It’s maddening, I tell you. To sit at a desk in front of computer screens day after day when you know you were destined for more. In a tiny office in Nashville, Tennessee I am physically confined. Yet, my mental escape is streaming Goodnight, Texas; The Civil Wars; Old Crow Medicine Show through my work computer. Everyday I think of how short our lives are and that mine is just getting shorter and it saddens me. This isn’t me. This isn’t where I want to be. I have passions!
I also had an epiphany Saturday night. Ok, so maybe I’m not destined for greatness but I deserve to be happy. I was driving home from a Christmas family gathering in Kentucky when I entered into my current home state of Tennessee and had the idea of threading all my passions together into one rope. However, instead of creating a noose and hanging myself with it because of how void I feel my creative and giving self is, I would fashion this this rope into a ladder and climb out of this hell I’ve created in my mind.
You see, I had all my passions right there in my car on Highway 25 Saturday night. My two boys, 7 and 4. They’re father passed away last year and I have them 24/7. My mind’s urge to purge all my feeling and thoughts through written or spoken word (with children and the responsibilities that come with single parenting, there’s a lot to purge) and a bottle of bourbon. All the while listening to my downloaded modern bluegrass, Americana, folksy music.
My brother and sister-in-law live outside of Bardstown and it seemed all too perfect to buy a new bottle of bourbon from a drug store (you can’t do that in Tennessee) while picking cough medicine for my oldest to quiet his cold symptoms on the ride home. No, I wasn’t drinking the bourbon and driving. I was just thinking of the day.
I left Kentucky for Tennessee when I was 20. As much as I love Tennessee I still adore my Kentucky roots. It’s like living a country song. One I’ve been denying for a long time. I’m Southern. I have an accent. I’m a little more country than I used to like to admit to but I’m learning to accept this.
This past summer when desiring to move homes and schools for my oldest I entertained the idea of returning to Kentucky. I just couldn’t. I love Tennessee! The people, the culture, the heritage. Would you believe I bought cowboy boots last year? And that I like wearing them! I moved the boys out of a subdivision and onto a dead end road where from the front of the house you can see a creek that runs off Old Hickory. You see, I WILL have a lake house one day and I’m slowly getting us closer. But thinking about that fact alone: moving the boys and myself off the beaten path to a house on septic (OMG!), near a creek, by a farm with horses, dealing with mice, snakes, turkeys and deer, I have to admit it, I am country. I’m my father’s strong-willed, stubborn daughter and a lover of country music. I’d rather drink bourbon by a fire, inside or out, at my house than drink red wine in any restaurant in LA.
I hadn’t tried Bulleit Bourbon, officially on its own, so I bought a bottle. I skipped the rye as I’m not really a fan of the taste and if I’m spending that much money on a bottle when I could be putting the money straight into my boy’s college funds, dammit, I’m going to like what I’m drinking. I choose to drink bourbon on the rocks. I feel the slow melt of the ice changes the bourbon as you sip it. Which is fine for me because I don’t want to get schnockered off of one glass anyway as I am usually tasting bourbons at night when my children are about to be put into their beds. As with any strong alcoholic drink I usually tend to “taste” only the first few sips anyway. After that I tend to get a little buzz and my tongue and throat are used to the subtle burn and I can’t really discern much more. So my formal review of Bulleit Bourbon is as follows:
Pulling an old-fashioned glass for the first time from my “official” liquor cabinet I poured from my first bottle (to be) stored in it, the Bulleit. Nose: it’s Tennessee in December, it’s 26 degrees today and was 66 yesterday, so of course I have a cold like everyone else and I couldn’t smell anything. Palate: a little more of a burn than usual, but this also be because of the cold as my throat was scratchy, but it’s warmth and sting reminded me I’ll probably feel better real soon and that was exactly what one needs when you have a cold and just returned home after a 6 hour car ride with 2 kids. Hints of oak and spice? Probably, I couldn’t really tell as I was trying to remove a Power Ranger from its packaging to appease one child while telling the other one that I’ll set up his new Play-Doh set after I was finished freeing the Red Ranger. A great tip for parents: having bourbon on hand when children play with Play-Doh in your house is a must! You’ll want a glass after you discover the Play-Doh has been ground into the master bedroom’s carpet after they swore to you it was all put up. Finish: I was definitely more relaxed and ended up happily pretending to eat 7 Play-Doh cupcakes before telling the boys it was bedtime and that that much sugar and bourbon would only leave me diabetic in a few years, forcing them to drive me to the endocrinologist every three months when I’m too old to do so myself. (I’m not even going to tell them about the visits to the gastroenterologist about my liver.) On a sober note: I’ll keep it in my cabinet as its popular right now and guests will enjoy it. It doesn’t replace my favorite, which I’ll divulge at another time, but I may use it for mixing as it is a step up from cheaper bourbons and whiskeys.
The only thing smoother than Tennessee whiskey? The bald tires on the car of this bourbon-loving momma after her sitter arrives and my ass floors it out of the driveway.