I Once Left My Heart In Longview

I've felt like such a jet-setter these past few weeks. After the California trip with The Piggies, I worked for three days and then promptly hopped on another plane early Thursday morning, bound for Longview, WA. I lived in Longview during my college years and it was probably the most difficult, life-shaping season of my life thus far. I met amazing people, played tons of music with tons of wonderful people, made some mistakes, had some triumphs, and then moved home to pick up all of the pieces after a few years. I don't regret any of it, at all. That time in my life has become part of who I am and I don't take that lightly for a second. 

Certain seasons change you and stay with you always. Longview is my ever-enduring season. 

My friend, Nate, was getting married, and my dear friends Katie, Brian and I took to the air and arrived in Longview for a swiftly passing, yet wonderful weekend. I was able to see old friends and meet new ones along the way. I stayed in the home in which I resided for the first few years I was there. We mapped out our expedition based only on where we wanted to eat. It was a weekend full of old and new. It passed far too quickly. 

Portland. Still one of my favorite cities ever. 
Katie. My best friend. We have been through thick and thin together. I am blessed to call her friend. 
Longview, WA
Being there though was good for me. I think at times I hold Longview with such nostalgia that I forget that times were tough then and I went through a lot to get where I am today. Times have changed, people have moved away, people have gotten married, and moved on with their lives. The homeless population has quadrupled and the drug presence has only increased. My heart aches for that little town. The heaviness over that town has only gotten worse.  
My old room, my old bed. So many memories in this house.

From being there that weekend, I can say with upmost certainty that the life I have now is completely where I am supposed to be in my life. I have it made. I work for a good company, we own a house, I'm married to an amazing man, we get to play music with some of our best friends. Longview is a season that is now the past and I think that I'm finally alright with that statement. It was good for me to visit so that I could finally come to that realization. It's a healthy journey. One that must be taken. 
The Wedding
In the northwest, you have to drink coffee. It's a must. 
Birthday Celebrations with friends young and old. 
Bruno's Pizza. I waited all weekend for this. 
Bound for home. 
(I apologize for all of the iPhone photos. I didn't have my camera with me nearly as much as I should have.) 

The Piggies Take California

I am a musician. Not nearly as much as once was, but nowadays I hold on to that statement with every ounce of intensity that I can. Life gets in the way. Work gets in the way. Routine gets in the way. But, through it all, one thing always remains the same: in order for me to have some sort of sanity in my life-  I must play music. Period. With that said, sometimes life throws an opportunity your way, if only for a weekend, to do just that. I know to take that opportunity and run with everything I have in me. Weekends like that are fleeting. 

One of the bands I play in is The Piggies. We are a group of people who have all played music in other bands with each other at some point down the road, or engineered our other projects, or helped us along the way to fill holes in our projects. We have each others backs. I have a ton of fun playing music with these gentleman. I try to not take that lightly. 

We have been working hard at being the backing band for Fort Collins favorite: Johnny Hickman. This guy is the bees knees and playing music with him is a great gift. He has been playing music for longer than I've been alive and his fans have such devotion to him. Being able to share a stage with him is always a treat. 

We were asked to play at the Cracker Campout in Yucca Valley, California. It was held at Patty and Harriets.  It's pretty much a festival out in the desert with a bunch of people who really love the bands that play there.  We felt so much love. The amazing fans of those bands actually flew us out there and bought our rooms in order for us to play for a weekend. People are awesome. Especially people that get music. I am very thankful. 

It was a sleepless weekend, full of free vodka tonics, going to bed at 3 am nearly every night, waking up to the hot desert sun, and anticipating the next night that we get to play. We played with Johnny Hickman the first official day we were there and then The Piggies played the following night. I realized how old I really am in the grand scheme of things because by the end of the weekend I was wiped out. 

But, it was worth it. Totally worth it.