I recently had a reminder of how much music influenced my life - and how I remembered high (and low) points by certain songs.
For instance, I left the U.S. to live in the Netherlands right at the peak of popularity for Achy Breaky Heart (1992). Some would say I left to get as far away from that song as possible. They may be right, as none of the other reasons panned out. I lived in the southern part of the country, which was more rural and few people in my neighborhood spoke English, let alone played "Achy Breaky Heart" ad nauseum. That was 20 years ago! Holey Cow! Aside: Isn't it interesting that, in almost any country in the world, there is a North/South, or East/West and each disparages the other for one reason or another. In the northern province (Amsterdam, Rotterdam), they looked down on the southerners as rubes. In the south (Eindhoven, Nuenen), they viewed the northerners as devious and untrustworthy. This is a broad generalization, of course, much like here. And that was 20-freakin-years ago. But there was definitely a distinction.
Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" transports me to the Badlands of South Dakota, the summer of 1969. Oh, the angst of those teenage years!
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were the heated heart of my misspent youth. Or maybe that was Jimi Hendrix? There was a LOT of music in the heated heart of my misspent youth. I was winding down to a kinder and gentler point with Simon and Garfunkel. Art Garfunkel's album, Garfunkel, is just dreamy. It makes me want to slow dance for a week.
Now, I listen to the Wailin Jennys and all kinds of bits and pieces of past and present and new music. My favorite cleaning music? Well, it's broken into two categories: vacuuming (Aretha Franklin) and dusting (Johnny Mathis). And you should hear me belt out the chorus to Beethoven's 9th Symphony!! Maybe you shouldn't. At least the dogs don't howl.
Speaking of cleaning, I am now in full Anti-Mouse Mode. The little buggers are chewing away in the crawl space and I have declared war. I spent the weekend pulling out everything from the lower cupboards and scouring them. Then I assessed all spots where the nasty vermin could come in. Hundreds. Then I stuffed steel wool in the larger holes and put cotton balls saturated with peppermint essential oil in strategic places along the back wall. I then took the opportunity to get rid of half of the junk that was in the cupboards that I didn't need, didn't use, or didn't remember what it was for.
They've closed both the NYC and our upstate office in advance of Sandy - I'm holding onto the thought that they are erring on the side of caution in our case and NOT that they know something I don't. I am very grateful that I can ride out whatever comes our way at home. There is nothing worse, for me, to be sitting in my office, staring in the direction of home, wondering if everyone is safe. The wind has just picked up a bit and the dogs are restless. The whole weekend has had the feeling of waiting. I hope that everyone in the storm's path comes through safe and sound. I'll see you on the flip side of Sandy.