Country music. A year ago, you couldn’t have paid me to listen to it (well…maybe if you paid me). Although I have lived in Texas all my life and driven a Ford truck for years (is there any other kind?), I have been the consumate city boy.
Until…I’m not quite sure when…
I think it all start earlier this year when I finally acted upon my 2nd Amendment rights to purchase a handgun for home protection. My wife was adamantly against this until I taught her how to use it. Now she knows the awesome power of a firearm and it reinforced our acknowledgement that with awesome power come an even greater responsibilty.
Also around this time, I have learned to enjoy the joys of camping. My first “real” camping trip occurred earlier this year. Read here to see how this trip became an unexpected adventure in “roughing it”.
From there it escalated into a desire to become a hunter. Hunting is somewhat of a lost tradition in my family. My grandfather and his father and his father before him were all hunters. This was long before the convenience of a Kroger, Safeway, or a Publix store with the air conditioned aisles and the prepackaged meats that we take for granted. Somewhere between Grandpa and the men of my generation in my family, we stopped hunting.
I began to examine the nobility in hunting, when done for the right reasons. Hunting is not a sport. Killing should not be done for fun or recreation. I believe that whatever you hunt, it should be consumed, not wasted. This is how God intended it, I believe.
I also hear stories of the bonding that occurs between fathers and sons during the hunts. The outdoors adventure, the time to talk about anything and everything, and simply showing your child a world away from the television and the Wii. I am going on my first hunt later this year.Who knows? It may not be my thing. However, I have to honor the memory of my grandfather and try.
Back to this country music thing…there was once upon a time that I would have preferred to gargle battery acid rather than listen to three minutes of Merle Haggard or Willie Nelson. Then I saw Trace Adkins on “The Apprentice” a couple of seasons ago. What a cool dude! Always composed, he showed a side of himself that I wouldn’t have expected (proof that one’s biases often limit what you experience in life). He remained cooler than a cooler full of beer on a hot Texas day among the other screaming spoiled-brat celebrities. From a distance, he earned my respect. If this cowboy was this cool, what about other country music artists. I had to give the genre a chance.
I asked a friend for some recommendations. I told him not to push me into the deep end, but rather to introduce me to something that is closer to what I am accustomed to listening. He recommended what he called New Country. So I downloaded Adkins, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, and Big & Rich onto my MP3 and…WOW!!! I am admitting for the first time in my life that I kinda dig country music. There are those that argue that these and artists like them are not playing country music (as a matter of fact, as I write this, someone said it to me. Lol!), but to me, it’s a start.
What I’ve learned is that the people around me have much to offer. What I am discovering is that it is never too late to expand your horizons. We must always try something new in order to keep our spirits fresh and alive. I’m discovering my inner ‘redneck’. A term of affection to the people I know. Loving every minute of it!
Now excuse me while I listen to “People Are Crazy” by Billy Currington. Watch the video and listen with me…
Mr. “Bubba” Man