Under the stars

I’m not bragging but, when Blue Rodeo came to town for Riverfest Elora last Saturday, they played that concert solely for me.

I know this because the band played all my requests and closed the night with Lost Together.

It was no mistake, my friends. Clearly Jim Cuddy reads this column (let me have my fantasy, okay?).

As I shared with you last week, the Carpenter and I were excited to see Blue Rodeo, and every other act that performed on the two stages over a weekend of fabulous performances.

But in my nostalgia for the music that has become the story of our life together, I couldn’t help but smile at the juxtaposition of where the Carpenter and I are now, more than 20 years after we first saw Blue Rodeo together.

Standing in the crowd before the stage, it really hit me: gratitude.

On the day of the concert there were household chores to do and kids to pack up and ship out. And, as it was the weekend before my vacation, I had some loose ends to tie up at work.

But we were stoked because the children would be gone for a whole night. You know what that means, right? Potential for the Carpenter and me to enjoy an uninterrupted conversation. Sadly, neither of us had the energy or the interest. (What? Did you think that was a metaphor for something else?)

Over 20 years ago, this would have been a very different day.

The Carpenter would have read the newspaper cover to cover and I would have rolled out of bed around noon, had a long, hot shower and spent a lazy day puttering about. Work? On a Saturday? No way. I would be too busy fussing over a cool outfit. Pre-party mode started early back then and the nights went on into morning.

Now, in the hours leading up to the Blue Rodeo show, I took a cat nap so I could stay up late and the Carpenter soaked his tired muscles and sore knee so he could move. His Blue Rodeo concert shirt was older than the person who took his ticket, and my fashion sense consisted of denim, always a safe bet.

As we merged into the crowds, it seemed the perfect time to hit the Carpenter with one of my thoughtful big-life questions: “Do you realize we are no longer even remotely attractive to the opposite sex? Here we are in a crowd of people and not a single one of them is going to check us out.”

He smiled. “I knew that about ten years ago.”

Funny how that doesn’t matter to us now. Mutual appreciation is just fine. That night we danced and sang our hearts out, happy in the reality that we’d go home with our best friend to do what married people do: sleep. (What?)

One thing that didn’t change in all those years? We still had to count our pocket change for beer money and the Carpenter drank most of it. Burp.

When Blue Rodeo played our song, Lost Together, as corny as it sounds, the words were as true for us back then as they are now and we slow danced under the stars.

We’ve come a long way, baby, but in the ways that matter, we haven’t changed a bit. Grateful.



Kelly Waterhouse