Boz Scaggs at The Ryman ... Still Rockin' at almost 67

John took me to see Boz Scaggs for the second time last night. Boz and his band put on a great show. His voice is as good as ever. His band is incredible. And there's nothing like being at The Ryman.

Our seats were inches from the stage (front row). We've sat in those seats several times. (John is the master at getting the good seats.) But I can't be in that venue and not pause to think about the history of the building and that stage. And no matter how many times I've been in the front rows at concerts now (going on eight years with John), it is never ho-hum for me. I don't get used to it or take it for granted. I sit there like a love-struck teenager with my guitar-playing boyfriend, feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. I didn't get to see any of these musicians perform back in the day (when I was young). And it blows me away that I'm getting to do it now on a fairly regular basis. Not to mention the fact that I'm always sitting in seats I never would have imagined sitting in.

I've been blogging for years now and I know I must say some of the same things over and over. But I write what I'm feeling and thinking on any given day and many times there are overlapping sentiments and reflections. As you know, if you've read my blog or my book, I grew up in a very restrictive environment and home. There were so many things I was not allowed to do. It would be easier to list what I could do than what I couldn't. But, as I was telling a friend yesterday, I don't consider my childhood tragic by any means. Comparing my childhood to a lot of other people's childhoods, mine would look ideal and to be envied. I don't harbor resentment for the things I missed out on. I know I was protected from many experiences that would have been tragedies in my life.

This is another subject entirely, but one of the things I am very conscious of -- and thankful for -- today is what a good job my dad did of protecting me from ever being vulnerable to an abuser. At the time, I had no idea that was what he was intentional about doing. I just thought he was way too strict and didn't want me to have any fun. There were very few houses I was allowed to spend the night at, even within our church. And one of the friends I was able to spend the night with didn't have a man in the house. She lived with her mom and an aunt. I was so young and naive, I never thought a thing about that being the reason. But now, in hindsight, I do. Especially since I never fell into the hands of a predator.

But while I don't feel like the things I missed out on as a young person are "tragic" or that anyone should feel sorry for me; the reality is still that I didn't get to do a lot of normal things as a teenager and young adult. Even after I was on my own (married), I complied with the rules of my church and did not go to places that were forbidden for most of my life. I never went to a single concert until after I moved to Tennessee. My first concerts were country music performers at Opryland (the Geo Theater). And I loved those. But I can't remember ever going to a "rock 'n roll" concert until I met John. And on our second date, he took me to see the Eagles, which was absolutely magical (partly because in addition to taking me, he also invited Chris and Cheryl to go with us).

John is a musician. He played with several rock bands in the seventies professionally. He has composed a lot of original music (played the progressive rock of his era). He is a good lead guitar player and singer. He can also play bass and drums and a little piano (though he wishes he would have pursued keyboards more). He just loves music. And in the seventies, he lived and breathed the music of his generation. He can tell you the names of every person in a given band plus their whole musical history (who they played with before and after they made it, etc.). And he loves guitars. Just listening to him talk about his passion (music and guitars), I have learned more than I ever dreamed of knowing about both. And he's taken me to so many great concerts since we've been together.

We sometimes see more current performers. But most of the shows we see are performers from our era. John is five years older than me, so he remembers music from the sixties. He remembers watching The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and being mesmerized. But we both listened to music of the seventies and eighties. And the majority of concerts we go to are blasts from the past, you might say, who are still performing their music. Later this month he's taking me to see Jeff Beck (one of his guitar heroes). This summer we will see Yes, Styx and Steely Dan (again). But he's taken me to see so many artists I never imagined I would see: Elton John, Billy Joel, Simon & Garfunkel, Steely Dan, Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Sting, Prince, Moody Blues, Charlie Daniels, Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, Steven Curtis Chapman, Joe Satriani, The Cars, The Eagles, Todd Rundgren, Boz Scaggs ... to name a few.

So there I sat last night, little miss 51-year-old-love-struck teenager with the husband of her dreams, watching and hearing Boz Scaggs from the front row of the old Opry House. And I can't help but think what a fantasy life I'm living (especially considering my past and the very small and sheltered world I grew up in). I've had more fun in the last eight years (with John) than in the rest of my life put together. Who knew my forties and fifties were going to be so much fun??? I didn't get to do this when I was young, but who cares because I'm getting to do it now!

I told John (as I have so many times) how much fun he is to be married to and how much I enjoy going to concerts with him. And I know that it is so much more magical and special for two obvious reasons. First, because I'm going with him (and enjoying music more than I ever did before I was married to a musician). But secondly, it is precisely because I didn't get to do things like this earlier in my life. Think about it. If you have been deprived of something all your life, and then it's handed to you on a silver platter, how much more does it mean to you? I have this feeling about so many aspects of my life. I just don't seem to have the ability to take my life for granted. You would almost think I had a year to live the way I savor every little moment. But I think it has everything to do with my past. So if all those years gave me this heightened sense of appreciation for my life today, how could I want to change a single thing? That's how I feel.

I've got to add one more thing to the enjoyment of going to these concerts. I am not normally a people watcher. In a lot of instances, the world passes me by. Thus, the title of my blog. I really AM Miss Oblivious most of the time. But I love to watch the people at "oldies" concerts. Looking at some of them, I almost feel like a youngun. There's a lot of white hair and lined faces. But the music takes everyone back in time. I'm not reliving anything. I'm experiencing it all fresh. But I know I am surrounded by people who saw these acts in their prime (like John did). And you can see the former youthfulness in their faces. I always like to come home from a concert and pull up pictures of the artist in their prime to remind myself of what they used to look like "back in the day." I only heard their music on the radio. I didn't own their albums or go to their concerts or follow their careers. Sometimes a group will perform an old hit and I'll say, "I didn't know THEY did that song!" John cracks up. (I thought Steely Dan was singing "Hey" and found out by listening to John that they were actually singing "Peg").

I have been looking at You-Tube videos of Boz (past and present) this morning...

John has been up in the bonus room playing along with Boz on his guitar. And I guess it's about time for me to stop thinking about my fantasy life and get on with the reality of exercising. We are having friends over later this afternoon to grill steaks and lobster. So I need to get in a good pre-feast calorie burnoff!

I don't honestly know if God cares that I'm getting to do some of these things that are just purely fun or if He's the one who has orchestrated even these minute details. Even some of my material blessings seem ironic, if not divinely orchestrated. For instance, I was the only one in my family who was not given a diamond ring of my mother's after her death. At the time, I was devastated and wounded by being so overtly overlooked. But I dealt with it, got past it, and put it in its rightful perspective (realizing that my mom's hand-written recipe cards were more sentimental than a ring). And then John comes along and puts a big old diamond on my finger -- just because he wanted to.

Honestly, I never longed for a diamond of that size. But I did long for a husband who really loved and valued me. That's what I have and that's what I think about when I look at my wedding ring. And that's what I was thinking about throughout much of the concert last night. I'm blessed. I have a great life. But I'm most thankful for John and the wonderful life God has given us together ... fun included. God is so good.

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