On a road trip, RM and I listen to music and frequently it is to James Taylor. I especially like his newest album, Before This World. I remember singing along with JT on our honeymoon/relocation journey to Los Angeles back in 1984. We knew the lyrics to Fire and Rain, Sweet Baby James, Carolina In My Mind, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight and Shower the People. His familiar voice was and still is a comfort to us in uncertain times.
Monday night, along with our growing brood, we softly sang along again to his music at his outdoor concert at Wrigley Field. It was a beautiful night in the ‘Friendly Confines’ as the music matched the mellow mood of an ideal summer evening in Chicago – a relief to us in our group escaping the Texas heat. While JT is legendary to our generation, our kids softly snickered, fogyish, his 10-piece band is the real deal full of horns, bass, percussion, fiddle, flute, sax and piano. He also brought along Bonnie Raitt and his soulful session musician, Arnold McCuller. Memories of sitting in this intimate space under the iconic red sign, the fans, the groovy, flower power motif and the ivy-cladded brick walls, with our family, is indelible.
Our Chicago week-ender celebrated RM’s December birthday without all the distraction of the holiday season. We kayaked up and down the Chicago River, took pics in front of the Bean and the Buckingham Fountain, toured museums, picked our way through vintage shops, and gobbled down colossal burgers at Rocket Burger Bar on Clark Street in Wrigleyville. We rented a house within a couple of blocks of the stadium from HomeAway and it met our families’ needs to perfection. Jimmy Buffett was also performing at Wrigley Field so Saturday night was filled with his parrot cladded fans as they fortified themselves at the local pubs before his show. We just happened to walk by the entrance to the stadium when he and his followers belted out Margaritaville. It brought out goosebumps.
While I thought the concert would be the highlight of the trip, the Sunday night season premiere of GoT (Game of Thrones for the uninitiated) took top honors. The Cs got RM hooked several seasons ago on this fantasy drama and they, when together, throw Dothraki and High Valyrian vocabulary around as if they themselves are nomadic inhabitants from some long-lost sea. Worrisome, it took several hours to figure out how to access HBO from our rental (valar dohaeris), but with ingenuity, several degrees in engineering and computer programming, consultation with the internet, we watched the season opener, together, just as assuredly as winter is coming and just like home.