I’ve told several people recently about “a chain of events…things that happened” so I might as well write it down….
The story I’ve been telling is very linear.
1. In late August of 2011, a woman I was exchanging messages with on a dating site told me about house concerts being held at a place called The Rock House in Reeds Spring. I had never heard of “house concerts” before.
Thanks Ginger! House concerts are The Best!!
I’m glad that I can call her my friend 5 years on.
2. A couple of weeks later I made my first visit to the The Reeds Spring Pizza Company, along with my sister and brother-in-law. Paula had been bragging about the place since they moved to Table Rock Lake in 2007, and USA Today said they had the best pizza in MO.
My sister and McPaper nailed it: their pizza is mighty good!! Order a large so you can take some home. It’s hard to believe, but it’s even better the next day…
As I was paying for the pizza and beers that September evening, I asked the waitress: “Can you tell me how to get to The Rock House?”
“Just ask Jeanette…she just left. You can probably catch her in the parking lot.”
Talk about fortuitous timing!! I hailed Jeanette and we chatted for a few minutes. She told me who was playing next and when and how to get there.
3. The next person in my story is the first friend I made at the Rock House: Barbara.
I almost chickened out of going that first night. My introverted self somehow managed to summon some gumption that October 8, 2011 and I walked up the steps of the R.H. that first time, just a few minutes before the music started.
There was only one open seat, third in from the left front corner along the outside windowed wall. The seat was next to Barbara. We chatted briefly before Three Penny Acre was introduced…and I heard Jeanette explain what a “listening room” is. She asked if anyone in the room was at their first house concert….to which Barbara announced to the packed room: “it’s the first time for my new friend Steve.”
I thought right then and there that I was probably gonna like this place. Then the music started, and I was certain of it. But my introverted self was still blushing all over at Barbara’s exclamation.
I knew I was gonna be friends with Barbara…but I didn’t know she was Jeanette’s mom until after the break between sets was beginning. Barbara encouraged me to mingle and pointed out some unattached women. I told her “thanks…but….i’m bashful…”
Note: the fact that I kicked over a full glass of Barbara’s favorite adult beverage about 30 minutes into the show didn’t sour her on me. Thank goodness!
4. On 10/8/11, as I walked onto the porch to leave that first night at The Rock House, Jeanette asked me two questions. “Did you have fun? Are you going to be a regular?”
“Yes, absolutely…it was great…and most likely I will be a regular…if I am still living around here.”
That evening I had no idea how long I would live in MO. When I left the state in 1976 I never expected to live in the show me state again. When I moved into the Abbey 2 days earlier, after almost three months living with my sister, I signed a 6 month lease. Later I let it go month-to-month, until I moved down and across the hall.
Five years on, and we’re 3 months into another one year lease.
5. Thirty-six days later I had one of my most memorable experiences at the R.H.
It was November 12, 2011. It was my third time at The Rock House, and the first time I ever saw Bob&Jeff of The Rainmakers. At last count I have 8 Rainmakers’ CDs, 2 by Jeff Porter, and 1 by Walkenhorst&Porter. I’ll be seeing them at The Rock House this coming Saturday, and I’ll probably buy more merchandise.
In five words: Yes, I am a fan!
I wrote about that first night, and one song in particular, here:
6. Eleven months later, on October 13, 2012, Shelly and I had our first real date. We’d seen each other a couple of times before then at public places, but the drive to Reeds Spring to see Bob Walkenhorst and Jeff Porter of The Rainmakers was the first time we’d ever been in the same vehicle.
As we headed south I thought that I might get to like Shelly, but if she hadn’t had fun listening to Bob&Jeff at The Rock House I’m pretty sure our time together would have been short lived.
Five years on, Shelly and I are in our 3rd year of living together in B-307 at The Abbey. I’m on the board of The Rock House. I house-sat for Jeanette and Bruce at the R.H. this summer when they were on their 6,000 mile road trip. Almost 20% of my Facebook friends are people I met at the Rock House….and many of them are much, much more than just “Facebook friends.”
I met both Ginger and Shelly on OkCupid. You could make a case that the dating site is the first domino in lots of good things in my life. Maybe.
If Ginger had ignored my initial online message (and that happened more often than not), I might never have heard of The Rock House. Maybe…maybe not.
All I know is that things happened, that house concerts are a great thing and that The Rock House is a magical place. My quality of life has been enhanced because of the music I’ve heard, the people I’ve met, the great times I’ve had at 41 High Street, and the many friends I’ve made.
No maybe about that.
I don’t believe in this “things happen for a reason” line of thinking…not in the least. If I did believe that do you think I woulda given my blog its name? “Things happen, that’s all they ever do.”
I do believe this. No matter what happens: Be. Just be.