I'm back in the US.  I still live out of a suitcase.  Its amazing how little you need.  I often wonder what it would feel like to just say, "well, I have lived a full year without all the stuff in my storage unit.  I'm just gonna let it all go.  Close my eyes and burn it to the ground or donate it.  Whichever comes first.  But I don't.  Stuff owns me.  And the joy I feel when sunlight newly dances onto places I didn't even know I had in my house, is just beautiful.  We recently bought a second rental property.  An adorable little house to rent out. Remember that story about saving to buy a house?    Let me know in the comments and if not,  I'll send it to you!  

Well, it happened.  And I was so quickly on to the next thing that I didn't even take in the moment.  I didn't look at all the hard work we had to do to make this a reality.  It could be possibly because I was in Barcelona for 2 months rehearsing with my new amazing bandmates and fabulous & insanely talented Shakira.  No matter what the challenge, I still looked forward to working with each of them when would head down to the lobby in the mornings/afternoons, whenever it may be.  Whenever.  Wherever.  (Sorry. I had to).  Sometimes tour rehearsals just end up being social and science experiments.  How long can you enclose a hundred people in one massive building before they start strangling each other?  It didn't happen.  Not for me, anyway.  What lovely people.

I still feel like my 7 years with Taylor should be a book.  Or even a series.  The guys could all write their own too.  The books could all connect with conversations we have had with each other, from each person's point of view, depending on which book you got. Who you were most a fan of.  You all have your favorites!  In my perfect world, that would happen.  How fun would that be?!  I had to at least get the idea out.  I feel like my 7 years on that tour is all still tightly crumpled into suitcases that I have never unpacked.  Sometimes I'm afraid if I wait too long, I'll just lose them all in some forgotten storage unit in my mind.  Right now,  our travels have been postponed.  I was lucky enough to come home for the time being and make a Thanksgiving dinner with my husband.  In an empty house.  On the floor.  With a box for a table.  A tiny candle as the centerpiece.  We decided it would be best for me to fly straight from Barcelona to Nashville to start getting the new house in order and ready to rent.  My husband and I bought this house sight unseen.  We were both out of town.  We trusted our people.  A lot.  It was amazing.  Everything I hoped.  And more.  

On the way back to Nashville, TN, USA, I connected in Jersey.  Hearing English chatter all around me broke my thoughtful silence.  It's pretty cool to be surrounded by strangers, all in a natural flow of foreign (to me) conversation.  I didn't understand a bit of it, and my mind was free to roam.  To think and not naturally take on the energy of everyone around me.  Here in Jersey, it was a sweet comfort I missed, but also a new "noise" after 2 months.  I took off for Nashville on the second flight, knowing I would walk into a completely foreign place that I somehow owned, and dig up an inflatable mattress and try to take it all in in the morning.  I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and walked into a wall.  The layout of last night's hotel room was not the same as this hotel.  House, place, whatever it was.  I cried.  A lot.  I missed my love.  I wanted to play a show again with a huge audience again, with an amazing artist again.  After working hard to have it ready for all of that.  Again.  I've never experienced that.  I thought about the mortgage.  The blanket I would need, feeling the 23 degrees outside.  What happened?  

When you tour, your life often just feels like you pressed "pause" until you return.  Not this time.  Things HAPPENED while I was gone.  Wrinkles.  Birthdays.  Road construction.  House flips.  Babies.  Friends dating and breaking up.  Lots.  It's the sacrifice you make.  The blessing was that little Thanksgiving feast on a cardboard box with "meu amante".  Re-acclimating to even being married.  Sharing the bed.  Sharing your thoughts.  Your food.  Your time.  The road can make me spoiled and selfish if I'm not careful.  Everything you want just about all the time.  Except time.  The sacrifice.  The thing you can't get back.  My friend Paul Sidoti told me a story about how Gene Simmons once came to a classroom to be a guest speaker on money.  He gave a dollar to each kid in the class and said, "you have one minute to tear that dollar into as many tiny pieces as possible".  They did it.  The minute passed.  "Time is up.  Now let me ask you, which of those things can you make back?  The time or the money"?  I think that's how it went.  I'll have to check.  But cool, eh?  Time is it. It's what we can't make back.  

We are now squatting in a gorgeous ocean-view home in Encinitas.  Grill, hot tub, beach cruisers.  Outdoor shower.  Tropical landscape for days.  If I don't like the other 2 bathrooms, I can hang out in the other one.  All 9 closets are full of my wardrobe.  Shoes and all.  Yep.  NINE.  The house is scheduled for demo and remodel soon.  I spilled bleach on the carpet the other day.  The wrecking ball won't mind.  It's kind of funny.  I could break every window in the house and put holes in the walls if I wanted to.  Well, I doubt that, but its kinda fun to think of how crazy fun you could go if it was gonna be knocked down anyway.  Right?!  Thoughts?  I can't bring myself to do it.  Our suitcases still hold our simple lives.  Our cars and air planes will take us on work trips.  There, we will again take our suitcases and make them our homes.  Our mobile Samsonite homes.  For now.  Someday I will have my own my own little home.  All in good time.