"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I Love You, Blake!!

“Somethin’ bad’s about to happen. Somethin’ baaaaaaaad….” I smiled. I found the lyrics appropriately humorous and wondered if Blake was the one behind the selection of this song. Something Bad is the most recent hit of Blake’s wife, Miranda Lambert. And sitting at a Blake Shelton concert just moments from his appearance, I found the choice of song amusing. It had Blake’s sense of humor written all over it.

Then one more tune; an increasing intro; the roar of the crowd; and there he was to the obvious delight of a "Ten Times Crazier" audience! Alrighty, then! Gonna sit back, relax and enjoy it all, now!

He was funny. No big surprise, there. He IS funny! He was personable. No big surprise there, either. He is very personable. He clearly loves people. Actually, there wasn’t anything that surprised me about his concert, other than the fact that it was better than I ever imagined it would be.

We didn’t have the best seats. But I didn’t care; I was just glad to be there. We were blessed to get tickets in the first place, as the show had sold out in only 11 minutes. The computer had randomly picked the seats for us, months ago, so no one could blame anyone for the seats we ended up with! We were just glad to get tickets!

Sitting as far up as we were though, I was comfortable. We had "end seats" which I was very thankful for, because I can tend to start to feel a bit claustrophobic when pressed in. We were so far to the left of the stage that I couldn’t see the screen, but I didn’t care about that either. When I wanted to view the screen, I simply got out of my seat and took a few steps to the outer aisle, where I was able to stand alone and just enjoy the show. For me, and all my little idiosyncrasies, it really couldn’t have been better. J

Blake sang most of his biggest hits – there might have been a few that didn’t make the play list, but I couldn’t pinpoint them right now. I was particularly glad to hear him do Ol’ Red, Austin, and God Gave Me You.

The thing about Blake is that he has personality that just won’t quit. He is witty and funny, while at the same time sincere. He is obviously compassionate and has a concern for people’s feelings. I am pretty darn sure he has no misplaced ego. His good-natured, down-to-earth attitude, is just flat-out contagious and that is all there is to it. He simply knows how to entertain; but more importantly he knows how to connect with people, simply by just being who he is.

I guess the biggest surprise of the evening for me was the fact that he chose to sing Over You. I have blogged about this song before. It is one of my favorites. My surprise was due to the fact, that though Blake and his wife, Miranda, wrote the lyrics together, Miranda is the one who recorded it. They wrote this song for Blake’s older brother, Richie, who had died in a car crash when he was 24 and Blake was 14.  Blake didn’t think he would be able to get through the song during a performance, so they had decided Miranda should record it, instead.

It was particularly moving for me that he chose to sing this song at this show. His performance was incredibly beautiful and heartfelt. It was obviously still difficult for him to sing, even more than 20 years after Richie’s death. This song was toward the end of the evening and he had sat at the end of the stage on a stool for a few of these final tunes. I was glad I had chosen to stand to watch the big screen for this performance. The emotion written all over his face could be read in a few tears that glistened from the corner of his eye, but his voice was clearly in check as he sang the moving lyrics.

It was certainly the quietest song of the evening. Of course it made me cry. Good talent often brings me to tears, but when there is raw emotion involved, I am undone. I smiled through tears, when a man way up in the audience (even higher up than us) yelled out: “I love you, Blake!” No one cared, and most of all me. I sensed the emotion and sincerity, in both the artist and the “crasher”. For me it was beautiful. Without a doubt, whomever it was that had yelled "I love you" so that Blake might hear, understood the meaning in Over You, and he was also man enough to be able to express his feelings...in front of 14,000 people. Is it ego-centric to believe that he may have been a relative of mine? (not kidding)! ;-) At the end of the song, Blake said a few words, and then pointed up in the direction of the “crasher” as he said: “I heard you, buddy; and I love you, too.” I was UNDONE! And so very glad I had pulled myself away from my seat, out of sight where no one would see the tears streaming down my face!

For me that was the epitome of the concert. That’s what it is all about…at least at a Blake Shelton concert. I saw and felt the mutual respect and appreciation between the artist and the crowd. Blake knows how to capture the crowd, just by being Blake.
Daddy’s always right.
One of the most emotional moments in country music (in my humble opinion).  ;-)

At one point, Blake joked about the concert needing to be on TV. He said he needed to sing a song that would get everyone on their feet, “lighting their matches” which would "now a days" be cell phone lights. The song he sang was Home. It truly did “spark” the passion and action of thousands of lit cell phone lights. That was another highlight of the concert for me as I watched the audience, basically from the view the artists saw as they perfomed that night. It was amazing to see all those lights swaying to the melody of that melancholy tune. It was clear that this moment touched Blake and emitted emotion in him as well. He kind of lit up, himself. I could see it in his eyes, as I watched the big screen....all by myself, in a room filled with thousands of fans.

"Incredible..." I heard him say. And as he walked away from the mic, I am pretty sure I saw mouthed words that repeated, "Just incredible." He was only saying it to himself, not so anyone else could hear.  Nope, there is no misplaced ego in this man.

Of course he came back for an encore which was a foot stomping, Footloose and then he closed with God Gave Me You, which was appropriate as he thanked his fans; appropriate, because I really believe he meant it.
We love you, Blake!  Nothin’s bad about that…

Songs that I think I remember that he sang in no particular order:
  • Over You
  • Austin
  • Honey Bee
  • It's All About Tonight (opening song)
  • Hillbilly Bone
  • My Eyes
  • God Gave Me You
  • Footloose
  • Drink On It
  • Ol' Red
  • Boys Round Here
  • Doin' What She Likes
  • Neon Light
  • Some Beach
  • Who are You When I'm Not Lookin'
  • Sure Be Cool If You Did

I know there were others. I just can't remember which ones. Not sure he did:
  • Over

...and here is Home - one of my favorites.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Whiskey It Is!!

“I will not feed him. I will not feed him. I will not!!!”  The last thing I need around here is another cat. I am trying to grow birds, for crying out loud! It’s that time in my life that I want birds, instead!!  NO more cats!!

So I kept telling myself all summer long. But he/she/it kept crying out to me.  Ok…well maybe just some water…It’s hot outside. He needs water, at the very least. Just some water….and a little milk.

It satisfied him. After he drank all that he wanted, he left to go play with the rabbits and whatever else it is he does.

I had noticed in recent days that the rabbits (which are also strays that wandered in) and the cat seem to be the best of friends.  They all hang out together, sleep together, play together – seemingly love and count on each other.

A couple weeks later, I heard the mournful meow again. My little buddy - that I most certainly do not want - is back, I thought. He needs milk and he needs water. Throughout the summer, this soon became a pattern. He only showed up when he seemed to be desperate…maybe when the hunting had failed, or the sprinklers had not left a puddle from which he could drink. He only returned about every two weeks, but I couldn’t help myself; when he made his appearance I always offered water and milk. On one drizzly day, I offered moistened dog food. It was all I had, and he seemed extra hungry that rainy day. I carefully placed the dish under the car, allowing him to remain dry from the rain while he ate. As well, this place from under the car was where he had always called out to me. I knew he felt safe there.

Eventually, he didn’t run as I approached, but only remained watchful to be certain that I didn’t come too close. Today, he actually ran to meet me when he saw that I had heard his call.  And as I offered the milk, he let me pet him as he drank.

Well doggone it, I guess I have another cat. My first inclination of that fact was one day when my family had dropped me off from a road trip we had taken together. When my sister pulled into the driveway there was "kitty" and "bunny" playing alongside the fence.

“Who’s cat?” my sister asked.

Ugh…I thought, hesitant to answer. “Mine, I guess.” I had begrudgingly answered.

“What’s his name?”

“I didn’t name him.” I had responded. But I had almost told her that his name was “Whiskey.”  I caught myself from saying that thinking my folks would not understand - I did not want them to think I was promoting “strong drink”.  It wasn’t that at all. I knew that the name "Whiskey" had just popped into my head when asked, because of something that had happened years ago. When we were still in our old house, we had a stray that we had dubbed “Moonshine.”  It was a symbolic thing for me. Moonshine, was made in secret, sold illegally, probably at night from what the name reveals. That just seemed to fit the little black kitty that seemed to appear when he thought no one was looking. Moonshine…it fit.  And so it was when asked about this cat, which had showed up in a similar set of circumstances, the name “Whiskey” was what popped into my mind. I have never named my pets the same name of a previous pet, so I just came up with something close when asked what the newest stray cat's name was.

Whatever! I have always been told I have a mind that works in mysterious ways.

So Whiskey it is! Catchy title for my post, too! Bet that will get the attention of some of my blog readers. J
And doggone it all…I am starting to love Whiskey - the cat.

I am starting to realize Whiskey is probably a girl. Calico boys are very rare.
She/he/it actually came to me today, purring and rubbing her head on my hand after this photo -
for probably 5 minutes or so.
Yep! I have another cat!