Stories behind the songs: "Garden of Memories: Songs of Family and Home Vol. II"

 Stories behind the songs

Garden of Memories: Songs of Family and Home Vol. II

Released in honor of Grandparent's Day 2023

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Track One: Garden of Memories

"Garden of Memories" is an invitation to come visit some of the most intimate corners of my heart, some that are still healing. My hope is that sharing these stories will help you heal, too.

Track Two: Welcome Home, Weary Traveler

Though “Welcome Home, Weary Traveler” refers to  “my mountain Granny,” it was actually inspired by my great-aunt. She used many colloquial phrases she’d learned growing up in rural southern Missouri, along with lots of stories she was always anxious to tell. This song was written while envisioning what her life might have been like had she stayed in Missouri, rather than moving on to South Texas with her family. 

Track 3: Down on Memory Lane

I’ve only been to the old homeplace in Wisconsin once, where my father’s family farmed before moving to South Texas. Even though I wrote this song prior to visiting there, I can see those fields and barns and country lanes whenever I sing this song, and think about the relationships between fathers and sons, especially my grandfather and his dad.

Track 4: Grandma's Old Button Box

My grandmother was a skilled seamstress and quilt maker. While I don’t have many memories of watching her sew, there were several times when I was very little when she’d open her dresser drawer to show me her needles, thread, and sewing tools. I was always most interested in the buttons. She would spread them all over her bed and would tell stories about them before we put them back in the jar and her sewing box.

Track 5: Whisper

“Whisper” was one of the very first songs I wrote, 30 years ago. If memory serves, it was a gift for my parent’s anniversary. They will celebrate 60 years this November. I’ve re-written a few lines and changed the melody a bit and added a new verse, but I think I have been true to the original intent of the song.

Track 6: The Perfect Pair

When I would visit my grandmother in the Alzheimer’s and dementia wing of her care home, I watched as spouses would come and go, tending to their loved ones. The heartbreak on display was immense, but the tenderness that I witnessed was beautiful. Love still remembers, even when one doesn’t.


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