigger picture unfolds. I often find myself saying as I look back and see His plan more clearly... "Ahhh..that's what You had in mind! Now I see it." I can't wait to hear more about how the dots have been revealed to you, dear Vicky.

    And about Nashville...I loved seeing you there and getting a "taste" for Nashville. No wonder so many people love to go there. And I am thrilled the sun came out, you felt better, and had a change of pace from all of the testing, poking and prodding.

    As always, keeping you in my prayers!
    Love, Linda

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    1. "The sense of wonder is one of the miracles for me..." Perfectly reflected, Linda- love that. So true- and I often think about all the things that will remain a mystery until we reach our heavenly home- wait until we see the even bigger picture of it all :) I truly did get re-energized and restored! Your prayers are such a blessing to me- thank you! Love to you!

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  6. You look like you had a wonderful time. I hate it when I lose pictures like that.
    Yes, I see the dots and they connect us all.
    Stay strong Vicky!
    (remember, oregano, onions, garlic, no fat)

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    1. Thanks Vic- and I may have had just a tad bit of fat with my Southern food, but it was so worth it for just those few days that we had- to truly experience it all! I'll be good again now :)

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  7. Oh, I CRINGED when I heard about your phone pics, texts, etc.

    I love all your tourist pics - we live here and never do touristy things. I've got to just do it! Loved the story about the couple. So fun to observe and live a little through someone else.

    And I still feel crazy for not realizing how long it was going to take you to drive here. So glad you made it and glad that you're back safe and sound.

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    1. Yeah- I pretty much sobbed- ugh. I think you would garner a new appreciation for where you live if you did do some of those things- who knows? I absolutely loved it there and still have to pinch myself when I see you and I together!

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  8. can't wait to read more!

    SO sad with you about the pictures!

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    1. I know Jenn- technology blunders just stink so bad sometimes and I have had my fair share! But- wait till you see what I DID capture- I think you will really appreciate it :)

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  9. I'm so happy you and hubby had a great time. Waiting to hear more about your decisions on your next treatments. You are always in my thoughts Vicky.

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    1. Thanks Lisa- so thoughtful of you and greatly appreciated!

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  10. Vicky, oh, the pain I felt when you told me about losing everything. I am so grateful with you for the photos here, and also, there are emails on your computer, I would think, and other data you still have. But that is a loss! I am so sorry, friend. That's enough to merit a big old hug of compassion. I hope you can feel it. I am feeling like it's time for a little adventure for us. I'm waiting to hear. We'll get that data card filled back up in no time. Thank God for your blog, Facebook, etc.!

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    1. I knew I'd move on from the loss at some point and essentially I have. Waiting to fill that card with more! Will wait patiently to see what starts align for you and I :)

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  11. P.S. So glad you had this adventure. You look great as always!

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    1. Ah... thank you... good thing I have hair to work with and can always dab some makeup on... counting those gifts in a major way these days :)

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  12. The BBQ looks delish!!!! So glad you got to go----You look absolutely gorgeous!

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  13. I know this is gonna sound like it's all about ME but do you know how FUN it was to see you standing in places I've been? We've never been able to hug each other in real life but I love Nashville and Ernest Tubb's Record Shop, etc. and we have stood on the same floor! We're just removed from each other by a little time. :) Thrilled for you to have this time and can't wait to read on........

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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