I'm in Ely, Minnesota playing shows.
Wow, that's such a big great thing to get to say.
I played at the radio station yesterday and then played a house concert.
The show was essentially "sold out" because we reached the number of people we were hoping to have in attendance, and there was a "ticket" price of $15-20.
A sold out show in this age of new beginnings is a big thing to me.
A friend who's known me for twenty-five years sent me a text this morning saying that she knows I've "waited so long" for this.
I used to see the CDs for sale in the town of Ely when I was a girl.
There would be these carefully curated collections of artists' works in the small shops along the main street.
I noticed even then that there were artists that were special to this region.
Some of them were "regional artists", names not well known in other parts of the country, and some were famous artists with a tie to the area like Bob Dylan and Lucinda Williams.
By the time I was maybe twelve I played at people's bonfire gatherings on the lake where our cabin was.
I was there all summer every summer and the other cabin dwellers would come up for a week or two.
I would get invited to their bonfires to play my guitar and sing.
Isn't that awesome that I was already playing these lakeside house concerts by the age of twelve.
I didn't need acclaim, I didn't need money.
I needed an audience other than trees every once in a while to see if my songs were any good, to see if my performances of other songs were of any value to people.
I couldn't go by what my mother said.
She always said the same crap like, "Oh are you going to start with that now? Do I need to go get the aspirin?"
My voice and my depressing songs gave her a headache.
Sometimes when I got invited to bring my guitar to somebody's cabin and sing she would tell me I couldn't go and I'd be tortured.
I would cry and plead and say, "Why? Why can't I go, they invited me, they want me to play for them."
And she'd say that I was just trying to show off. I was just trying to get attention. I just wanted it to all be about me.
Oh My God.
So now I get to play these lakeside shows for these nice people and somehow by some sort of magic they enjoy it as much as I do and it's all okay.
I'm not a bad person for wanting this.
I turn sixty this coming February.
I'm sure glad I got this all straightened out in my lifetime.
And it's a miracle that I have my recordings and writings to sell to these people who actual want to keep listening to my songs and my way of singing even after the show is over.
I made all these albums. I wrote, I performed, I recorded, I published.
I had no way of knowing what could ever come of it.
Thank God I found out for sure, with each performanceI gave, that my mother was wrong about me.
I called her yesterday to tell her again that I was going to be in Ely, Minnesota over the weekend playing three shows.
She said, "Oh that's too bad."
I was like "Mom, what do you mean? What's too bad?"
She said that she had just heard that her senior living building was hiring a new assistant to the director and she was hoping I was going to finally get a real job.
The name of my brother's unpublished memoir/novel was "My Dad Drinks, My Mom's Crazy".
He wrote that way back in his twenties, in the early 1980's.
He called it way back then.
And it turns out that Dad was only drinking because Mom was crazy.
God bless her.
I'm gonna call her right now like I do every day and make sure she's doing okay.
Because I love my Mom and I got my dream after all and she didn't wreck my life.
Love From The Great North!