Laughter is good for the soul and never more so than now in the strange and frightening political climate that seems to be engulfing not only America but also the World. Scary stuff going on out there and I find myself turning to comedy shows seeking relief from the awful depression and sorrow that seems to be trying to smother me these days.
So it was with great anticipation and happiness that I climbed aboard a plane headed for Nashville a couple of weekends ago to connect with both my daughters and my oldest granddaughter for a weekend get away that encompassed food, fun, camaraderie and some really fine music. Four people spanning the breadth of the United States to converge for a fun-filled weekend in one of the great country music cities in the world.
It wasn’t all play…My granddaughter is considering Vanderbilt University to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. Two times a year, the nursing program hosts an open house designed to present the very best of Vanderbilt’s Nursing Program to lure potential students. Because I am a nurse, I was my granddaughter’s chosen guest for this event and she was hopeful that I would have insight into the quality of Vanderbilt’s nurse practitioner program. And I was impressed. They have all the bells and whistles, all the tools and learning environments that build excellent nurses. Everything from global study programs to a first-rate simulation lab stocked with fake peeps (AKA mannequins) that breathe, talk, bleed and can be programmed for different scenarios for practice which builds great nursing experience in a safe setting.
This granddaughter has the heart and soul of a nurse. A passion for people, a desire to comfort and help, a selfless need to serve. And I think she also thrives on the adrenaline rush of working in a hospital setting. I am proud of her for exploring the many avenues open to her, for her journey to find and live her passion whether she completes this journey or not. She fears not and is living her life to the fullest each and every day. I was honored that I was her chosen guest for this event.
But that was a daytime activity. Our nights, each of the three, were spent at different music venues. The Listening room was our Friday night spot. Four singer/songwriters taking turns to sing their own songs, some of which have been recorded by well-known artists. It was a delightful evening and left us anxiously looking forward to the next evening at the Grand Old Opry…an institution that pays tribute to the founding roots of country music. I probably enjoyed this one the least simply because it was so commercialized (actually radio commercials because it was being broadcast at the time). It did make me appreciate the many country western artists who built this genre of music into what it is today.
Our last night was the best for me. But the price was pretty steep…not in money but in time. We arrived at the Bluebird Cafe at 4PM to wait in line for seats for the 8PM performance. Never in my life have I done this, but this time I was so grateful that I did. Our wait rewarded us with front table seats to enjoy three hours of music free of charge from 9 different singer/songwriters. We ate, we enjoyed some libations and our hearts were soaring with the beautiful original songs that filled the little Bluebird Cafe on that Sunday night. It was magical.
A little sightseeing, a walk across the Pedestrian Bridge, photos of iconic memorials and topped off with some good birding and a visit from …….It’s a, It’s a, It’s a something? spotted outside our AirB&B condo and a life list first for me in the mammal family. I couldn’t find my words when I first saw Mr. Groundhog and thus the title of this piece. My beautiful granddaughter laughed hysterically at my difficulty in finding the right name of our furry friend. I don’t usually suffer from this malady.
I wish for each of you happy laughter with people you love! A sure cure for the sickness of our political climate right now.