It’s no surprise that Husband’s schedule can get crazy. We have had seasons (and will have seasons) in which we may go several weeks –or months – without a real weekend together. And often when he is home for a weekend, we have such a long list of chores and errands that it’s not relaxing at all.
So when the opportunity came up for us to have a weekend away together, we jumped right on it!
For any couple, quality time together is important. For any couple with children, quality time is important and rare. But for a couple in this touring business, quality time is an important, rare and precious gift!
Here are a few hints and tips that we found helpful in planning this weekend away:
- Save your per diem money when and if you can so you have “extra cash” to spend on a nice hotel, nice dinner out, or just shopping while you’re away.
- Use Priceline.com to book your hotel and “name your own price.” This is super easy if you’re familiar with the location of your getaway, and you can really save! We saved over 50%. I know I sound like a commercial, but save where you can, right?
- Discuss how much you both expect to plan. I am much more of a planner than Husband is, and I like an agenda. Be up front with each other about whether this is a relaxing get away or a planned, structured vacation.
- Don’t knock the idea of being a tourist in your hometown. You can save on gas and travel expense if you just go stay in another area of your town. Remember that our husbands travel a lot, and so the idea of staying around town may be appealing to them. I guarantee there is more to do than you realize just in your own backyard!
- Make time just to have fun! Remember that this time away together is a REAL treat and take advantage!
Here’s hoping that Husband and I will get just what we need from this special weekend away together!
Any Road Widow can tell you that this is no easy gig. Our significant others are on the road. A lot. And they miss a lot at home . Sometimes they miss things and it’s a bummer: like a wedding or a first step or family stopping through town. And sometimes they miss things and they’re probably glad to miss them: like a sick baby or cleaning the house. But the point is that they miss life and we miss them. Often we women left behind are overlooked in the grand scheme. Rarely to people see a tour bus and think “I wonder who the passengers on that bus left behind to go be on the road?” nor do people attend a concert and think about the families of the band and crew. But we’re here, back home, holding down the fort.
Late last week, Chris B and I said bye to our new-daddy husbands and saw them off on their first run of 2011. And later that night, the artist they work with dedicated a facebook status to us – the road widows, the wives and fiances and girlfriends left behind. And that status meant more to me than I can explain! Not every band becomes a family, but we are blessed to work with a group that truly cares about each other from the artist to the crew to the band to their families. And it’s a beautiful thing!
So maybe no one thinks of the bass player’s wife or the lighting guy’s fiance when they attend a concert. But sometimes the artists think of the families, and that is the kind of gesture that makes the hard days worth it!
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 pound sirloin strips (I used stir fry beef)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 small cloves (about 1 tbsp) garlic
- 1 bag fresh spinach
- 1 package mushrooms (optional)
- 1 can cream mushroom soup
- 1 cup water
- 1 can diced Italian tomatoes
- black pepper
- fettuccine pasta
Cook the beef in a small amount of vegetable oil over medium heat until almost cooked through. Remove beef from pan and cook onion and garlic over medium-low heat, until onion is tender. Add mushrooms and cook 1-2 minutes. Add spinach and cover on medium-low heat. Cook until spinach is wilted. Add soup, water and tomatoes and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low/simmer, and return beef to pot. Season generously with black pepper. Cook on low for 15-20 minutes or until beef is cooked through. Cook pasta according to package directions and serve florentine over pasta.
Difficulty level: Easy/moderate
Chris B and I thought it may be fun to share recipes on this blog…for when we’re cooking for girlfriends while the men are away…for when we’re cooking a welcome home meal when the men return…or just because! We welcome suggestions from you all (you can email us on the contact page) or share your comments after you cook the meals and let us know what you think! Here is the first of what we hope will be a recipe series.
Crockpot Fajitas. This is one of the EASIEST recipes ever!
- 1 bag frozen Tyson fajita chicken
- 2 bags pepper stirfry (I use Birds Eye)
- 1 packet fajita seasoning
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp lime juice
- fajita size tortillas
- black beans or mushrooms (optional)
- garnish: salsa, cheese, sour cream (optional)
Place chicken in crockpot/slow cooker. Dump in the fajita seasoning over the chicken and then the peppers and remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours and enjoy! [And may I recommend the Slow Cooker Liners? Available on the ziploc baggie aisle, these have changed my life!]
Serves: 6-8, depending on appetite (makes about 12-16 fajitas)
Difficulty Level: EASY (beginner)
In general, I am not a flexible person. I am not good with last-minute changes and I do not like disruption to my routine. I’m Type A like that! I knew when I married Husband that he was not as scheduled and rigid as I am, and I thought that would be a good balance. Little did I know that his go-with-the-flow spirit would lead him down the road to touring for a living, which requires flexibility. And not just flexibility on his part, but on the entire family of anyone on the road.
As any of your Road Widows know, the tour schedule is always subject to change last minute! Bus call can move from midnight to noon with just an email. A show can be added to an already exhausting run if the offer is just right. And Husband being “in town” does not always means he’s “home” (if there is an in-town event or rehearsal, etc).
I can’t blame any artist for rearranging the schedule. Heck, it’s Husband’s job. When the artist tells him to be at the bus, he’s at the bus! But I can say that this schedule – or lack thereof – has taught me a lot about my rigidity (and how I need to let it go!).
And now as we expect our first child, a daughter, in just a matter of a few weeks, I can look at the schedule and all that I have learned about patience, flexibility, and going with the flow and be thankful that my husband does what he does for a living. I do think that the touring madness has made me a little more prepared for what’s ahead: a complete and total lack of control over my routine!
And so I mean it when I say that every aspect of touring, no matter how frustrating or inconvenient it may feel, does have a bright side. Sometimes it just takes another (bigger) life change to bring the bright side to light!