My wife, Kim, has been wanting to see Loretta Lynn in concert for nearly forever.
Even as a little girl, Kim has had a desire to hear the iconic country singer in person.
And it looked like it could happen late last year. Lynn was scheduled to perform at The Alabama Theater in North Myrtle Beach last October. So Kim, who knew I wasn't a huge country music fan, asked me — with crocodile tears in her eyes — if it was OK to get tickets.
Let's back up for a minute. About 30 years ago, when I really didn't care for country music, we went to Nashville to visit my youngest brother, Scott, who was working as a nurse at Vanderbilt. Kim, naturally enough, wanted to go to the Grand Ole Opry, having never been before and figuring this was probably a one-time opportunity.
OK, I said, thinking I could endure the Opry for two hours of twang and still make my wife happy. So we went.
And it turned out to be something of a life-changing event — for me. Although there were no big name stars that night, I readily came to appreciate the musicianship and the talent of the artists who were there. I came to appreciate Goo Goo Clusters and Martha White flour. It was incredible. Within weeks, I was listening to Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Martina McBride and Kathy Mattea, with a little Mary Chapin Carpenter thrown in for good measure.
I had broadened my horizons. Duets with Patty Loveless and Vince Gill could make me cry. We went to see Martina in concert in Roanoke and the opening act was a relatively unknown child performer named LeAnn Rimes, who majestically sang "Blue." I once scored front-row seats for Alison Krauss and Union Station in Greensboro.
Fast forward to now.
So, sure. Go ahead and order tickets for Loretta Lynn. But do it now, because she's like in her mid-80s (85, actually). I heard that Loretta still put on a good show, that she mostly sat when she sang and told lots of stories. I can always listen to a good storyteller, especially from a Hall of Famer.
Kim bought the tickets. All we had to do was wait.
And wait. And wait.
October came, and so did Hurricane Matthew, who arrived about the same time as the scheduled show, which had to be postponed. Oddly enough, Kim and I both have it in our heads that the October show was actually a rescheduling from a previous booking, although we're not quite sure. But we think so.
Anyway, the rescheduled date was for February of this year, falling on the same weekend that we had reserved for a trip to Asheville. But, hey, this was Loretta, and she wasn't getting any younger. We made our plans.
But, then, that show was postponed because it was Grammy Awards weekend and Loretta had to be there. So she was rescheduled again, this time for two weeks ago.
We quickly rearranged our own schedules to see her in concert. Then, on the day we were to leave for the coast, I got an email from some friends who were going to the show as well, and were already at the beach. The email was only four words: "She fell. Show cancelled."
We left for the beach anyway just to get away. But we did stop at the Alabama Theater to find out about their refund policy. It turns out that Loretta had suffered a slight stroke, but fortunately, she's on the mend. Everybody is optimistic the show will go on at a future date. We're holding on to our tickets.
I don't know if there's a life lesson in here, or what. Three postponements — maybe four — seems to be bucking the odds. Life is strange. There are no promises. You can't always get what you want.