Monday, August 17, 2015

A year of enjoying Home Free and Home Fries

July 2014 five highly talented young men (with a featured guest, so six really) released a video to the world that would go viral. I’m sure it was a turning point in their career. However, this simplistic, yet stunning video also changed my life. Home Free’s cover of Ring of Fire, featuring Avi Kaplan, seems to be a pivotal moment in the lives of so many people, many of whom I have either met or become friends with over the past year. I don’t know the exact date I watched the video, due to when I saw it I went on a Home Free hunt and didn’t stop for several days! I know it was within a week or two of my birthday, because I bought the Home Free Crazy Life CD and Tim Foust’s The Best That I Could Do CD for my birthday. What I think is so fantastic is how many fries have recently written or posted about their one year “Fryniversary”, with no intentions of slowing down. I guess I’ll join them.

I know most of you have heard the story of how Home Free and more specifically Tim’s song I’ve Seen inspired me to start writing again. So today I will tell all the other things that have come from Home Free’s music.

The most rewarding thing is that I now have friends all over the world ranging in age from 17 to those in their 60’s. I have met a few of them and they will always have me as a friend, whenever they need me. The first fry I virtually met was an awesome girl of 17 that lives in Brazil. I felt so ridiculous going gaga over Home Free at my age and then I found out her age and she made me feel like a kid again. As the days went on and we all goofed around about Home Free, I realized these a guys just inspire youth, smiles, giddiness and pure adrenaline. I have been encouraged and inspired by so many wonderful people and I hope to meet them all one day. I’ve cried with them, laughed until my side hurt, felt embarrassed and completely vulnerable, not to mention felt a little drunk after seeing them live. Yes, Home Free is a strong source and the Home Fries cling to that source and each other with all our hearts and souls.

The first time I actually met fries was when I had plans to see Home Free in Dallas. Well, a couple weeks before that concert an extremely kind fry offered me a VIP ticket to the concert in Oklahoma City, which was a few days before the Dallas concert. Well, how could possibly say no? I made my arrangements and the next thing I knew, I had made plans to drive to Oklahoma City with two ladies I had never met before. I joked about how my mom had done this years before, by going to California to meet fans of a soap opera, that she had never met, and we teased her that one of them could be an ax murderer! Well, these ladies assured me they had no axes! Two concerts and a great trip to Oklahoma later, we’ve all become good friends. I know I would do anything for any of them. And we have planned to see four Home Free concerts together in October! I met so many other fries at these two concerts and hope to see them again and meet other fries, I haven’t met yet!

As for my writing, since hearing I’ve Seen, I have written twenty nine song lyrics, twenty poems, one children's story and started the second story in the adventures, created two blogs and have had the honor of playing a small role in helping an incredible lady and dedicated fry create some extraordinary tribute videos for each of the members of Home Free. Plus, I’ve volunteered for other small writing “assignments” at work and for our Girl Scout troop. My hope is to, someday, get paid to write!  

Let’s not forget the guys that started me down this unbelievable trek, Home Free. Their music has so much to offer and I find it hard, at times, to find the right words. Their voices alone are remarkable and together they are this perfectly put together 3D puzzle. Their sound is rich, vibrant and full of life and energy. You want to hear the song over and over again. Their arranging talents have blossomed over the past year and the fries continue to be amazed with each new song. I’m so excited for the new album, I could just bust! If they don’t hurry and release it, the fries are going to hunt them down (visions of Young Frankenstein where the villagers are breaking down the door with Inspector Kemp’s wooden arm). Hurry, Home Free, hurry!

Happy “Fryniversary” to all my fellow fries that found Home Free around this time last year!

How long have you been a Home Fry?

I've Seen by Home Free (written by Tim Foust)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Determination, Pride and Passion

Today's post is about determination, pride and passion. I felt this a long time ago, when my friend and I were writing and performing my songs. I was determined to get the song where I wanted it and took great pride in the songs when we were done, all because I was passionate about the words and the way it made me feel to write a song!

This summer, my twenty year old son took a journey down a road I would have run from, and fast! All in the name of determination, pride and passion. He is determined to be a high school marching band or drumline instructor. Part of the road to being a drumline instructor is to march in Drum Corp. If you don't know what a Drum & Bugle Corp is, it's non profit marching band on a competitive level, with only brass, percussion and color guard. There are different classes, the Open Class and the World Class. There are twenty two corps in World Class and about twenty six in Open Class. My son played Bass 5 drum with the World Class Boston Crusaders, who celebrated their 75th Anniversary this year. They finished in tenth place in the 2015 DCI Series.

Now, being in a drum corp means sleeping on school gymnasium floors on blow up mattresses, eating meals that the corp can afford or that are donated, practicing 12 hours a day, sometimes in over 100 degree heat, and when the are competing they travel overnight, sleep a few  hours and then begin practice. Sometimes their overnight trips are 3 hours meaning they have to unload at 3 or 4am, blow up their mattress, sleep a few hours and then get up around 8 or 9am and practice. Sometimes their overnight ride is 8 hours. They don't always sleep on the bus, no these kids practice on their overnight drives. My son is about six foot two and he said when he did sleep on the bus, he slept in the aisle, because he didn't fit well in the seat. They did laundry every two weeks and got 3 count them 1,2,3 all day, day offs in three months.

Yes, it was hard and yes the kids joked about the heat, being stuck in a bathroom when a storm came up suddenly on their practice, loading and unloading equipment daily and showering in groups and in about 5 minutes. But these kids always had smiles on their faces and got up the next day ready to work. When they put on a show, they were dramatic and hungry. You could see it in their faces, their movements and that they improved their score with every show! My son told me that they would make changes to the routine the day of a competition and nail it! Theses kids work harder than most adults at the careers they chose. It's inspiring and uplifting.

I was not just proud of my son for have the determination, pride and passion to complete this awesome journey, but I was proud of every one of those kids. They are not all kids, they range in age from 15-21, and they all worked equally as hard, in the name of their Drum Corp. I took my son a whole bunch of beef jerky and Twizzlers (mainly for if they didn't like what food was served) so he and the bassline (5 kids) would have enough to keep them satisfied. I also got them animal sponge water toys they could get wet and throw at each other to keep cool. These type of things meant the world to these kids. But still, they rarely complained, unless you were messing with their practice time!

These kids have inspired me to work a little harder to achieve my passion in life. I have a new found desire and push to finish writing the stories for my daughter. Losing my dog really affected my ability to write about her, but now I know I have to finish. So, book two here I come!

Congratulations and Happy 75th Anniversary to the Boston Crusaders, y'all were truly awesome this year! I can't wait for next year and hopefully, my son will be marching with you for his last year.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sharing random poems

Occasionally I get these random poetic ideas and write poems that I find to be impractical, but I jot them down anyway. Then I throw them on one of my pictures and hope to make someone smile or laugh, sometimes cry. Here's a few of those poems.

Above poem written by Michelle Gallardo August 8, 2015