A Song That I Can Dance To

Day Nine – A Song That I Can Dance To:

I must embrace my Detroit Techno on this day. What else can get me up and dancing than some great solid beats and bass lines?

Although “Good Life” by Inner City was known and embraced as a good old Chicago House classic, the man behind the groove is a Detroit Native. In fact, Kevin Saunderson was known as one of the “Belleville Three” … a trio of artists credited with the invention of Detroit Techno.

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Forgive

Sidewalk Grafitti on the streets of Chicago. Took this shot from inside the car on a rainy day.

Thought this would be PERFECT for what’s supposed to be “The Rapture” …

Ticket To Ride

Almost a week without a post. Yes, I’m trying to get better at writing at least one post a week here. At least thats my goal.

As it turns out, I’m on a train heading back to Detroit from Chicago. Hubby and I drove back to Chicago in mid-March, but he had to get back to Detroit before I returned from my Boston work trip this past week. Anyway, this just means that I have a little window of opportunity to sit and write without being distracted.

Dr. Bro, LJC and me at Disneyworld

Being a “Road Warrior” for work has given me the opportunity to spend more time listening to music on my digital library. After all, many times I find myself in airports for just enough time to check my email, but not enough time respond to them. Or else I’m literally on the road driving to a location hours away from where I started. Either way, music is my constant companion at these times.

It’s refreshing for me, because music has always been part of my life. One that only recently re-entered at full force after years of focusing on a career. Or trying to get pregnant.

My parents always had music on in the house and in the car. In fact, many of those road trips we’d take as a family involved worn out cassette tapes or — gasp! — old 8-tracks.

One of my favorite memories is my first trip to Disneyworld at the age of 6. My parents packed my brother, my cousin (who would later be known as LJC) & me in our tan wood-paneled station wagon along with our two grandmothers and an uncle and drove down from Detroit to Orlando. During that trip, I believe my parents only took a handful of 8-tracks; ones that we would constantly repeat, only because we couldn’t get any radio reception when driving through the mountains.

Let’s just say that by the end of our trip, the three kids knew all the words to every Neil Sedaka song, as well as all the singing parts to the Grease soundtrack. And it’s apparently a memory that keeps on giving, because Hubby can attest that I was recently able to identify a Neil Sedaka tune!

Another 8-track that was in the wagon during that trip was one of many Beatles compilations that my Dad threw together. It was from that home-made “playlist” (created circa 1978) that I learned the words to most of the Beatles songs. And to this day, every time I hear “Ticket To Ride” I have this incredible urge to belt out the song.

The 1978 Road Warriors (minus Mom)

It’s one of those childhood memories I keep stored close to my heart. And one that usually surfaces whenever I hear any song that reminds me of road trips and spontaneous singing.

For instance: Today on the train, “Tiny Dancer” came  up in “shuffle-mode.” The first image that came to mind was my favorite scene in “Almost Famous.”

Or the other day I thought of “Harold & Kumar” when hearing Wilson Phillips “Hold On” on the radio.

Regardless of the song, each one brought me back to my own road trip memories and how much fun they were when music was thrown into the mix. And hearing each song certainly gave me the urge to break out into spontaneous singing. Loudly. And at the top of my lungs.

And, in the midst of the chaos that my life has become of late … It made me happy.

So even though I might not be an American Idol contestant, I think I might just sing aloud. At least in the privacy of my own home. Or car. Or shower.

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Your turn, oh Internets … What song makes you think of road trips? Or what song makes you break out your singing voice?

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Related Posts:

Emily’s Living Journal

Emily hears her Own Voice

Emily’s Pitch is a little Black

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Oh, how I miss our old station wagon ...

Home = Heart

In the midst of traveling between Chicago and Detroit, I wrote a quick Twitter/Facebook status update:

Anybody else ever feel “homesick” even though you’re technically “home”? Because that’s how I’m feeling right about now.

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Seattle 2010; our last trip with Dad

I made that statement mainly because I had been sorely missing my Dad at that moment. Hubby & I were back in Detroit with the intention of being available for my Mom as she began packing for a three-week trip back to the Philippines. I intended to drive her to the airport the day of the trip, but, as it turned out, I had to be out of town for work. So instead, my Hubby — the awesome man that he is — took her to the airport.

The Monday before I left for my out-of-town business, Mom and I had a chance to spend the day together. We had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, followed by a mani/pedi at a local salon.

I should add that, while I know most women are “close” to their mothers, my Mom & and I have never really had that type of “girly-girl” relationship. My Mom was my mother;. She was the authority figure of my childhood. And even though I’m a grown up now and can make my own decisions, I do take into consideration her opinion — even though I may not always follow it.

After the funeral (and after the rest of the world returned to “normal”) I found myself wanting to be closer to Mom. Partly because I wanted to share my grief with her: I wanted to be with someone who could understand the loss of a person I loved dearly.

The other part was because I just didn’t want my Mom to feel so alone. After all, Dr. Bro had Dr. SIL and Emilia Grace. And me? I had my wonderful Hubby; the sole person that has been able to hold me up and keep me together. But my Mom now had no one. And if — God forbid — I had been the one to lose my spouse, I know that I’d be utterly devastated; completely undone.

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Photo of the 'rents, using the QuadCamera App on my iPhone

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So yes, that is the reason why the day before I flew out of town (and three days before my Mom left for the Philippines), we found ourselves at the salon getting our nails done. Afterwards, I helped her with some other mundane tasks around the house, all the while dreading our good bye. I knew that when I hugged and kissed her for the night, it would be the last time I’d be able to do so for the next three weeks.

Alas, the time had come and I couldn’t put it off any longer. After all, I myself still had to pack for my business trip the next day. So as I kissed and hugged her, I told her to be safe and have fun. This trip was planned months before my Dad’s passing … and it was meant to be a trip full of reunions with her high school and university classmates. And I encouraged her, as always, to call me if she needed anything.

As she hugged me back, she said, “I wish you were coming with me.” And in that instance, I really wish I was. But before either of us could get teary-eyed in front of each other, I stepped out the garage door and waved at her once more as the door began to close.

My car wasn’t even at the end of the street when I called her on my cell phone. “I’m just a phone call away,” I told her once again. And, in between her tears I could barely hear her say, “I know.”

I cried the whole 15-minute car ride back to my Detroit home.

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Later that evening, I thought about what it was like to be back in Detroit: back “home”, where I met and married Hubby. The same place where we bought our first home; where we suffered through more than 10 years of infertility.

And I thought about where I had been earlier today: my childhood home. The backyard where I learned to climb trees. The driveway where I learned to ride a bike. And I thought about my childhood bedroom (which is now my Mom’s “computer room”) and the countless memories I had growing up in that house.

And I felt absolutely homesick.

Picture of our 1st Home with Dad and Kozzy as a pup

I wanted to be that child again. I wanted to be at that home, babysitting my younger cousins; playing hide and seek in our 70’s-decorated, finished basement. I wanted to break out my old turn-table and blast out some ’80’s 12-inch vinyl remixes and just dance to my heart’s content. I wanted to play the piano again and pretend I could still be a member of some world-famous rock band. I wanted to be under a blanket on the couch reading a silly book I had checked out of the library.

Most of all, what I wanted was to be under the same roof as my Mom. And my Dad.

I know that’s no longer possible. My Mom … well, despite being worse for wear (what, with the loss of her spouse and all) truly needs her own space to grieve. She no longer needs to “take care” of her adult kids.

And my Dad … well, he’s simply no longer here on this earth.

But my Husband is here; and he’s been here for me through everything that I’ve been through for (close to) 15 years. And in reality, I know that — regardless of whether we’re in Chicago or Detroit — Hubby is my home.

And I couldn’t be more grateful.