Posts Tagged ‘REM’

A card arrived in the mail today. I’ve been receiving so many cards and letters lately from friends, because I’m a (semi) card person now, that I didn’t even look at who it was addressed to — I assumed it was me. I looked at who had sent it. I recognized the last name… it was my mother’s maiden name. Then I glanced to see who it was addressed to — Barbara Brewster. My first thought was, “seriously?”. My second thought was, “who didn’t get the memo?”. I quickly opened the card, curious what it said. Here’s a little of what the hand written note inside said:

a few days have passed since we last talked. Time flies when we’re having fun!

So, of course, because I have always had a tendency to laugh at some weird humor and inappropriate things… I laughed. “Yes,” I thought, “it’s been a barrel of monkeys”. Then it dawned on me — this card was perfectly timed for what I needed at the moment.

Laughs really don’t give us any indication of when they’re approaching — the giggles come upon us during the national anthem, a hearty laugh rolls out of us when we’re visiting someone ill in the hospital, a guffaw slips out while we’re watching wedding vows being exchanged.

We laugh because we can…because we have to. Because when we laugh, for those few minutes, our world becomes bearable. Our world becomes the place we want to be. Our world becomes the place we can return to the next day and start all over.

So, in the end, I’ll laugh longer than I’ll cry. I’ll smile longer than I won’t. And I’ll remember that the strange laughter is sometimes the best.

So maybe a few places to help get your laugh box in gear:

  1. It’s all very scientific — which of course means it’s for real, right?
  2. This should get you going in the right direction!
  3. If you’ve never bopped along with this tune, here’s your chance.

To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it. – Charlie Chaplin

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Driving around, you see something that stirs a memory. A song comes on the radio and you remember why it makes you smile or cry. It can evoke memories or feelings that affected you positively (and sometimes negatively — God bless Journey!). I’ve been hearing memories all over town lately… I thought I would share some of them with you and what sparked the synapse to my brain that caused me to think of these things in the first place.

Here you go:

1) “Nightswimming”, by REM comes on the radio station I listen to a lot. I love that song. I listened endlessly to REM in high school and college (all the cool girls did). But, hearing this song doesn’t remind me of those times. It reminds me that I used to play the piano and how I want to learn this song on the piano and play it for my friends one day. It also reminds me of my piano teacher and the time I took my mother’s checkbook to practice writing checks (I was 8 ) and wrote the piano teacher a $200 check (she was really good).

2) “Early In The Morning”, by The Gap Band reminds me of The Pizza Hut. (Now that was a stretch wasn’t it?) It reminds me of high school football games in the small town I grew up in. The Pizza Hut was across the street from the high school and we ended up there every Friday night after a game. This song was inevitably on the jukebox. There really is no better time in a small town than Friday night football games. I remember sitting in the stands with blankets, I remember cheering, I remember it all.

3) “Cuts Like A Knife”, by Bryan Adams reminds me of a water tower in the small town I grew up in. It was on the outskirts of town and we all gathered there every weekend. One night my best friend and I were lying on the hood of a car looking at the stars and a meteor shower began. It was amazing. I’ve never been able to see one since — it was a perfect fluke.

4) “Closer To Fine”, by Indigo Girls, also plays on my radio station frequently.  I can’t help but sing along when ever I hear this song. It reminds me that I re-learned how to play the guitar just so my best friend and I could sing the entire Indigo Girls collection. But, mostly I remember how her guitar was so much nicer than mine. Her’s was a beautiful 12 string guitar that I coveted. Mine, I got in the 4th grade.

5) “The Day The Music Died”, by Don McLean. There was a pub near campus when I was in college. It was perfect. It had an outdoor patio…and it had a jukebox. The best jukebox ever. We all gathered there several times a week and always, at some point during the evening, this song would come on. I had a friend that would sing louder than any of us, she was adorable… we all loved her. This song reminds me of her and how I miss her and how her death was hard on a group of college kids.

These are my songs, they are my memories. I hear these songs and they make me smile as I think about youth and the lack of inhibitions that live in youth. But, I’d like to think that youth and uninhibited behaviors didn’t automatically end when I graduated from college or left my small town. I remember night swimming — do you?

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