Tag Archives: song

The Heart of the Matter

“There are people in your life who’ve come and gone
They’ve let you down, you know they’ve hurt your pride
You better put those behind ya, baby, ’cause life goes on
You keep carrying that anger, it’ll eat you up inside…”
– lyrics from Heart of the Matter by Don Henley

This past weekend, I sat outside at a local restaurant listening to my sexy husband sing those lyrics up there from the song Heart of the Matter by Don Henley. Listening to him sing, being so proud to be his wife, and glancing at my surroundings, suddenly my memories started getting the best of me.

I started remembering our past with this song.

Photo of drummer, Richard Edmondson, of the band Restless. Photo credit: friend and fan, Jim Maloney

When I first started dating my husband, about five years ago, we had a pretty rocky start.  I don’t think he minds that I tell you this (and I’ve probably referenced it in previous blogs anyway), but when I met Richard he was still in love with someone else.  He was fresh out of a long-term relationship and the cut still stung, so to speak.

Now that I know him so well, I know this about him – when he loves, he loves hard. And a strong love like that doesn’t just go away overnight because a blunt, pushy redhead has entered your life and said it had to.

It took a while. Even longer than he admitted to me.

So, basically, for the first year of our relationship I had to share him with a memory that he couldn’t get past. But see – here’s the thing about those “memories” in a small town: THEY DON’T GO AWAY.

Oh no, those memories are everywhere. You run into Miss Memory at Walmart, at the bank, at get-togethers. And, the thing that used to sting the worst? We’d run into her at his music gigs.

Yep. There I’d sit falling even harder in love with my music man, all the while knowing that the woman who still had a piece of his heart was sitting there watching him too. And boy did I HATE that. Sure, she was innocent in this whole thing – what did she ever do to me?  (Besides existing. And being gorgeous. Grrrrrrr.) But why did she have to be there? I didn’t want her there.

But, ha. Try not wanting to run into someone in a small town. As my bonus dad used to say to me growing up, “You can want in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up fastest.” In other words, want all you want – it’s not going to happen. (Okay, actually, I’m not sure at all what that particular saying means. But when I picture a handful of shit, it kinda makes me not want to hold out my hand at all, you know? Oh, okay. So maybe that is the point…)


Back to the song.

I specifically remember the first time I heard him sing it. Of course, it was a time that she was there. There my boyfriend sat singing “I’m learning to live without you now, but I miss you baby…” and my blood was boiling. I just knew he was thinking of her. (Knowing this man who is now my husband as well as I do, he was not thinking of her – at least not while singing that song. He wasn’t thinking about me either. Or any human for that matter. He was thinking, “dear God, don’t let me forget these words. Are my drums too loud? I think the sound is a little off, I need to push some buttons. Boy, I’d love another beer. Oh crap, what’s the next line? I need to mow the yard…”)

[I interrupt here for the disclaimer that “I need to push some buttons” was my own words. My husband, the sound man extraordinaire would never call them “some buttons.” But you get my drift…]

I’m sure we fought about the song later that night.  We fought about a lot of things back then (all pretty much having to do with the same subject…) In fact, we even broke up once over it. (Well, once officially. We broke up a million times in our heads.)

Basically, life was pretty hard back then. I was the poor little victim of circumstance. And Richard was the poor victim of my tirades about that circumstance. There were many times that we both just thought we weren’t going to make it. And as far as I was concerned, if we didn’t make it – he’d know whose fault it was.


So now that I’ve set the scene for what life used to be like for us, I’m going to switch gears here for a minute. In what will seem like a random and drastic change of subject, I want to tell you about an argument I got into recently with a friend.

[Hang in here with me – I promise there’s a method to my madness and I’ll come back to the other “Melissa is a jealous crazy woman” story in a minute.]

I was very involved and very stressed out by the last theatre performance I took part in. Not only was I an actor in the production, I was also the producer. It was my first time producing, and I had no idea what I was doing. On the night before opening night, things were still not ready – and I pretty much went off. Coming from my place as the producer, but also from my place as an actor and a perfectionist, I threw a fit over things not being ready as they should be. What started as a quiet, yet firm, talk with the director, turned into a frustrated yell fest with anyone who would listen. And one such person who not only listened, but participated, was someone who was a friend of mine. We both let out our frustrations by raising our voices. At one point, she started talking about something that was happening with her personal life and I retorted with, “I don’t care!”

Now, of course, I didn’t mean I don’t care at all. Or that I won’t care ever. What I meant was that I didn’t care at that moment because that’s not what was being discussed. But…as it goes sometimes…what I ‘meant’ doesn’t seem to matter. What I said did.

Cue the “breakup.”

I got deleted on Facebook. I got a gift to her returned to me. Etc.

Someone close to us told me that I hurt her deeply and this was the final straw for her with being involved in our theatre.


Okay. Here’s something that has always infuriated me…people playing the ‘victim.’ I mean, come on, people. If you have any interactions with people ever in your life – you’re going to get disappointed. You’re going to get hurt and you’re going to get mad. We’re all humans – we suck. But to let something someone else does affect you in such a deep way? To make you shut them out – to turn your back on your passions? To give them that much power?

How ridiculous!



Wait a minute…

So. Back to the song.

There I sat this past weekend listening to my husband sing The Heart of the Matter. And though it has been over five years now since the first time I heard him sing it, there I was….still thinking those same old silly thoughts. (And incidentally – she was there listening too.  Yes, the she of our past. Right there in the gorgeous flesh. Small town, remember?  We still find ourselves in the same places at the same times, and probably always will…)

I’ve always been fascinated with the phenomenon that the things that irritate you the most about other people – tend to be things that you do yourself. Have you ever noticed that? It drives my husband nuts when people leave a room and don’t turn off the lights. And what does he do sometimes? Leaves rooms and doesn’t turn off the lights. He doesn’t even realize he does it! Really – think about it sometime. Think about something that really aggravates you that other people do, and then ask yourself honestly if you do it too. You might be surprised.

People playing the victim and making too much out of something has always infuriated me. Using some small thing as leverage to paint yourself in a victim light so that others see you as the “good guy” and the other one as the “bad guy” – when you know that’s not the case – drives me up a nut tree.

And yet…

What have I been doing? Exactly the same thing.

As all of this went through my head sitting there at that restaurant this past weekend, I had a brilliant discovery. I don’t want to be the victim anymore. Everyone in our situation has moved on. They moved on a long time ago. The only one still stuck in the past is myself.

The only person making me the victim…is me.

So, therefore, who would be the only person who could remove that victim cloak? You guessed it.  Also me.

The next time you find yourself the ‘victim’ of a situation, let this blog cross your mind. Ask yourself who really has the power to keep you there.

I’m betting it’s not who you think.


“What are all these voices outside love’s open door
Make us throw off our contentment and beg for something more?….
I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak, and my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness, forgiveness…”


I Know Where Love Lives

“You keep your mansions of gold
Buddy, I don’t care
‘Cause I know where love lives”
– Hal Ketchum

So, let me tell you a little about what’s been happening at my house lately.  Actually, it’s kind of the same thing that is pretty much always happening at my house. Richard, my gorgeous new husband who happens to be a musician, is learning a new song.

And here’s what happens at our house when Richard is learning a new song.


That’s right. Nothing.

The man has a one-track mind, people. He decides he wants to learn a new song (or anything new for that matter) and his focus is on that one thing and that one thing only.  He’s like a dog with a bone, man.

Example?  A conversation in the living room the other night:

Me:  Richard, did you hear me?
Richard:  *singing and playing guitar*
Me:  Richard?  I was talking to you.
Richard: *singing and playing guitar*
My daughter: He only listens if it’s about a song. Sing it to him and see if that works.

Oh yeah. This is how it is, folks.  And you want to know a secret?  Want to know how I really feel about that?

I love it.

I know, I know.  I know what you’re thinking. Oh, they’re newlyweds. She thinks it’s cute now, but just wait…  And hey, I’ll give ya that. Maybe you’re right. Maybe one day it’ll drive me nuts. But right now?


And here’s why.

I’ve been hearing a lot of pretty sad stuff in the news lately. One, in particular, is something that has happened to a fellow runner in an online running group I am a part of. Now, I don’t know this woman personally. Let me just give that disclaimer upfront. But I feel like I do. She’s a woman; a mom; a runner; a fellow human being. I identify with her in many ways. But there’s one way that (but for the grace of God go I) I don’t identify with her. She was in an abusive relationship. Note the word was. She is no longer in that relationship anymore. Why? Because her husband…the father of her four children and the man who took vows before God to honor and cherish her…took her life last week.

Just like that, she’s gone.

You hear news like that, and you can’t help but think of your own life. It’s human nature. I’m no exception. First, I feel a sense of disbelief. That can’t possibly have just happened to someone who is just like me. Next, I feel sadness. Such overwhelming sadness for those four kids who have to face this world without their mother, and with a murderous father in prison for the rest of his life.

And then, my feelings almost immediately switch over to something else. Gratitude. That’s right. I feel grateful. I can’t help it. It may sound horrible to say that–it may sound overwhelmingly selfish–but that doesn’t make it any less true. I immediately thank God that I will never know how that poor woman felt in those last moments of her life. I’ll never know what it feels like to fear the man I love.


So, when you put it like that…it makes a little one-track-mind singing seem pretty trivial, doesn’t it?  I’m in love with a man who fills our home with music. So, not only does it not irritate me when his mind is stuck on a song…it fills me with an indescribable joy. My heart fills with so much love for this gentle, tender, good man that I just cannot believe that the stars aligned in such a way that brought him into my world.

So, back to the song. The song he has been learning is called “I Know Where Love Lives” by Hal Ketchum.  Here’s a little snippet of the lyrics:

There’s a house on the edge of town
It’s a little old, it’s a little run down
Full of laughter and tears and toys
Crazy things only love enjoys

I know where love lives

I know where love lives
She’s sitting on the back step in the evening air
Sea green eyes and her chestnut hair

You keep your mansions of gold
Buddy, I don’t care
‘Cause I know where love lives


Nope, our life isn’t perfect.  Yep, we get on each others’ nerves at times, no doubt.  But you know what?

I know where love lives.

And that’s the greatest gift I could have ever imagined.


Photo credit: Bobbi Jo Scott


“Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things. Like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.”
– Joseph B. Wirthlin

Sing Anyway


This idea has been on my mind pretty heavy for the past few days.

I was just at auditions for a play.  There are many people – mostly kids – who auditioned and will not get a role.  And that makes me sad, but it’s just the way it is.  When there are parts for 12 kids and 30+ show up for auditions, it’s inevitable that there will be some that won’t get roles.  And here’s what I wish I could tell the ones who didn’t get a role this time:

Don’t give up.  Try again.

And if you don’t get a role during the next show, try again the next time.  And the time after that.

Auditions remind me of the tests the kids have to take in school.  It’s one standardized test that every student has to take, regardless of their test-taking skills.  I have always been one of those kids that was an excellent test-taker.  I could cram that stuff in my brain just before time for the test, and then I would shine under pressure.  And my grades reflected that.  But there’s a problem with that.  Once the test was over, so was the knowledge.  I retained very, very little.

Now, on the other hand, you have the students who freeze when it’s time to take a test.  When it’s time to actually transfer the knowledge that they actually have in their brain to little filled-in circles on a test sheet, they panic.  It’s just too much pressure. Unlike the ones like me who crammed the knowledge in there 20 minutes prior to test time, these kids actually know this stuff.  And will probably be able to apply it better later in life than the excellent test takers like myself.  And yet – they are the ones who are deemed “failures” because of a score on a test.  So unfair.  But what’s the solution?  What’s the answer to this problem?  You got me.

Which brings me back to these auditions.

I know there were kids who were probably phenomenal singers and actors, but being up there trying to present yourself in front of a room full of people and beg them to like you…that’s some seriously scary stuff.  Your best self may not exactly show through the fear.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not there.  It is.  You just have to keep trying.  Try, try, try.  Over and over again.  Eventually, who you are will bust through the fear and everyone will be able to see what was in there all along.  If you want something – truly want something – you will make it happen.

And aside from that – sometimes, especially in theatre, whether or not you’re chosen for something may actually have little to do with your ability at all.  Sometimes it’s that you weren’t the right look for the part.  Maybe not the right height.  Maybe not the right hair color.  Etc. etc. etc.  There are SO many factors in choosing a role in a theatre show.  DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY!  Just get up, dust yourself off, and show up again the next time.  Next time you might be exactly what they were looking for.

I’ll use my daughter as an example here.  She hesitantly auditioned for the last show at this theatre.  She was terrified, but she got up there and gave it her all anyway.  And did she get the role?  Nope.  Not because she wasn’t “good enough.”  Not by any means.  She just wasn’t the right age for the part.  But she tried anyway.  And when she didn’t get the role, she graciously offered to help backstage (and did an excellent job I might add).  She handled it with grace and didn’t take it personally.  (Yet another reason why I want to be like her when I grow up.)  And then, with that “rejection” filed away in the past, she got up and tried again.  She auditioned for Annie, hoping to get a small role somewhere, and walked away with the lead.  She’s Annie.  Just like that.  She went from not getting a role at all in the last show to getting the lead in this one.  That’s how things work, people.  It’s a fickle business, this acting stuff.

Kind of like life, ya know?

If it didn’t work this time, that doesn’t mean it will never work.  Now may just not have been the right time.  For a variety of reasons.  But don’t let it stop you!  Get up, and try again.

[I’ll interrupt here with a link to an interesting story of a theatre rejection I received once, and the director’s response years later to that rejection. Interesting stuff if you get a chance to take a look. Be sure you read the comment section too – that’s where the good stuff is.]

So back to the point.  Yes – try again.  Again and again and again.  If you want it, it will happen.  You may not be the “best” singer, the “best” actor, the “best” whatever.  There’s always going to be someone who can do something “better” than you can.  That’s just life.  But that’s not the point.  As Henry van Dyke put it, “Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”  The point is to do what you can do, and do it loud and proud.

And one day, you will be heard.  I promise.

You can pour your soul out singin’
A song you believe in
Then tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang.
Sing it anyway
– Martina McBride
(lyrics to Do It Anyway)

Christian Song from Way Back When


I have a friend who is a new believer and is preparing to be baptized.   I was baptized myself about five years ago.  Since then, I’ve gotten a little off course.  I’m trying to find my way back, but it’s not easy.  Having friends like her helps.  Anyway, I decided to dig out this old song that I wrote back just before I was baptized.  Thought I’d share the lyrics.

I Hear You Now

I remember times before, when I’d hear people say
That they listened to what you told them, that you always led the way.
I never knew what that meant; how could they hear your voice?
I looked around my scattered life, and all I heard was noise.

But then came the time, I opened my heart
And the light finally shown through
I had heard you all the time, my Lord
And just never knew it was you.

The birds singing in the trees
A friend’s words to help me through
That little face looking up from bed
Saying, “Mommy, I love you.”
The voice inside that knows right from wrong
And always gets me through somehow
I guess I wasn’t listening back then
But God I hear you now.

It’s hard to remember life before I recognized your sound
Now I listen closely and your messages abound
The falling rain; a lullaby; every single breath I take
Every sound around me is the music that you make

So glad I opened up my heart
To let the words from you shine through
Those sounds I heard all those times before
Now I know they came from you.

Repeat Chorus:
The birds singing in the trees
A friend’s words to help me through
That little face looking up from bed
Saying, “Mommy, I love you.”
The voice inside that knows right from wrong
And always gets me through somehow
I guess I wasn’t listening back then
But God I hear you now.

6:00 a.m. country song (Hey, it was 6:00 a.m. – give me a break…)

So, I just woke up the other morning from a dead sleep and these lyrics were in my head. No kidding. That doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I just get that junk out on paper. And here ya go. Hey, I’m sure Reba is gonna be beating my door down any minute, so you all can say you ‘knew me when…’ 😉

Honest Mistake

I owe you an apology for some confusion here tonight
See, I mistook you for someone I used to know
That man, when he saw me, would have held on to me tight
That man said he’d never let me go.
I hope you can forgive this case of mistaken identity
(It couldn’t be possible for one man to be so fake)
Surely that wasn’t you making those promises to me
I guess this was an honest mistake.
He sure looked a lot like you
You remind me of him
Same head of jet black hair
Same dimples; same sly grin
So sorry for bothering you
You must have more hearts to take
Continue what you were doing…
This was just an honest mistake.
Imagine how silly I feel just walking up to you like that
Expecting you to be the one I’d known so long
Don’t worry though, I’ll be fine; this won’t set me back
This is not the first time I’ve been wrong
No, thank you for the offer, but I cannot be your friend
The resemblance to him is hard to take
Go on back to your life, and I’ll go back to mine
This was just an honest mistake.
Repeat chorus:
He sure looked a lot like you
You remind me of him
Same head of jet black hair
Same dimples; same sly grin
So sorry for bothering you
You must have more hearts to take
Continue what you were doing…
This was just an honest mistake.
Yes, go on with your life, and I’ll go back to mine
This was just an honest mistake.

~ 2/3/13 ~