Today I’d like to talk about the longest lasting relationship of my life. It is not with a boy, of that we all know, it’s not even with a friend or family member. My longest relationship is, in fact, my history with country music. Allow me…the other day Ken comments on my love of country and explained that I can’t say that I love all music but I love one type more. “It doesn’t make sense.” This is all according to Ken:) Nonetheless, I feel I do love all different kinds of music but I honestly have a history with country. It’s different. It’s so very different. Allow me to explain. I was raised on country via my mom. My very first tape was Trisha Yearwood, featuring “She’s in Love with the Boy.” The first concert I attended was Neil McCoy. For quite a long time the only concerts I attended were country. My first job was in a western wear store. Country music blared through the speakers all day long while I spoke with bull riders and calf ropers about our jeans, boots, and hats. I wanted to marry a cowboy. I wanted to be a cowgirl. Sometime later I changed my mind. I began taking in other musical genres and falling in love with them as well. I listened to really mellow music during sad or emotional times; sometimes during happy times, too. When I fell in love, though, we spent the summer listening to country stations, he loved country and I loved country and somehow that was symbolic to me. We went on a date to the rodeo. I had country songs woven throughout every single memory. When I got my heart broken I took a break from country. I reset all my stations in my car. Only listening to hip-hop music for six months. Yes…SIX! My heart was far from mended but I ached for my music. I remember the day I turned the station to one that felt like going home. A weight seemed to lift from my shoulders. Country had been waiting for me. I have never abandoned it since. It seems so corny or even ridiculous. It’s so hard to explain how much I hurt. How much I associated everything country to everything that my life was lacking. You can’t know how it hurt me just to hear it…because it seems so trite. Similarly, you can’t know how much I missed Kenny Chesney, Randy Travis, Clay Walker, Doug Stone, Tracy Lawrence, and the list goes on. You could never understand how I had been missing such a piece of what once was my life. When I finally turned the radio back on I was forcing myself to move forward. I discovered one thing missing and I brought it back. It was my first step toward moving on. I could never explain how liberating that was and how incredibly helpful. I now find that I am ridiculously “hick-ish” in the summer and that’s when my real “inner cowgirl” shows! I have my station on country the second the sun starts heating us up for those lovely months. And I am so proud of that! You see…it’s been with me through everything and it’s always been a love of mine. My relationship with country will last forever! :)