I hope you'll allow me another previously unpublished blog post, originally from August of 2013.
It was the first Andrew Peterson song I had ever heard. It played on Christian radio in Nashville several times a day, and before I knew it, I was in love. I had to have the whole album. I mentioned the album to a friend, and within a day or so, I was holding Carried Along, Andrew Peterson's first major label album. (Thanks again, Kenny, for the gift) Over the last thirteen years, I have grown to love everything about AP's music. I love his songwriting, the humility in his song delivery, the truth he conveys in his music. I have found several of my favorite singer-songwriters because of their association with him. In fact, Jake and I met because of a Facebook concert invite of an artist that I learned of through Andrew Peterson. So, you know, I feel like I owe him one. I have been to four of his Behold the Lamb of God shows held every Christmas season, and as long as he continues to perform them, I will continue to go.
But as much as I love his current music and the beautiful things he has written along the way, my sentimental heart is still deeply connected to the Carried Along album. I am all tied up in the lyrics and the harmonies. I know just when to come in with my background vocals as I sing along. When one song ends, I know in exactly what key the next song starts. It's on my list of go-to music when nothing else sounds good (Nickel Creek's self titled album and The Weepies Say I am You is also on this list). I love every song on this album with equal affection with the exception of the song The Coral Castle. (Sorry, Andrew, it's just weird and dark sounding, and I don't think I will ever learn to love it or even understand it) I even have the song Rise and Shine as my alarm clock for Sunday mornings. So appropriate. I love this album.
Last Saturday Jake and I had planned to attend the Greene County Fair. I was looking forward to funnel cakes and deep fried Oreos. We had saved up a little money specifically for fair food, since rides are pretty much off limits to me right now. The fair didn't open until 1 p.m., so we decided to head to our favorite local Amish store to look around. Jake goes to the Amish store to look at health foods and to buy local honey. But I had a secret agenda for going to the Amish store. Every Saturday they make fresh donuts and pretzels. The donuts are huge, and they may well be the best plain donuts I have ever eaten, especially because they are almost always warm. So we went, I got a donut and Jake refused to eat any of it. It was almost lunchtime, and we were trying to think of something to eat (never mind that I had just had a donut). Jake looked up the mileage between the Amish store, which is on the outskirts of town, and Asheville, North Carolina. We are never really too far from Asheville, no matter where we are in town, but he calculated that a drive to Asheville was only about an hour long from where we were. We had not left the house prepared for such a drive. Generally I don't leave the house for the day without wearing comfortable clothes and shoes or without a car charger for my phone. I was wearing my super-tight TOMS that I have only worn twice, my under-belly maternity pants (which I can only handle for about an hour or so before I want to scream), and my car phone charger had been left at home. We decided to ignore the inconveniences, bypass the fair, and we headed to Asheville.
We had been on the road maybe about 25 minutes when we realized it. Driving down the interstate, everywhere we looked there was green and there were mountains. And though I am a Texas girl that loves big sky and long, flat roads that never seem to end, I was overwhelmed by the beauty. Everywhere I looked there was a breathtaking view. I wanted to stop right in the middle of the interstate and stand and take it all in. The clouds were billowy and gray, but everything about the trees and the mountains spoke life. And we were speechless. I reached for my iPhone, and Jake knew what I was going to play. Nothing to Say was perfectly appropriate. As we wound our way through the mountains, we were both quiet as we listened to the song playing both inside and outside.
Our day in Asheville was a success. We made a quick trip to the cloth diaper store so that my baby will be both diapered AND environmentally conscious. Coffee from Waking Life, something decaffeinated for me, and something iced for Jake. Lingering in Malaprops Book Store before our dinner at Sunny Point Cafe, where I had breakfast for dinner and Jake had the boldly-named Mighty Good Chicken Sandwich.
We took a different, faster way back home. A back way that is filled with scary two lane roads that cut through the mountains in a series of sharp twists and turns. It is beautiful during the daytime but terrifying in the dark. Thankfully we made it home to tell the story.
It isn't often that I find myself without words. If you know me, you know this. I am... um, verbose. But it's a lovely feeling. To be so wrapped up in the beauty and goodness of God that you just have to be still, nothing at all to say.
And if you want to hear the song...