What should have been a light-hearted weekend up in Tallahassee with Megs turned dark instead. Meg's birthday was the middle of the week, two days before our wedding anniversary (we used to scandalize Megs when she was younger by telling folks she was born two days before we were married - then wait for her to glare at us and clear up birth-before-marriage by saying we were married two days short of four years before Megs was born).
It started with the terror story out of Norway on Friday and continued with Amy Winehouse's death on Saturday.
When my wife and I first heard of the unfolding horror in Norway I thought it might have come from operatives loyal to Libya for Norway's participation in the Nato operation against Libya. It later turned out that it was home-grown terror, similar to the Oklahoma City bombing of 2005. And then the real horror of the shootings at the youth retreat on Utoya Island, just north of Oslo started to come through and it left a cold pit in the center of my stomach.
We found out about Amy Winehouse mid-day Saturday when our oldest daughter called to give us the news after she'd heard about it from her friend in Gainesville. Megs, the wife and I were at a local Tallahassee restaurant called Hopkins' Eatery in the Publix shopping center on Monroe when we got the news.
Winehouse's death reminds me of two others, Janis Joplin and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Janis was from my own rock-and-roll youth, while Stevie was born just a year later than I was. I love all three artists. The fact that both women died when they were 27 from drug-related causes makes me think of both my girls. My girls are wonderfully normal and have yet to celebrate their 27th. It would be the wildest bit of perverse circumstance if the same thing were happen to my girls, but the events surrounding Janis and Amy give me pause none the less.
Unlike other weekends spent in Tallahassee, this weekend was spent mechanically, and seemed to go by in a blur. I can't speak for anyone else but my mind wasn't quite there, although my body did the mechanical work it was supposed to do. I'm supposed to travel up this coming weekend one more time to help Megs move everything and close out the original lease. Maybe there'll be enough time to do something memorable.