Friday Free-For-All! #Music #Self-Care

Happy Friday. Is it me, or has this been a long week?

Even though this was the first week of spring, the temperatures here were cold, and it didn’t feel much like spring. However, today is warm, so maybe we’re done with the cold weather. My mom always used to say there would be an Easter spell. Guess we’ll see. I remember in 2007, when I lived in Coleman, it snowed on April 7th. Everything had already started budding out.

Coleman, Texas April 7, 2007

I spent the first part of this week taking care of my granddaughters while my daughter and son-in-law were out of town. I came home Tuesday evening exhausted. Don’t get me wrong. I love being with the kiddos. But they sure do take a lot of energy.

Remembering my tarot reading for the week, I embraced The Hermit card and took Wednesday as a self-care day. And it paid off. I’ve been productive and had energy since then. It’s so hard to take that kind of downtime. It makes me feel like a selfish person. Yet, sometimes it’s necessary.

Have you ever heard of a site called Storyworth? Around Christmas, my daughters purchased a year of access to Storyworth for me. They choose questions they want me to write about and share photos about. An example is a question they posed this week: “Which musician or band have you liked seeing live the most?”

That one was hard for me to answer, as live music is such an integral part of my life. But I recalled one concert in Shreveport, La, in 1982 that still to this day was hands-down the best concert ever. Charlie Daniels was doing his Window tour at that time. I still have the t-shirt. 🙂

As part of the tour, there was a jumbotron that ran raw footage from the VietNam war while Charlie performed the songs. It was so touching, plus an overall phenomenal production. I’ve never forgotten it. Of course, there is a list as long as my leg of musicians and bands that I have come to know and love, but that concert stands out above all the rest as far as the best show I ever saw.

Anyway, back to Storyworth – at the end of the year, all the questions, my answers, and photos I’ve scanned in will be compiled into a hardback book. It is a great way to preserve family memories, share secrets, and perhaps a bit of wisdom along the way. It’s a pretty awesome opportunity.

I am between reading books right now and concentrating on my current WIP. If I stay focused, I hope to have the first draft finished within the next 7 days. That’s my goal. So, I’m thrilled with the progress and the inspiration!

But I have some intriguing books lined up and waiting for me to indulge in. Sometimes I have a hard time choosing what to read next, but I have two NetGalley books that I am required to read and review, so those will be next. One is a Nora Roberts book. I haven’t read one of her books in years.

From the Story Empire group, Author John Howell was on a podcast Wednesday evening with the Fresh Ink Group, and it was a super entertaining interview! If you’d like to hear the replay, here is the LINK.

Also, if you missed my last Story Empire post, I wrote about ways to incorporate Tarot cards into fiction writing. Here’s the link to that post:

There will be no Friday Free-For-All next week as I will be working the first music festival of the season!

Outlaws and Legends takes place in Abilene, Texas, and is a festival I have been working for the past 8 years. While it’s exhausting, it’s also exhilarating, and I intend to keep doing it as long as my body holds out. The rewards? I work the VIP and Artist gate, so get to greet all the artists when they come into the festival grounds. It’s always wonderful to see old friends and get hugs. This picture was an epic moment for me when I got to meet Kris Kristofferson and issue him an armband.

Jan Sikes and Kris Kristofferson, March, 2019, Abilene, Texas

This year, Willie Nelson is headlining Saturday night. I know there will be a huge turnout. The festival started out small, but every year it grows by leaps and bounds. It’s a highlight of my year.

Maybe I’ll come back with more photos. Who knows? I’ll be there for whatever occurs. 🙂

I hope everyone has had a positive week. I ask that you keep my sister in your thoughts and prayers as she underwent surgery yesterday to remove a kidney.

Take good care, remember to smile, and take a deep breath now and then.

Friday Free-For-All MIA

Happy Friday, everyone. I hope you are looking forward to a great weekend!

I’m so sorry, but this Friday Free-For-All is canceled. I am out of town doing one of the things I love the most—attending a music festival!

This music festival is super special to me, and I’ll explain why.

TAFG was the first music festival I participated in after my husband died in 1989.

I had left Coleman and moved to McKinney, but desperately wanted to keep the music world Rick and I created together going in some way or another. We had met Tommy through a mutual friend, George Martin, and formed an immediate kinship with Tommy and his band.

So, it was only natural for me to seek out Tommy’s music during a time when I was faced with reinventing a life for myself without Rick. It was suggested that I consider volunteering at TAFG.

One Sunday afternoon, Tommy was playing at Hank’s in McKinney. So, I approached Gary Newell (festival coordinator) about volunteering at the next festival, and I’ll never forget his immediate response. “Sure,” Gary said. “We always need someone to clean portapotties.” I cleared my throat and got a little nervous. I wasn’t sure I wanted to sign up for that, but whatever it took. 🙂 So, I started working the gate with Julie, and some other ladies. If you aren’t familiar with the gate, it’s where we scan tickets and issue armbands.

At first, I was an outsider. I had no history with all these people, but I had a deep abiding love for, and need for, the music. So, I kept showing up, year after year, and soon, I formed bonds and friendships with the festival workers and goers. Now, it’s like extended family. I know in my heart of hearts, if I had serious troubles in life, I could call on any of them, and they would drop everything and come to help. That’s not something you find every day, and I do not take it lightly.

Now, thirteen years later, I am looking forward to another gathering and family reunion. There is just something special about Tommy’s gathering besides it being my first music festival experience. There is love. There is music. There is kinship. I’m so glad George Martin and Julie Kidwell pointed me in the right direction. I’ll be forever grateful.

Comments are closed. See you the following Friday!

Also, because of being gone, there will be no regular Monday post. They will resume the following week.