There is too much to say about this song. On the surface it is almost a real estate listing. It is a simple concrete description of my house and home. I wrote it as a souvenir for my children as they leave for college and career. It is a reminder of who they are, where they come from, that there is something worth sacrificing for and preserving, that somewhere they are they are known well and loved deeply. It is this awareness that will strengthen them in the difficulty they will find ahead. Family is everything.  Keep Reading →

I never expected that one of my sons would want to be a soldier. I do not know why it was such a surprise. Looking back through old photo albums, I can see that he was always in uniform. From Superman PJs to Scout uniforms to the camouflage shirts, canteens and cap guns, I guess it should have been obvious. It is just that neither my husband nor I had any military in our backgrounds. When my son announced that he wanted to attend WestPoint I secretly hoped that he would not get in. It is terrifying for a mother to imagine her child in battle. But he did get in. It wasn’t long before we loaded up the 15 passenger van and made the drive from Nashville to check the place out. Entering the Academy we had to pass through a rather sobering checkpoint at a gate called Stony Lonesome. As a songwriter I thought: “Wow, what a cool sounding name!” As a mother I thought: “… Oh…no…!” I knew there would be a lot to contemplate in that name, and I knew it had to be a song. Stony Lonesome is a mother’s reflection on having a soldier son. Keep Reading →

A few years back my firstborn left home for college. It should have been great news for me- he had worked hard and gained admission to his top choice school- a happy ending to 18 years of worry and care. So how come whenever I found myself alone all I could do was cry? The other mothers at the school kept acting like they were SO relieved to have it over with. What?!

It was not like I had an empty nest. I had seven more at home and a new baby boy born a few weeks after the first one left. But it seemed like saying goodbye to the first one changed everything about what I had been doing for the last eighteen years. And it seemed like I could no longer relate to chirpy and optimistic young mothers who thought that if they did everything just right, their children would never have to suffer the slings and arrows of real life. I was stunned speechless. I could no longer write. I was in over my head. You pour yourself into your child for eighteen years, there is a big going away party, then silence. I was glad I didn’t know about this part when I got into the whole thing. And now I had to do it all over again, knowing what I know. Keep Reading →