Tag Archive: cold

I was driving to Chattanooga last Wednesday for my show on Thursday at Big Frog Brewing. I was approaching West Memphis when I put the window down to get something off of my hand while I kept the other hand on the wheel. I tried to put it up when it stopped and slowly went all the way down. In the midst of the up and down movement of the window, I heard a crunching sound in the door. Which couldn’t be good.

So I’m driving down the road at 70 miles an hour in 34 degree weather with no window. I pulled into a Love’s and parked in front of the door. I ran inside to the restroom and back out as fast as I could. I called my son, Cameron. He called around and found a Firestone on the east side of Memphis that was still open. If they couldn’t fix it, they could get the window up and tape it in place.

Another 50 minutes of driving in decreasing temperatures and I was at the Firestone. I just asked if they would get it up and tape it. Cameron and would fix it after I got home. They did the best they could – they said – but there was still a gap at the top. I stopped at a larger Love’s. It was either duct tape, electrical tape, or packing tape. A few minutes later, I was taping my window like the last package I mailed – except sloppier because of the angles. Yet it worked.

I drove on to Chattanooga and checked in at the hotel. I spent the rest of the trip feeling like I was driving inside a wind tunnel with the radio cranked.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.


You were not happy when you didn’t have shows booked for Friday and Saturday. But you thought it was a good thing when you came down with a cold because the weather was changing. You feel better Monday and feel like you can play. Whether it’s a gig or an open mic, you’re ready to get out and play. You order a glass of water with your beer – because you usually do and, well, you’re not stupid.

Then you get called to play before you’re ready. In the middle of your routine, as it were. You take your water with you. You tuned your guitar as soon as you knew you’d be playing. But it’s outside on the patio and you’re praying it stays in tune – which it usually does. But you keep checking to make sure.

You start the first song and your voice sounds better than you thought it would. Then about the third line you realize that moisture is escaping from your mouth in rapid fashion. Just before you hit the chorus, you feel a frog crawling up your throat. Well, not quite a frog really – more like one of those little frogs that used to be as prevalent in a backyard as fireflies, but you don’t see them much any more.

You turn your mouth away from the mic – hoping it’s quick and quiet – while still keeping the rhythm going. You recover in time to start the chorus – maybe a beat late. You finish the song with only a couple of incidents.

You keep drinking water. As each successive song goes by, you begin to think you’re going to pull it off. As the water begins to run out, you take a chance and push it a little, getting a little louder. You finish with another loud song. Fortunately, no one heard the coughs and gurgles.

The crowd enjoyed it and you leave the stage to get more water – hoping you didn’t do any damage to your vocal cords. The time I refer to was not too bad. Unfortunately, other times have not gone as well.

What is your “show must go on” story?

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.



Combine the first few weeks of school – with football and fall baseball, and a new daily schedule of drop-offs and pick-ups – and things can get weird. Throw in the “change of the weather” colds, and my muse heads for a quiet spot in the closet. First, there is the false start to Fall weather that tricks my sinuses every time. The few days of cooler weather before the heat returns with an air of condescendence as nature lets us know that it is not  Fall weather until she says it is Fall weather. Then about a week of hot weather that seems worse than the dog days of August since we were teased with cooler weather. This year much needed rain added humidity to the mix.

When the heat returns, my sinuses kick into overtime – not long before shutting down completely. This year Cyndy went on the journey with me. Cold-like symptoms persist for a week or longer, depending on the weather. We needed the rain, but our sinuses did not need the humidity. One day we will feel like we are getting better. Then the next day we seem to have regressed. My aunt Juanita passing away did not help my frame of mind and my sinuses took a hit with the cold to hot temperatures of the funeral and the gathering at her house afterwards.

My muse would leave the closet, reluctantly, when deadlines approached. Then he would retreat to the closet. I tried to coax him out the other evening when a song I heard on the radio led me to think of a song I wrote years ago. I remembered the tune of the first line of the chorus, but I could not think of the words. I pulled out some old notebooks of songs, poems, prose, ideas, and notes.

I failed to find the song I was looking for, but I found original versions of songs that turned out completely different. Parts of poem and songs that were not bad, but had led nowhere. Songs and poems that were good but forgotten. Upcoming posts will contain some of the gems I found. Reading through my old notebooks reminded me of past writing and inspired me to get back to productive writing.

What do you do to fight writer’s block? Read old writing and notes? Take a walk? What brings your muse out in the open and into action?

Peace be with you.

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