That was the best 634.6 mile trip I got to take, just for myself!...
Once upon a time, about 6 weeks ago....I heard it on the radio - - - - Willie Nelson would be entertaining at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island. I couldn't get the salt and mineral put out fast enough; had to get home to the Internet. I think this was the first time I've done something like this so spontaneous, without consulting (asking permission) to anyone: I was going to buy Willie Nelson tickets!! Good reason, concert would be Sept. 4, my birthday is the 6th - ha ha, just for me! I'll buy myself a birthday present (and drag Don with me)!!
It was a secret, I wouldn't tell Don yet. (although everybody else knew, because I put it on Face Book!)
I contained myself quite well... but in preparation, I played my Willie Nelson CDs everywhere we went. Don said once, "What is it with you and Willie Nelson?" So when we traveled, the first thing that came on when the dial was pushed, "On the Road Again..." I giggled with glee!
About a week before the concert, I figured I should tell him where he was going. The good thing about that was, I could now be my usual self and really get silly, jumpy, excited - my natural way of dealing with things when I'm a happy camper. I drove everyone else crazy with all my plans, but too bad, no blue eyes cryin' in the rain for me.
Mom and Dad knew about it all right away. They couldn't believe I would get Don away from the ranch to go to a concert. (Maybe a tractor, a bale processor, a bale bed, a horse, sell cows....but not a concert!) September 2nd was my dad's birthday. At 4:30 that morning, he fell and broke his hip. I knew right away, and with no regrets I might add, that I would have to call Willie and tell him I couldn't make it (a little drama there). ...and that was OK. Later that day, as Dad was laying in the hospital bed in Scottsbluff, he reminded me I was going to see Willie Nelson. "Yea, OK" was always my reply. "I mean it," was always the comment. I would tell him to lay there and be quiet, he was going to make his hip hurt worse. His surgery was finally done in the early afternoon of Sept. 3rd; and that was way too close a time to be taking off and leaving my dad. Mom was assuring me how bad Dad would feel if I stayed home. (Can you tell I'm still making my mind believe it was all ok?)
After much deliberation; encouraging nudges from family members, and Dad saying, "if you don't go I'm gonna kick your butt" - I decided it might work to go. The concert was Sunday evening; Friday night when I got home from the hospital - I was wound up after Dad was unable to get the surgery done until Saturday morning; so I drake a pot and a half of coffee, sat my alarm for 5; and wondered why at 4 am I was still trying to get to sleep. Back to the Bluffs Saturday morning for surgery, (which didn't happen until afternoon) and I was on the way home after Dad was recovering well (exception of pain) Saturday evening when Don called and said, "Good, I'm glad your dad is doing better. So, what do you want to do tonight?" I had planned on telling him to his face, but said, "I thought we'd go to Grand Island." Silence. Anyway, instead of leaving that night, or at 3 am we actually decided sleep might be better. Which was easy for me to do - I was sleeping before my head hit the pillow.
Now.....the exciting part: woke up in the morning, loaded up, hopped in the pick-up, turned the key on, punched the dial......"ON THE ROAD AGAIN...." and we were off!!!
Don had told me the week before, that it would be my day, he would just follow me around and I would decide what all we were going to do. My first thought: he should not have said that. I had intended to write on a paper a note to Willie (I know, I'm weird) - and say hi, and tell him Jerry said hi, and thank him for taking the horses that he does (especially the 3 Strikes horses!) - I was going to have Don put it on the bus windshield! Yes, I realize I was living in a fantasy thought.
To the main point of my story.... NE State Fair was OK, ...when we walked in to the concert area.....well, let's just say: I'm 52 - never been to a concert before - and Willie's music was playing through the building. Anticipation! We definitely need to get out more: we went and got a beer; then noticed a table that everybody was getting wrist bands; (it was to show you could buy beer - had to have one) so when I walked up to the table, the lady says, "Put your glass down, you can't hold that until you have this band on." OK. HA! Got our seats, guy comes out to announce Willie....Don looks at me and grins - Oh, I'm happy! It would have been nice to actually be close enough to see that it was really Willie, and not an impersonator; lip sinking ;) but it was still great. Live and learn. Guess I was just lucky to get tickets at all. In the brochures, it stated "No Cameras" - I had brought my new little one, just in case. I am glancing around seeing all these blue screens thru the seats.... cameras! I whip mine out, and now I'm really happy. Even got some video of the greatest guitar pickin' I've had the privilege to hear. Geez Willie can make that guitar sing. Don was equally impressed, (just not as goofy about it).
I had a fantastic time. Oh yes, Voodoo. Had I consumed a couple of more beers, I was extremely tempted-during a split second quiet moment, to holler out loud, "Voodoo!" Do you think Willie would have heard? The temptation was unbelievable. (Voodoo is a horse, rescued from 3 Strikes Ranch to Habitat For Horses in Texas, thanks to Jerry Finch - Voodoo is now at Mr. Willie Nelson's ranch)
Today's Labor Day, and we labored; worked cattle, moved cattle, checked water, salt & mineral, etc etc. What a wonderful time I had listening to Willie Nelson and the rest. They were fantastic!!!!! Someday, maybe I'll get to Texas!