Tuesday June 18, 2013

I've been on the lawn mower this afternoon with the headphones on, revisiting Jack Johnson, one of my favorite summer listens.  His surfer dude mentality, mellow voice, and melodic chords make for toe tapping music.  But, his lyrics can bring deeper meaning if you are willing to listen.

Today, his music reminded me of past summers when we were more carefree.  I have come to grips with the fact that "carefree" will probably never apply to me again.  My life will always have the before, and from here on out, I will live in the after.  That's what I figured out while riding around on the lawn mower today...

But, the music still managed to make me sing along and smile.  All things considered, things are good on Willow Lane.  Erin, Sunny and I just returned home from a weekend together with Dan at Grandma and Papa Harkins' cabin just north of Hayward, Wisconsin.  Dan left yesterday to catch a plane to Detroit, but before that, we had a good weekend of fun at the lake:  swimming, watching the US Open, eating out at a couple of awesome places, and Dan teaching Erin how to run the motor and drive the little fishing boat.  He reported to me that he had a good Father's Day.

I had arrived up north from a book event in Minneapolis.  My last such event for a month now as we will ramp back up with a couple of Rochester events in mid-July.  The big news on the book front is that Determined to Matter is now available in eBook form.  So, for those of you who have been waiting, you can now add it to your Kindle, Nook, or iPad.  (Tell your friends, too :)  It's out there now for all to see...

Now I am home in time for some appointments and meetings and in 9 days we will leave for London.  I still can't believe we are going.  It's one of those once in a lifetime things that you do with your kids.  This trip is a big leap - it's in line with our "enjoy what you have today, because the future is unknown" mentality.  We are all excited and will enjoy ourselves, but there will be obvious moments when we remember that we are in the "after" portion of our lives.  Shannon will be missing, and we will be sad that she never experienced it.

But, there is no changing the past, only a chance to go forward.  So that's what we shall do.  "After" can still be good, just different.  Seeing Erin have these new experiences will feel good to the mother in me, and that's good enough.

So, today was a Jack Johnson kind of day.  Mostly toe-tapping, with a little melancholy undertone from time to time.

Here, in no particular order, are my Jack Johnson Top 10 Songs:

Never Know
Times Like These
Tomorrow Morning
Go On
F Stop Blues
All At Once
Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
Losing Keys
Cookie Jar
If I Could

(I know, that's 12, but I couldn't narrow it down...)