“If you’ve got the money, honey, I’ve got the time.”
– Lefty Frizzell
BY SHEENA BARNETT
“Didn’t I say I’d take you to places you’ve never been before?”
I think that’s my mama’s favorite thing to say.
She says it when we get lost on our adventures. I hear it a lot, because she says it a lot, because we get lost a lot.
My mama, Kathie Barnett, has spent my entire life taking me to new places and introducing me to new things.
When I was a baby, she introduced me to her favorite music, especially songs by Willie Nelson and Hank Williams. My lullabies were “There’s a Tear in My Beer,” “If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the Time,” “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” “Funny How Time Slips Away.”
When I was a kid, we’d go on vacations to exotic locales like Memphis and Florida, with Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Doobie Brothers, Jackson Browne and the Eagles as our soundtrack.
We’d always run to the gas station before we left, because she was always on empty – hence her favorite tune, “Running on Empty.”
When I was a teenager, Mom encouraged me to break out of my nerdy little shell and run for office in high school clubs. She pushed me off to college and gently encouraged me to run for editor of the Ole Miss paper. She thought this was also the proper time to introduce me to Al Green.
Now that I’m grown, we’re still going on adventures, and coming home with plenty of stories to share.
Take that picture that accompanies this column, for example. That was taken on my 26th birthday three years ago in Savannah, Ga., just before we took a river boat cruise and just after I’d taken a nasty fall out of the shower. See? We always have a story to share.
Sometimes our adventures are big ones, like the trips to Savannah; other times they’re shorter, like trips to nearby towns to “go cemeterying,” as we call it.
No matter where we go, or what we do, we always have a good time and we’re always singing along to something on the radio.
We may get lost on our journeys, but my mom’s taught me to shrug it off and consider it a learning experience.
You see the point I’m making here: She taught me to try everything, to live fearlessly. If something doesn’t work out quite like I wanted, learn from it and keep rolling.
She also passed on her particularly awesome taste in music, but that’s the secondary point.
Or is it?
Either way, my mama – known as Kat to everybody, except me – is my best friend, my hero, my fellow adventurer and music lover.
Here’s to the places we’ve gone before, the roads we’ve yet to travel, the words we sing by heart and the songs we’ve yet to hear.