My mother-in-law Janice isn’t quite sure when she first started dreaming about Nashville.
She grew up singing along to the sweet tunes of Patsy Cline and the soft croons of Charlie Pride, and vowed to one day visit the birthplace of country music. Scott clearly remembers his mom gushing about Nashville as if it were some sort of far-off fantasy land—a place she could only dream about visiting. Janice had a “Nashville fund”—a jar where she stored extra money in hopes that one day the family could afford the trip. The kids grew. The years passed. Nashville never happened.
Finally for Janice’s 60th birthday we made her dreams come true.
Scott, the kids and I, along with Todd and his wife Melinda finally took Janice to Nashville. It was truly a trip to remember. We wore cowboy hats and boots, and practiced our southern twang. We toured the Country Music Hall of Fame, got all gussied up to watch the stars at the Grand Ole’ Opry performance and noshed on Nashville barbeque and fried catfish. Julie played “Happy Birthday” for her grandma on Elvis’ piano at RCA’s Studio B and we bar-hopped on Broadway, listening to all the aspiring country musicians and dancing on the stages. We strummed Miranda Lambert’s guitar at Barbara Mandrell’s house and Julie and Janice toe-tapped to old country songs at practically every restaurant and bar in Nashville.
But, as Janice quietly sang “Crazy” into the microphone on the stage of the Opry---the exact spot where so many country stars had performed, I got goose bumps.