Friday, August 12, 2022

All My Rowdy Memories

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: Hank ~ obstreperous ~ gin ~ regret ~ helpful

It was submitted by:


Hank Williams Jr spun round the old record player. She didnt much care for the man, but it was one of her father's records. Hearing some ol' Bocephus took her back to a time when things were both simpler and more difficult all at once. His raucous outlaw style was perhaps the most helpful vehicle for surrounding herself with her dad.

She could see him, drunk and obstreperous belting out "tell me, Hank, why do ya drink? Why do you roll smoke? Whyyy must you love out the songs that you wrote?" Family tradition was a pretty good answer to why she was stretched out on the couch down to the last of a cheap bottle of Canadian whisky and high enough to know she had hours to go before she'd be able to go to sleep without the room spinning.

And that was ok. There would be plenty of time for regret tomorrow when the hangover inevitably hit. She wasn't 19 and fresh faced and anymore. The drink would hit her like a mack truck come morning. And a shot of gin first thing, a little hair of the dog so to speak, would work some magic too.

But for now, she had hank and a buzzing body and all the emotions she finally let herself feel after all this time to keep her company.

The last few years she'd really let herself lean into the complicated picture she held of her dad, reveling in the tendency towards loud chaos when he was drinking shine, the music, the outlaw shit, the hardworking blue collar man who was, in all honesty, probably doing his fucking best all things considered and softening towards the aggression and temper and hurt. He didn't break the cycle of hurt and abuse he'd endured. Couldn't, she guessed. She knew how hard it was herself being a mother now with a loud and opinionated kid that had taken on her stubbornness and smartass mouth. It was difficult beyond measure to shed the anger and quick temper like an exoskeleton that didn't fit her anymore. It took effort every single day of her life. It took putting down the alcohol for the most part a lot time ago. It took a lot of forgiving. Had he been able to forgive? Probably not. It took him dying and the distance that comes after years of that loss to forgive. Death broke his cycle. Finally. Death made room for a softened heart where none could have existed before it, and he hadn't had that luxury with his own parents.

"Play me the songs about a ramblin' man put old Jim Beam in my hand
Cause you know I still love to get drunk and hear country sounds"

Here she was belting out the old tunes herself, teary eyed, loving the memory of the man she couldn't understand when he was still living. Life is strange that way. And music too. She had no doubts that the music they'd shared is what started her down this road. Spinning his records, finding a copy of the Cyndi lauper album she'd loved so much as a kid still among his collection she'd inherited, allowing herself to embrace songs she'd hated just because her father had loved them...She couldn't listen to country now without thinking of him. She'd even made playlists for tunes she knew he'd love and played them on nights she felt like she needed a dad she could still send a song suggestion to, who'd send one back... A dad she could buy vinyl for who wasn't buried at the church he hated at her age. Those playlists felt almost like a hug.

But tonight was about old times and letting herself cry for the both of them.

"Hank let's talk about your daddy tell me how your mama loved that man
Well just break out a bottle hoss I'll tell you bout the driftin' cowboy band
We won't talk about the habits just the music and the man"


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

On the Border

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver


Part-time Working Hockey Mom


  1. It's interesting, the things we're able to begin to let go of in grief, knowing we've made it past the part where those things can create fresh wounds.

  2. Wow, Jenniy, this is amazing. All the feeling!
    I am in awe!