Scott, Sweet T, Seth and Joe @ Firefly 2013

There’s something magical about music. Maybe it’s the artistry? The way carefully crafted lyrics and melodies make sense of emotions you weren’t quite able to make sense of yourself. Maybe it’s the sense of nostalgia? The way a song can take you back to a beautiful memory and let you relive those moments over and over. Maybe it’s the joyful feeling you get when you share laughter, happiness and a genuine connection with complete strangers because of your love of music? Maybe it’s all of that wrapped up together a bound tightly with guitar strings like a little present that you get to open and enjoy anytime you like?

It’s no secret that I have a deep love for music. It’s blatantly clear that my love for The Avetts is borderline cray/obsessive. Call it what you will, people. They make me feel happy, inspired, creative and warm…and in my book, there’s not a damn thing wrong with feeling like that.

What I’m trying to say, is that I had one of the best weekends of my life this past June. With lots of help from y’all my 30th bday wish came true…I rocked summer solstice 2013 at Firefly Music Fest with The Avett Brothers and it was just glorious!

Where do I even start? Ok…so there were months of anticipation that led up to this. I got word that the guys would love to meet me a few months ago, but didn’t really know what to expect when the day actually came. I had a dream one night that during the show Scott brought me up on stage and I played the harmonica part of “Backwards with Time” totally rocked it and wowed the crowd. In reality, I don’t really know how to play my harmonica all that well (what I mean by that is that I own a harmonica and sometimes act like the sounds that come out of it when I play sound good), and I probably would have just embarrassed myself when I peed my pants and then proceeded to pass out in front of 50,000+ people from shock…but it was quite the dream. Obviously that isn’t exactly what the day entailed, but it was a dream come true nonetheless.

So what really happened? I met the guys at the St. Jude tent a few hours before their set. We had a few minutes, just me and the guys, to chat, take pics, hug, doodle autographs on my new pair of Tom’s and basically become bfff’s. I don’t know if you can tell in the pic above, but I’m pretty sure I bruised both Scott and Seth from hugging them so tight. I wish I would have had some one taking video of the whole thing, because I barely remember the details of what we talked about. I do remember, however, walking up to Scott, him looking at me and his exact words in that sweet, deep, raspy southern drawl were, “Look at you and those beautiful blue eyes.” I melted. And I melt every time I relive that moment in my head. I also got a few minutes to talk to Bob, the bass player, one on one about his sweet daughter Hallie, who is battling brain cancer. It was my hope to bring him a little bit of peace and hope knowing that people with cancer can live full and magnificent lives. I know I told them that they inspire me and help get me through my tough days. All of the guys…Scott, Seth, Joe and Bob were gracious and beautiful inside and out…just as I had expected. It was a true honor and joy to get to spend a few minutes with them.

I thought that was the end of it…I stepped away and watched the guys waving as they were carted away and I felt a couple of tears coming down my face. They were tears of absolute and shear joy…and I couldn’t control it. The whole thing was a little overwhelming…in a good way. It was hard to believe what was happening to me…the events that had led up to all of it…everything that my family, friends and I have been through and experienced over the past 5 years, the sense of strength and accomplishment I felt…the happiness that engulfed me in that moment, the festival, my dear friends who experienced the weekend with me, the sunshine, the music, everything. All I could think was…wow…my life…what a long strange trip it’s been. That is a moment and feeling that I’m keeping locked up deep in my soul for safe keeping. My cup literally runneth over!

Anyone who has been to a music fest knows the dedication it takes to see your fav band up close and personal. It’s hours of missing out on other bands, standing like sardines with thousands of new friends, the sun beating down on you…all for the love of the band. I have to give my buddy, Noah a special shout out for setting up shop with me 4 rows back from the stage The Avetts were playing at and sticking it out for hours and hours in the heat waiting to see them. We had a great spot…it would have been a great place to watch the set. BUT! Instead of watching from our staked out spot 4 rows back, because the guys and their crew are so gracious and wonderful, I was able to get a backstage pass and watch the show from the mezzanine with the band’s friends and family. Again, I melted.

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I’m not sure what heaven will be like, but, for me, I’d like it to be something reminiscent of this. I’d have no problem spending 47 eternities or more surrounded by music, friendship, sunshine, peace and happiness. Thanks to everyone who shared my email and blog and liked my facebook page…you all played a part in this dream come true. Also, thanks to The Avetts, Bob, Joe and Dane for everything you have no idea how much this meant to me…yinz rock my world!

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