Authors’ note: We’ll be splitting up our Nashville experience into our personal stories and our musical experience here. We have a lot to say about our time here as musicians, so we’re going to save that for an entirely separate blog post. Until then, Days 11 – 14 will reference moments from our upcoming Nashville post, but focus on our non-performance moments. 

Good morning, storm! Ugh. Can I please hit snooze on life? Thank goodness for the best uncle in the world, uncle Caanan!

While we tried to sleep the Funk off from our first Nashville experience, Rudy was up and raring to go around 8:00am. He had persuaded his uncle (barely had to try is more like it!) to take him for donuts in the morning. So, Caanan grabbed Rudes and the two of them took off for an early morning adventure. 2 hours later, they rolled back in with stories of video games, movie characters, stealth warrior moves and a box of donuts and coffee! Caanan and Kris had to head back to Kentucky, and we were gonna cruise south to Huntsville, AL to stay with our friend Saunders, so we didn’t have too much time. But we did want to enjoy the brief bit of morning we had together.

Even with a good night’s sleep, coffee, breakfast and conversation, I couldn’t seem to wake up. I took my bag of stuff and a change of clothes to the bathroom and when I came out it was POURING RAIN! Drops the size of quarters were coming down! Warm and heavy, the Tennessee storm had its own way of making sure I was awake and telling us to GTFO. Yes, we read you loud and clear, Nashville, we don’t much care for you either. We quickly packed up, helped Caanan and Kristine break down their trailer, said a soggy goodbye, and split. It wasn’t til 45 min down the road that the tears came and I realized we didn’t get any pictures with my brother and Kris and I missed him so…

“Hey Man, it’s Saunders”:

It’s the way Saunders has begun every single phone message to my husband for almost 20 years since they met back in their college days. With a Memphis drawl, the warmest eyes and a smile that is merely a gateway for the stream of esoteric trivia always trying to escape (albeit very slowly), John Saunders, excuse me, “Reverend” Dr. John Saunders, Professor of Communications, officiator for the infamous Fredeen/Reems-Terrell union of 2011, maker of cigar-Box guitars, Disney encyclopedia extraordinaire, and, only as recently as this trip, honorary Uncle and friend to the child, “Saunders” (as we refer to him) had offered his home to the traveling Fredeen’s for the next couple days. And we GLADLY accepted. Fully standing behind his southern hospitality as the old adage “my home is your home”, Saunders gave us the tour and then let us be. We started laundry, vomited our luggage, toys and instruments all over the place, put our food in the fridge, and moved in for two days. It was glorious!! He took Rudy into his movie library of literally every Disney film ever made, and handed Rudy the remote. He may as well have said, “I understand you better than anyone. We’ll be friends forever!” Rudy must have felt the connection, because later at dinner, Rudy stopped everything to get up and give Saunders a hug. You can’t bullshit children. They’ve got no time for that. Not that Saunders tries to BS anyone. But, Rudy appreciated his candor and it was really lovely to see my husband’s past and present locked in a 4 year old “hug bond”.

The whole night was perfect. We got stuff done, had a wonderful home-cooked meal, Saunders’ “Mexican Chicken”, sipped some bourbon and, as the boys caught up, I silently slipped away to get into jammies and go to bed. Right before I turned out the light, Rudy came up behind me, took a deep inhale of my butt and said, “Mmmmm. Smells like fresh owls.” and then just walked away. My peaceful moment shattered, I was left feeling completely violated, burst into laughter and climbed into bed…apparently smelling of fresh owls.

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