When Kevin’s newest purchase, a record player, came in the mail today, it got me thinking about what an impact music has had on our lives. We both grew up listening to all sorts of music. Rarely a moment went by that my parents didn’t have some kind of music on in the background, whether Bob Marley or The Beach Boys on a balmy summer day, or Oasis on a mellow, drizzly one. Whenever I hear any Oldies song from the 50s or 60s, I am immediately transported back to my childhood. Images of my dad mowing the lawn and my mom planting flowers while I rode my bike in circles around the driveway float into my mind.
Kevin’s memories are just as fond- he remembers listening to Garth Brooks and Alison Krauss as his family drove into another town on vacation in their RV. He still recalls his dad telling him as they entered Nashville that they had to switch the radio to a country station or the country music police would stop them. Kevin believed a lot of things he was told as a child…
Not only has music been a constant in the background of our childhoods, but our love for music is responsible for Kevin and I meeting in the first place. We were a grade apart in high school (me being the scandalous older woman), and I was his section leader when he joined the battery to play bass drum in the marching band. The rest, as they say, is history.
This evening, Kevin opened up the records he had purchased, excited as a kid on Christmas morning, and played our first record. The moody sounds of Billie Holiday filled our living room, and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as Kevin grabbed my hand and starting swinging me around the room. Literally.
Prior to our wedding, we took dance lessons with family and friends to get ready for the big day. Our very talented friend Jessica offered free (yes, free!) dance lessons once a week in this hole in the wall bar in Hamtramck (a Polish district in Detroit), and we absolutely loved it. We mostly learned the Swing and the Rumba, and we both agree that it was one of the best things we ever did. Knowing how to dance makes going to weddings or places with live bands so much more fun. And dancing in your living room to the Americana sounds of Justin Townes Earl can be equally as fun, even if your dog keeps trying to cut in.
Music has the extraordinary power to create memories and bring a sense of importance and emotion to everyday moments, and I believe it is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. Just as our parents did for us, I know we will pass on our love for all kinds of music to Penny, and hopefully her dad will show her some dance moves along the way. But most of all, I hope that listening to the soundtrack of her childhood will take her back, painting images of her dad swinging her mom around the living room while her mom laughs with joy.