For a long time, I used to tell people that I hated country music. I wore that label like I had earned it! The ability to malign and dismiss an entire genre of music, and by extension those who would listen to it, made me feel strong and smart. The truth is, anytime you “hate” something, you are putting up walls within yourself that prevent you from enjoying the fullness that is this life experience. The longer I’m on this planet, the more I want to open myself up to new experiences!
But back in 2006, I was still hard-headed, hard-hearted, and walking around with a Texas-sized chip on my shoulder. Doing what I could to make ends meet, and feed my newly minted family of three, I was waiting tables at a Texas-themed steakhouse. In Texas. Because Texas is that special. To Texans. And when I was still in training, my trainer told me that there are only two kinds of music in Texas: Country and Western. I grinned and nodded gamely, because I really needed this job.
As I worked there, I discovered a lot of things about myself.
- I look really good in wranglers
- There is no way to look cool while wearing a bolo tie
- Not all of the Spanish that you hear colloquially is repeatable in polite society
- There are some country music songs that don’t suck
When you’re stuck in a situation where there is piped in music, whether retail, restaurant, or asylum, there will come a time when you feel like you’ve heard every song a million times. You can probably identify every song by the opening three notes, and sing along to every word. (Assuming you have any sanity left.) In this modern age of digital music, the song libraries are often larger, leading to far fewer instances of nervous breakdowns by the wageslaves; however, there is still going to be a lot of repitition. A LOT. Over time, it burrows into your brain and becomes a part of you. Before you know it, you have become a fan.
Jamie O’Neal, I know you will probably never see this, and you will probably think that I totally missed the point of your song, but I wanted to assure you: There actually IS an Arizona. We drove through it, and it only took a week. We didn’t see the Painted Desert, Sedona, or the Grand Canyon, so I can’t personally vouch for those places; however, we did see signs for all of those places. I can tell you that Flagstaff is beautiful.
After a lot of driving through the desert, Anya was ready to see some trees.
There was also a lot more desert than I was expecting. I don't know how much would have been reasonable to expect, but Arizona definitely exceeded that amount. It was so arid that some of the animals appear to have been turned to stone. Or metal? We did enjoy staying at this place in the Golden Valley.
But the family favorite stop was our last three days in Arizona, where we had a view of Lake Havasu.
We even managed to fit in a little disc golf!
And so it goes. Arizona exists, I have photographic proof. We have all of April to get to our summer destination, but the finish line is in sight!