{Octoberfest is my blog event in which I attempt to write every day during the month of October as a pre-cursor to Nanowrimo in November. Welcome to the insanity.}

Whenever I listen to Steven Curtis Chapman I am instantly transported to a car. The white Chrysler van with the single sliding door, the other two mini vans my family owned, the eggplant (ugly) truck that my dad traded his mid-life crisis car for, the various Hondas we’ve had. They all blasted his music at sometime or another.

Every time we moved as a family we played “The Great Adventure”. We played it loud and screeched the lyrics until we were hoarse, getting the lyrics wrong as often as we got them right. It was always the start of our next great adventure. I’m not sure when it became tradition, actually. I just know it happened.

“Signs of Life” was the song that was playing the first time we, as a family unit, saw my oldest sister a little toasted after drinking one too many strawberry daiquiris during a memorable Fourth of July. With four of us squeezed into the back of the truck, going to watch the fireworks from the mountains of Colorado, she burst into tears. “This is such a sad song!” We all paused before laughter bubbled up.

“What Now” was my song in high school, when that was my catch phrase. It was also the song that got me through the long, lonely nights of my freshman year during the fights with my flatmate. “Speechless” was another that helped me through that dark time. I would play them as I drove alone in my little red Dodge Neon (the little engine that couldn’t) and sing with tears in my eyes.

My mom and I went to a SCC concert shortly after “All Things New” came out and saw him perform so many of my favorite childhood songs. It was a pretty great night. We sang songs the whole way home.

My favorite song is probably “Dive” though. We came up with motions one day in that ugly truck with my dad. He’s so serious a lot of the time, I cling to the memories when he was just silly with us. “The river’s deep, the river’s wide, the river’s water is alive” was belted as we gestured wildly, startling the drivers on either side of us.

Now, in China, I don’t have a car. I just close my eyes and imagine that I’m back in those protected spaces. It’s the perfect bit of nostalgia in my day.


One thought on “Nostalgia

  1. Dad says:

    So, a few thoughts from Dad:

    1. When I think of the amazing singing Thorsen Girls, I am transported back to dish duty…and broadway/Disney songs

    2. YOU were the reason we bought the white minivan with 1 door!! (And your mother DIDN’T want to be seen in a station wagon, but we couldn’t afford a full-sized van, and they weren’t as safe…)

    3. It really was a joy to encourage the silliness in you girls by breaking “out of character” and starting the silliness. I’m glad that left a lasting memory with you. I have also thoroughly enjoyed our “Chicago” moments of screeching, and our “Switchfoot” moments as well. We can belt them out with the best of them, and no, we never let the actual lyrics slow us down from enjoying the moment!

    4. “The Great Adventure” history began with us backing out of the driveway at 9090 Bracelet Dr. in Lake Worth to begin our military life in North Carolina! You were there and you sang, but you don’t remember because you were just 3 years old. This had such an impression on Colleen Thorsen and I that we had to repeat it when moving to FL, CO, OH, CO, and VA. And now our adventure continues back in OH.

    5. I never believed my truck was ugly until an unfortunate series of young bucks tried to destroy it by generating full heads of steam and trying to slam themselves into it (presumably rather than to continue to live looking at such an ugly machine). After the third attempt, a pattern emerged…

    6. You may live in China, but still the River’s deep, the River’s wide, the River’s water is alive, so, sink or swim, keep diving in! Love your recollections of growing up. Thank you for making my day (tear in eye).


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