Lucy Jensen

One of the lasting gifts from the long months of Covid have been the rescheduled events and concerts that we now get to enjoy. If you have attended an event recently, you will likely have noticed that there are 10 other competing events on the same day. I’m not even exactly sure when I received a Mother’s Day gift of these particular concert tickets; but I do know they had been kicking around in the dust for a while now.

This weekend it was actually going to happen! No more cancellations, no further disappointments. Without even a paper mask in place and no one having to show proof of vax — a huge difference from the last concert we attended in the same spot — we were headed to the Shoreline Amphitheater to see the incredibly talented Chris Stapleton.

No matter it wasn’t especially convenient with my work schedule, my daughter’s boyfriend’s recovery from kidney stone surgery and my daughter’s nursing program. We were going and we were going to enjoy it. It seemed as if the rest of the world had a similar idea this past Saturday, as we crawled up to Northern Cali with the vehicle traveling masses.

Getting to go out freely in public and breathe each other’s air space is still a luxury that most no longer take for granted as we used to, though truthfully, I rather miss the lighter freeways. These days you don’t even have to book a Covid test for flight clearance back to the U.S. And what a gift is that. The gifts, they just keep cascading back into our lives post-pandemic.

I’m not a fan of late-night driving home with the melee after events, so we had booked to stay overnight up near the venue, and we were going to enjoy the heck out of that too. With lunch on the way and a nice refreshing Moscow Mule drink when we got there, the glad rags came out in the form of cowboy attire, hats and boots and we cruised over to the concert.

How joyous it was to be relaxing amidst music-loving people, enjoying the starry skies and the great sounds. Getting out of the parking lot with the rest of the world was less fun and certainly less coordinated, but we made it at a snail’s pace, and had a good laugh along the way there too.

Going out and doing fun things makes the worries of daily life slip away for a while and takes me back to my youth when we lived to go and see bands every weekend, without a worry in the world. I still love live music and, one day, plan to publish a diary of my musical escapades from London town and beyond… one of my many projects in the works. There is an escape in live music that you can’t find inside the comfort of your own car or on your dining room vinyl (which has its own charm for sure).

I’ve even booked to go and see Elton John again — that will be the second time this year; that’s how good a show it is — once in a lifetime for sure and one that even drew tears. This time is going to be closer to home at least. It was fun traveling to Arkansas to see Sir Elton, but you can’t do that every time. He added the dates at Levi Stadium, and I couldn’t not go. Whenever a music hero comes to town, that is a must see — even if I go by myself and I have no issue with that, as my family well knows.

I remember my sister Rosie telling me she wasn’t going to buy me stuff anymore for birthdays and Christmas; she would buy me an experience. I had no idea at the time how addictive that was going to become and how I have now passed it on to her niece who is already doing the same for others. Years ago, Rosie bought tickets for us to go and see Rihanna in San Jose, closely followed by Adele. She bought Coldplay tickets and hotel rooms to accompany the tickets.

I do find it strange that I can remember these gifts as I can almost no others. And now I do the same thing. I will buy my son a round of golf for his birthday and my daughter hotel rooms in Las Vegas for the Cowboy Christmas celebration. I bought Jason Aldean concert tickets for my girlfriend and her husband’s wedding present, and then I invited myself to go along with them. Since this was in Vegas, I had to naturally make a few days of it and so their wedding gift became my mini vacation.

These gifts of experience can be a benefit all the way around and I highly recommend them. And here we are, going to see Chris Stapleton finally with tickets from Mother’s Days of yore, a gift from my daughter to see her favorite singer, where she naturally included herself and her boyfriend to go along in the invite process.

I think we will always do this — from theater tickets to concerts, to adventures far and wide. We all have too much stuff in the world and mostly people will buy themselves whatever they want in any case. Give the gift of time and experience. Spend happy times at these events with loved ones. That’s the best advice I can give you to live your best life in this short life.

My husband and I will be celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary at a preseason 49ers game and how lucky are we. Firstly, that we made it to nearly a quarter century together and secondly that we are still spry enough to want to go to a game and young enough at heart to make it happen. Carpe diem, seize the day, make it happen. I wish I had always seen the world that way.

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Soledad columnist Lucy Jensen may be reached at [email protected].


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