A different Dixie Chicks album has helped me get through all the difficult times of my life. Fly helped me get through probably my lowest point. It was after my house burnt down Christmas Eve in 1999 while I was at work. I was rather young and in shock, so I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want to ruin their Christmas. I lost everything except my family photos and my cabbage patch kid Marsh, although he was a little damaged from the fire, I loved him just the same.
All I had left was my brown van with a small sleeper sofa in the back that cost me $380, the van not the sofa, and my CD wallet.
I spent that Christmas Eve visiting friends and family keeping what had happened to myself. That night it was cold in Florida, not too cold, more like air conditioning, so I slept in my van. I was renting that house, I didn’t have any insurance, and was living paycheck to paycheck. So what seemed like a temporary solution turned into me becoming homeless without realizing it. People found out what had happened, but I always told everyone I was “staying with a friend”. That friend, of course, was my cabbage patch kid that smelled of that scent you can only know if you’ve been in a home that was once on fire. I was living in my van, sleeping in super store parking lots, or friends driveways saying I was too tired to drive home. My closest friends knew something was up when I was always asking to take a shower at their place. I lost my girlfriend of almost two years at the same time. I cried a lot. The one thing I had at that time was Fly. That CD was on repeat the whole two months I lived in the van, not because it was stuck in the player, but because I loved it so, and it brought me joy. It almost became a running joke for my friends that every time I started the van, Fly would be blasting. Eventually, the van became know as the Sin Wagon. With that album, I was able to cry and sing, be numb and sing, sing for fun and sing along with happiness.
Eventually, I stayed with my previous roommate at his grandparent’s house while they were on vacation, he and I were able to save up and get an apartment, and things started getting better from there on out.
Fast forward to 2017, I am now a home owner and a proud father of an amazingly strong, confident, intelligent, and beautiful almost five-year-old girl named Serenity.
I’ve had the normal ups and downs in life, but ever since that time whenever things get rough, most recently going through a divorce, I still pull out the CD wallet with all my Dixie Chicks CDs and go through them one by one over and over again, and it really helps. Live, laugh, love, Dixie Chicks, repeat.