An Oldie But a Goodie…

I am driving back home Sunday, through a raging storm when the call comes over the radio:

Beep Beep Beep…please be aware that a tornado watch is in effect for West Michigan counties from now until 8:00pm tonight.”

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a tornado–I’ve been lucky not to–but the minute you know it is a possibility, you start seeing potential tornados everywhere you look. They become tornados of the mind. This is one of those imaginary journeys…

***

We are driving back home from an area north of Muskegon, Michigan on Sunday. The rain is so bad, if I go too fast, the car starts to hydroplane making my poor cobalt blue Toyota Prius shake like a wet dog. I tell my son, “Keep an eye on the sky. Look for angry clouds shaped like triangles!

All we can see in every direction is trees, trees, and more trees. We will likely only see a tornado in the split second before a tree hits us.

Visibility is nil when we finally hit the highway. Semi-trucks kick up flumes of water that make it look like we are traveling on a log ride at a poorly maintained water park. I lower my speed–but that too is a danger in the land where the ‘speed limit’ is just a suggestion and going too slowly might cause a pile-up as bad as any tornado might.

You would think I wouldn’t have time to listen to a radio while I am clutching my steering wheel and leaning forward like a geriatric granny. (Shut up! I am at least not a granny.) But music is my groove when I don’t have a book-on-tape to shove into my CD player. (Yeah, I know no one uses tapes or CD players anymore. Shut up about that too.)

Listening to the radio while driving through this remote region of Michigan will teach you a lot about the locals. The only options this far north are religious music or country and western stations. I chose the lesser of two evils. (Sorry, the only time I can listen to anything approaching gospel is when my cousin sings it–because she has the voice of an angel and the sincerity of her faith that helps me suppress my usual urge to make snarky comments and change the channel.)

It is while I am squinting at the surrounding sky that a song comes on that speaks to me. I had a hard time finding it later when I sat down to write this post. It didn’t help that I remembered the lyrics wrong. I thought it contained this line:

“I wonder who I’d be, If I hadn’t met you”

Turns out there are enough songs out there with variations on that phrase that made finding the actual song difficult. But I eventually do. This is the verse I mangled:

Oh like a ship without a sea
Or a song without a melody
I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d do
‘Cause I was made for you

I am always surprised at how emotional songs can touch my heart. And there is no better kind of music to listen to when times are tough or scary than a good old country ballad. There is something in the way they bend the strings that brings out all the feels.

And while the song I eventually found was a love song, that wasn’t who I was thinking of as I drove that dangerous highway home. I was thinking of my best friend.

We met at basic training and because we were assigned to the same training bases over and over–we even shared the same Russian Language program–we had to learn to be friends or kill each other trying. We eventually overcame some superficial differences and became each other’s touchstone through the years. I think our story would make a pretty good Country Song, now that I think about it. And like our friendship–it would be an oldie, but a goodie.

So thank you to WMUS 107 FM and the DJ who played Jake Owen’s song–I Was Made For You. While I was mildly afraid of dying the whole way home, at least I had good songs to comfort me along the way.

And to my friend who makes me laugh until tears squeeze out all my orifices–yes, I can see you rolling your eyes at that one–I was made for you!

13 thoughts on “An Oldie But a Goodie…

  1. I love this! First of all because writing it means you got home safely, and secondly because I feel the same way about music, though I struggle with country music almost as much as contemporary religious music (love old hymns though). But finding that line in that song that really speaks to you — such a special moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love any song that tells a good story. If it has beautiful notes to accompany it and catchy, memorable lyrics, I’ll sing anything. But I lean more toward Billy Joel-esque crooners than any other variety of performer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I ALWAYS listen to the radio in the car. I think it’s kind of a prophet, like in Warren Zevon’s song, “Mohammed’s Radio.” I’m so glad you powered through that drive with help from, I dunno, but cosmic radio.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It has a certain wide-open plains appeal. I’m not a huge fan of country and western in general, but this one touched me in the moment. I’d listen to it with dogs too!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m not a country/western fan, either, but I liked this song (never heard it before). I had a dog who loved Eminem. She howled along with most of the songs on Relapse. I’m not a hip-hop fan, either except for Eminem and Cypress Hill.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Most likely it’s my obsessive relationship with tea that gave you that impression. Or my love of British mysteries? I don’t think it would be my personality–I tend toward the blunt end of the conversational spectrum verging on rude or obtuse. The English are better known for their stiff upper lips and manners. I doubt I would be invited to tea with the Queen were such an occasion to arise.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Living in a place (rural Idaho) where the radio options are country or religious, I default to my MP3 player but if I have to rely on radio, I opt for country. Over time it has grown on me (so long as there isn’t any steel guitar – hate the twang!), especially on long drives. I’m about to embark on a 2,800 mile drive across the country. Who knows what I’ll hear and listen to? Whatever it is, I hope it gets me through any nerve-wracking weather events I encounter!

    Great post. And I get why you liked the song.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 2,800 miles? I’m now thinking of a song by the Pogues…no, wait, check that…the Proclaimers wrote about walking 500 miles more. I am hoping you can fit that onto your playlist before heading out. Safe journey and I can’t wait to hear what you report back on the open road!

      Like

    1. A very succinct comment! I likely could have just written that sentences instead of the entire post as I did. But if I like one word really well, I usually feel that ten more is even better! Thanks for joining in on the experience.

      Like

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