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Shades of the Past Quilt Shop


Smashville (words by Weezer)

A week ago I was roaming the streets of Nashville.

Now those of you who used to follow our old blog know something about me.  As much as I enjoy seeing new places. . .I am terrified of flying. Safe to say you will never see post from me about a trip over large bodies of water.  Sorry Hawaii, I'm sure you are great but I'll stick to the continental US. 

Full of anxiety I boarded the plane after a nice ten year run of keeping my wheels on the ground.  I bravely told my husband I would be okay not sitting by him and lucked out getting to sit next to two other women in our group who enjoyed flying as much as me.  (Thank you God)

Now when you are nervous about flying it does make you wonder why they have to spend so much time talking about and demonstrating the use of a life vest.  Now don't get me wrong, if you are going to say "Aloha" I would want to know this information.  But I wasn't.  We were flying from South Dakota to Nashville. . .if we needed those life jackets. . .we had much larger issues...issues that life jackets won't fix.  But hey, it's good to know the airline cared.

Our flight went perfect and went by quick  (Thank you God)

We made the absolute most of our trip.  Nashville hot chicken.  A tour of the city.  The endless flights of stairs to say we checked out the majority of the Broadway Honky Tonks.  Singing and dancing. A bushwacker (or two).  Delicious food.  New friends. A trip and tour of Jack Daniel's.  The Country Music Hall of Fame.

And then the part that most people could only dream about.  The stars couldn't have lined up better for us.  We had the opportunity to take in TWO live events packed with the stars we hear on the radio.

We enjoyed the outdoor amphithere on a perfect evening for the ACM Concert for a Cause which featured Brad Paisley, The Brother's Osborn, Sara Evans, Darius Rucker, Blanco Brown, Travis Denning, Ingred Andrees and Caylee Hammack.  It was delightful and the weather couldn't have been nicer.  

And just when we didn't think it would get better than that, came the next day.  Our last night in Nashville was at the Ryman Auditorium for the ACM Honors Concert.

Now y'all, we didn't know what we were getting into with this.

I drug my feet buying tickets and was worried we wouldn't be able to go.
And then as luck would have it, someone in the lower level decided to sell a pair for less than face value.  And I just so happened to pick them up.
We prayed it wasn't a scam.

Now when we walked into the Ryman we realized that dang, we had really good seats before we even found them.  What a historic place and intimate venue for a concert.  A lady escorted us to our seats and I about peed my pants.

We were SO close.  We were center stage.  We were so close that when we went to take our picture I realized we were 8 rows behind Shania Twain.  Yes, you just read that right.  EIGHT rows.  We were NINE rows behind Miranda Lambert.  (Did you all know I gave up seeing her to meet my husband?!)  I could look slightly left and see Wynona Judd and Morgan Wallen.  I could look slightly right and see Chris Stapleton and Hardy.  

Now, ask my husband for the video of me and a few other ladies and couple men that were along on the trip. We were the people who took pictures of the seats and were simply in awe of what we were going to see that evening.   For us, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Did I mention Kyle and I were EIGHT rows behind Shania Twain?

They filmed the evening to broadcast September 13th on FOX.  It was so neat to experience what goes into making that production.  The swapping out of people to make the place always look full.  Recording our applause.  Heck, Vince Gill asked if he could have a re-do after the first verse of his song because he couldn't read the teleprompter! 

But as it was going to start 3 people were standing by our row wearing hats.  I was leaning over to tell Kyle I hoped that those idiots with the big hats wouldn't sit in front of me, and who comes that late only to realize that it was Kelsea Ballerini.  And her opening act started 3 feet away from us.

Now I share this and the Vince Gill thing because it was a good reminder that those famous people are human.  Kelsea took many nervous deep breaths before she started that opening act.  Vince Gill forgot the words to the song he was going to sing.  Wynona looked quite nervous awaiting the lights to come on her to sing.  It was one of those reminders that even though they do that for a living and we assume they are "used to it" the answer still boils down to them being human.  And that reminder that it's okay to be nervous. 

And that leads me to the reason I decided to even share this post. 


I had heard of him long before this show.  But it wasn't until he released the song "Heaven Some Hell" that I began to listen more to him.  It's amazing the power of music.  Some of you get that and some probably think I'm nuts. 

For me, that particular song has made me smile and it has made me cry to the point I had to pull over on the side of the road.  It is and forever will be the song that paints the most perfect picture of the girl who was like a little sister to me who took her life a couple years ago.  It's like he wrote that song just for her, and it absolutely stopped me in my tracks the day I heard it.  And part of me is grateful he didn't get up and sing that because, uff-da, I'm not sure how I would've reacted.

But the speech he gave that night still is lingering with me.

Never. Give. Up.

Watching him get serious and tell his story was more captivating than I could've expected.  And he shared his reasons about not giving up.  Staying true to you.  And how he was going to stick that Songwriter of the Year award next to a napkin.  A napkin that was tossed in his tip bucket way back before he was "Hardy" that said QUIT.

Thelma and I shared this in one of our videos last year and we shared this on our bus trip last month.  People are SO good to share their opinions and wait for you to fail.  We went through that back when the shop was open and even with the decision to start writing patterns.  We celebrate the success of magazines because we know and have laughed about the numerous rejections letters we got back from places.

But those words are true. Never. Give. Up. 

I sit in my sewing room looking over at the quilts I have had the privilege of creating that have been published with Fons & Porter and American Patchwork and Quilting.  I think back to those days when we laughed and said, "wonder when the rejection letter will come" after hitting send on a submission email.  And the endless stream of what seemed like "NO"

Have a little faith -- it really does work out like it's supposed to even if it's not on your timing
Stay true to you -- success doesn't mean you have to be somebody different
And when rejection hits because it always and forever will -- laugh about it, learn from it and as our busy binder used to always say "go to work"