We were on our way to Mankato to see Jason Isbell. Wolfdogg, Heather, Jaycie, and I were not really speeding down 169, but making our way. There was a lot of road construction.
As we slowed down through every small town between my house and Mankato, I would sigh dreamily, “Oh, I want to live here.”
Everyone in the car would quietly dismiss me and go back to singing along to whatever was on the radio. That was, until, we hit St. Peter.
“Oh,” I said loudly. “I’m gonna live here! It’s beautiful.”
“It’s beautiful because it was leveled by a tornado twenty years ago,” Wolfdogg said. “They had to rebuild everything.”
“I’m gonna live there,” I said pressing my finger to the window as we passed a lovely house with a nice porch. “And I’m gonna drive that truck.” I pointed to a 1950-something red truck.
“You aren’t going to live here,” Wolfdogg said.
“YOU ARE NEVER INVITED TO OUR HOUSE!”
“Whose house?” he asked.
“Me and the cowboy I will marry when I move here.”
“Ok,” he said.
A different road trip, a few years later, again I sighed at every small town we slowed down for between BFK’s house and her parents’ cabin in South Dakota. I told her the story about the drive to Mankato and how Woldogg was not at all supportive of my very realistic, totally-could-happen dream.
“A cowboy?” BFK asked.
“Yeah,” I said. “Because of the Dixie Chicks’ song.”
“Aww,” she nodded her head in understanding.
“We’ll live in a small house with a porch that faces the library,” I told her. “I will sit out on the porch and write and judge everyone who comes out of the library. He will do whatever he does — cowboying, lawyering, teaching — during the day. At night we will drink lemonade on the porch and smell the lilac bushes. There will also be lilac bushes. Oh, and I will drive a 1950something red truck.”
“Of course,” she said. “Can I move into town and run the local saloon?”
“Of course you can,” I said.
Last week or the week before, the aforementioned Wolfdogg tweeted a link to boygenius’ session on KEXP. It includes this cover of “Cowboy Take Me Away.” The first time I watched it rivers of tears flowed from my eyes as soon as they started the song. And the second time. And the third time. And I’m listening to it now as I type and tears are dripping off my chin and steaming up my glasses.
It makes me cry for lots of reasons. Because Wolfdogg tweeted it at me when I really needed to feel like I was being thought about and remembered. Because the Dixie Chicks always make me think of my sisters and niece who I love so much. Because it reminds me of that small, silly dream of mine. Because it makes me remember that roadtrip with my BFF where we talked nonstop during a five-hour drive even though we’ve known each other for nearly twenty years. Because some days I really wish I had a cowboy to take me away.