Three Dog Nights

Last night was a “three dog night” Everyone knows I guess, about where that saying comes from. The old “mushers” used to sleep with their dogs and on the coldest nights had to have three dogs to keep them warm. Last night all three of our dogs slept inside, although NOT in the bed. Same thing tonight. My Lab usually likes the “outdoors” and has an insulated doghouse up on the porch, right next to the house, but she doesn’t get a choice in this kind of weather. She ran around and chased her ball happily today, just as usual. These animals are remarkable creatures, and worth loving. I feel badly for all the half feral cats running around the neighborhood and hope they are finding some warm places to sleep. Hopefully this “polar” air clears out after tomorrow and we get back to a “normal” southern winter.

Seeing a Memory

I wonder how other people “see” their memories, in their mind. Mine come bubbling up in little gray colorless bits and pieces most of the time. If I sit and purposefully try and remember some specific event which has taken place in my life, I fail to rake much information up into the pile.

I think the reason I write so much is because once I get onto a tangent of thought, once I get a good smell of a past brain remnant, then more and more starts boiling and cooking up to the surface.

I was watching little Eli today, and the thought just popped into sight about Kirsten sleeping on my tummy when she was a tiny baby. I worked at Westinghouse on a night shift back in the early 70’s, and Paula was a Southern Bell operator. She had odd hours. A lot of times when Paula was at work, and it was “baby nap time” I would just lay down on the couch and lay Kirsten on my tummy. It was already quite ample and I had no fear of her rolling off…She hadn’t mastered rolling over yet.

One day though, I was really out of it, and so was she.. and the phone rang. I came out a full sleep and jumped up…And rolled little Kisi on the floor. It was only a short distance and nothing was hurt but her feelings. I do think I took the phone off the hook after that.

File that one under “how children survive inexperienced parents”


The 1980’s and half of the 90’s were a blur. I was trying to get into the highly competitive world of songwriting in Nashville. I wrote hundreds of songs. I thought up thousands of titles and hooks. I played my guitar til my fingers bled. I went to Nashville once a week after work for songwriters meetings, and drove back home in the middle of the night. I sang three times at the Bluebird cafe, twice on open Mike night, and once after an audition. I had folks tell me, move here! You’ll get the contacts, you’ll make the friends, and you’ll make it either as a singer or writer, or both. I made demos on a regular basis and put them on cassette tapes and mailed, and mailed. I called and called. I could never pull the trigger and make the move though. My thirties and then my forties came and went. There was no “The Voice” It was way before “American Idol” Long before computers, digital age, and the like. “You will never make it if you ain’t here, they’ll think you aren’t committed… ” Turns out they were right.

I was committed to my family. My wife and my kids. The time I spent chasing that unreachable dream of mine is time I lost with them. That’s a regret.

You know why there are so few celebrities who are truly happy in their personal lives? It’s because the climb to where they are has taken all of their energy and emotions. (Until the new age now of the show winning instant celebrities….many of whom are soundly resented by the old timers who came up the “hard way” and paid their dues)

I don’t regret anything about where I am, or what I’m doing now. It’s where I want and need to be. Anyways…..after I win that 800 million dollar lottery, I’ll buy my own record company. Count on it.