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Gratitude through Music and Memories

This week's blog may look slightly different, especially if you never followed Coach Stacie in any of her other blogging/writing adventures. Today, join Coach Stacie as she talks about growing up, the importance of music in her life, and how her dad really instilled much of her "Life Lessons" she shares today.

Coach Stacie and Coach Francie with their dad!

Hi! Stacie here. Today I am going to talk to you more on a personal level and tell you a little story about me while growing up. As you know, Coach Francie and I are sisters, and grew up not only as sisters, but also as best friends. I am sure we would have been close, anyway, but the lectures we received as children and young adults definitely helped instill that closeness! I am so thankful for these "lectures" throughout growing up, as they shaped both Francie and I into who we are today. Each of our parents truly are equally responsible! However, today, I would like to share with you a story about my dad. And, if you know anything about me, you know that I hold music very dear to my heart and I have memories attached to songs, and I use songs to speak for me when words cannot express how I feel.

Recently my husband shared with me a song by Will Hoge called "Strong". I am pretty darn positive it is written about my dad. As I listened to it, tears fell down my face because it resonated with me so much. And I couldn't help but think back to all those mornings my dad had to drive me into school because I was kicked off the school bus, and he gave me daily "lessons in life". Oh, you're probably thinking "What??? You got kicked off the school bus???" And well, yes. Yes, I did.

Back in the days of being a student, but before I had my driver's license, my sister and I rode the school bus. And I grew up with a sense of confident arrogance because when we were younger, all of my older cousins also rode the school bus with us, (We lived in the country, and it just so happened that much of my dad's side of the family lived in the same area.) I was taught to use my voice and to stand up for myself by my older cousins. What I hadn't learned, however, was when it was appropriate and how to use those words responsibly. Fast forward to my sophomore year in high school, still before I had a driver's license...and Francie and I had spent over a decade being picked up and dropped off at our driveway. Enter a new bus driver, who felt it was unfair that we should be dropped off at our driveway, when she could drop us off 200 yards away at the neighbor boys house. Which meant as she drove off, we walked on the shoulder of a country road with bus exhaust blowing in our faces.

Here's where the story really gets spicy! One day, I just had ENOUGH. I told France we were NOT getting off the bus unless we were dropped off at OUR driveway! Poor Francie! She just sat there and was like "well, that's my older sister, I'm going to do what she thinks is best!" So, I stood my ground. I refused to get off. I told the bus driver we would only get off the bus when it was our bus stop that we had used for a decade and that I did not think she was right to drive us with us behind the bus. (Truth be told, I am pretty sure I told her she was stupid. Whoops.) As a result, she made Francie and I stay on the bus the entire bus route, which took well over an hour to complete. By the time she looped back around to our house, our dad was waiting for us at the bottom of the driveway, and even though she ended up kicking me off the bus, our dad let her know he was NOT happy with her!

So as punishment, my dad had to take me to school for perhaps the rest of the school year. There were a lot of early morning "chats" on the way to school (I was a cheerleader and we had early morning practices, which worked out well since he went to work early!) Most of these mornings we would listen to country music, and my dad would go into one of his "lessons on life" (I cannot tell you them all right now, as I am writing a book about the lessons, and naturally I'll want to save it all for your reading pleasure!) I will tell you, the one song that always takes me right back to the bench seat in my dad's blue and white Ford pick-up is the song called "The Walk" by Sawyer Brown. (Take a listen, watch the video! sawyer brown the walk - YouTube) While the song is singing to and about a boy with his dad, it could just as easily be me. My dad always reminded me that he did the same things (sort of) that I had done, and that someday I would have children that would do similar things. It's the circle of life, but we all walk the same walk and you have to learn to do what's right so you can help the next generation do what's right.

That was 32 years ago now. And still so fresh in my mind. I find myself often using these memories as some of my biggest thanks, especially when using my gratitude journal. My dad is now 72 years old, and every single day I give thanks that I have him (and my mom) in my life, still offering advice and being there. But when it comes to my dad, my biggest thanks are the lessons I heard on my way to school, and how I really don't regret not getting off that bus. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

This song "Strong" by Will Hoge WILL HOGE - STRONG (official music video) - YouTube will show you exactly who my dad is, and how I see him. I am so grateful for him. And I'm grateful that the circle of life continues. I have two sons. They have been blessed by hearing most of the "Lessons in LIfe". And my oldest son, Luke, well, his best friend has always been grandpa (my dad), and I can't think of a better man for Luke to look up to.

Luke and Grandpa, best friends from the beginning to forever

Take a listen to the songs I shared with you today. Let me know if you like them. And please, let Coach Francie and I know who YOU are grateful for in your life! You can always find us at or on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok! We would love to interact with you!

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