This morning I woke up in Morris, IL at the Holiday Inn Express. There's a peacefulness to a continental breakfast augmented with the excitement of a machine that makes pancakes to-order.
The journey began Wednesday when me, David Jimenez (RF), Amanda Darnell (RF), Andrea McGee (Beat Root Revival), and Ben Jones (BRR) launched from Austin, TX to lend our love, support, and music to our beloved Paige and her family during trying times. So far we've been given back more love, support, and music than we can handle.
By Wednesday night, we made it to St. Louis, where our friend, Lydia, provided us with wonderfull company and a good night's sleep at her beautifully historic home where we chatted about travel and politics and sipped on an array of coffee drinks, my favorite still being a classic cup of black coffee.
This began a pattern of stays on this trip that leaves us announcing to our hosts and each other, "Can we just live here now?" The joy and hospitality gifted to us on this journey reminds me of how life could be every day.
Next, we meet up with Paige at the DeChausse household where we got to greet the matriarch of the journey, Veronica DeChausse and her sister, Jennifer. After a brief chat and hugs and kisses, we shoved Paige into the van and hopped back on the road to Chicago
Yesterday I got to visit my old guitar shop, Avenue N Guitars and reconnect with my shop family of Tim, Leslie, Phill, Kriss, and Mark, getting a little caught up with life and years. We hit up our favorite coffee shop that still resides around the corner of our former home, Caffe Streets, which gave us just enough of a boost to keep the day moving.
That night we played at the Wrightwood Tap where our dear friend, RJ, hosts one mean party. Nothing could stop us from cutting us loose. There were drinks, dancing, drinks, a toy pig, songs, jamming, friends, family (my cousin, Sean, came by!), and enough laughing to make up for all that horrible road food we consumed. It was an epic night, but also felt right. If felt repeatable. An incredible reminder of how we could be every day. . .. no so much the drinking, but the joy we had simply existing in the presence of those we love and being ourselves.
This idea was further enforced yesterday when we hit the road yet again to celebrate Mike's (Paige's brother-in-law) birthday our on their farm. Beer, bonfire, and some of the BEST home-style food you could ever ask for (thank you, Jessica.) Mike, Jessica, and their children have been gracious hosts to our shenanigans for a number of years now, and we can't thank them enough.
Since we were spending the day recovering from the Wrightwood night, we weren't in the drinking mode, which didn't stop us from more laughter than you can shake a stick at. It reminds me that our happiness is not bound by music or drinking. It comes from our willingness to let our guards down and enjoy where we are, and enjoy who we are.
More tales from the road are on their way as we are on our way to my hometown of Peoria, IL to add to the list of adventures. To be continued. ..