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Looking Back as the Snow Falls

I can’t help but think of home every time it snows here in the south. It’s so much different than it was in New York. When the streets were covered in snow along Lake Ontario, life went on. We would just bundle up, scrape off our cars and go.

I barely had any snow days when I was in school. The plows would be out all night long so the roads were clear enough in the morning for the buses to get us there. 

It’s not like that in the south. When the snow falls, it’s as if life stops. You get to hit pause on the craziness of your every day responsibilities and for just a minute you get to breathe. 

I sat outside on my balcony as the snowflakes were falling. This was my first real snowfall in Nashville. Holding on to my sweet matcha latte in my new Starbucks mug as the snow covered the railing of my corner apartment balcony, I couldn’t help but smile as I thought about the first time I saw snow in the south.

It was in North Carolina. The entire city of Charlotte was pretty much shut down for about two days and I had nowhere to go. Lucky for me though, I had 3 of my favorite people living in my complex. We stayed up until well after the sun went down playing board games and laughing. We had no responsibilities and no place to be. We were just a group of people enjoying each other’s company.

I smile at how amazing those years were. I mean who gets to live in the same apartment complex as some of your favorite people? Friends had nothing on us. When I was bored I would just walk down 2 flights of stairs and knock on a door, knowing that at least one of them would open. There aren’t words to describe how much I miss those people or those memories.

I moved to Nashville to pursue a dream. I’m grateful that I was brave enough to do it because over the past year and a half I’ve found out so much more about myself that I didn’t know before, but I’m not yet ready to call Nashville home. My heart is still in North Carolina. 

snow

This year’s snow day I sat in my room with a cup of hot chocolate binge watching Young & Hungry. It’s a far cry from my all night board game adventures. I have tears rolling down my face as I write this, knowing they’re in the past. At the same time though, I love the fact that I have those memories to hold on to.

I’ve spent a lot of time while living in Nashville looking behind me. Wondering if I made the right choice. I think it’s really easy for people to look backwards. That when they start getting scared of the unknown they wish that they could relive the good times. When life isn’t going the way they’d hoped they wish they could go back and change something because maybe they’d end up somewhere different. I’m right there with all of them. I’m guilty of that too.

As I sat out on the balcony this weekend smiling about a life that used to be, the writer in me remembered something. We cannot live in a chapter forever. In order to continue our story we have to turn the page. Every now and then we can glance back at a chapter in order to remind ourselves of how we got here, but we cannot stay there. So much more of our story is yet to bet written.

I can never get Charlotte back, but what I can do is stop punishing Nashville for not being the city I left and start embracing it for what it has to offer and be thankful what it has given me so far. 

We can’t be sad for the things we no longer have. We can’t be angry for the things we cannot change. All we can do is focus on today and hope for tomorrow. We have to hold on to what we have right now and let go of what we cannot control.

Funny how all of this came to me while sipping a latte and watching the snow fall. 

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chase rice

Chase Rice and Old Dominion Come to Charlotte

It’s been over 2 years since I first saw an add for Dirt Road Communion on my Facebook page. That, as corny as is sounds, is how I found Chase Rice. His song, “Only a Country Girl,” has been a staple on all of my playlists since. Living in NY, he never came around my neck of woods, so I followed him via social media until my move to Charlotte. He comes around this area much more often and one year ago next month will mark the first time I saw him live. Last weekend, I returned to the Fillmore to see him again.

Old Dominion

The first time I saw Chase, he brought Sam Hunt along. I’m sure you’ve heard of him before! This time, he brought with him the band Old Dominion. Not only does Chase put on a seriously high powered show, but he seems to always find openers that know how to do the same. The best part was that Old Dominion played for a full hour before Chase hit the stage. Not very often do you ever get to see an opening act for more than 20-30 minutes. What I also loved, was meeting the writers behind some of my favorite songs. They wrote a few for The Band Perry as well, but Craig Morgan’s “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” and Tyler Farr’s “A Guy Walks into a Bar” are two of my absolute favorite songs these days, so it was cool to hear them cover those and find out they had a hand in writing them too!

If you haven’t heard of Old Dominion yet, I highly recommend doing your research now. I will admit, I’m very picky about my music and who I listen to and I’ve already purchased their EP and have had it on repeat in my Jeep for the last week. “Break Up With Him” is probably my favorite upbeat song of theirs followed closely by “Dirt on a Road.” Doing some research, I heard a song off their YouTube called “Never Stopped You Before.” I don’t know when or if that song comes out, but I’m kind of obsessed. It’s more of a slower ballad, but really shows of the vocal harmonies and sets more of a serious tone.

I’m looking forward to hearing more from these guys! And now… on to Chase!

Chase Rice

Every time I’ve seen this guy, his show gets better and better. Even within the two months since I last saw him, he changed it up. He’s starting to input more songs from the Ignite the Night album now that it’s released, along with the old school stuff that made me a fan in the first place. “Jack Daniels and Jesus,” no matter how many times I hear that song, the goosebumps always come. Here in Charlotte, one of the biggest highlights for me, now being a Carolina Girl, was his introduction of the song “Carolina Can.” Of course I’m partial to thinking that’s the best song on the album, and I’m glad he played it last week!

He also played “Beer with the Boys,” which ranks quite high on my list as well. I think I’m a fan of this song because it’s the true way guys really think of romance. Any of the guys I know anyway. Like hey, it’s Saturday, I’m hanging with my boys, drinking some beers and having a good time, but I’ll be out of here in a heartbeat, just say the word.  A guy putting you before beer and poker lol you know he’s a keeper.

One of the best parts of the show I thought was the band solos. Each pulled out an old school song for Chase to jump in with the lyrics. One of them was Puddle of Mudd’s “She Hates Me.” A great change in tempo.

This guy knows to how to pull out all the stops in a show. He gets the crowd involved, plays to everyone’s preferences and slows it down at just the right times. Chase was certainly born to be a performer. For someone relatively new to headlining, he played a high energy show for about 90 minutes and never lost the crowds attention for a second. That is pretty impressive. Anytime he’s within driving distance, I will be there because I know he makes it worth my time. Well done, Chase. Well done. The only recommendation I have for ya Chase is maybe next time you can play a little “U-Turn” ;) …. that’s my fav!

If you haven’t had a chance to see Chase in concert yet, here’s a little recap of what you’re missing.