Sunday Column: On passion.

My husband has spent a great deal of our lives together being the guy, the calming force, the quite supporter behind my passions. He has been the man who uses his vacation from work to drive with me to a show in Nebraska.

He’s the first ears on a new song in the dark of our living room.

He’s the subject of my sunset photographs.

He’s the lifter of things that are too heavy for me to carry.

He’s the one that says, well why not, when I have another elaborate idea.

He’s there sorta half-sleeping at 2 am when I get in from a late night spent singing.

He’s the one who questions it when it needs questioning, applauds it when it needs applauding, feeds it when it needs feeding, sells it when it needs selling and shakes his head when I deserve it…

Because sometimes, even in a marriage, it’s all about boundaries…when to be there and when to leave some space…and how to tell which to chose.

This weekend the band and I had an awesome gig opening for North Dakota born singer and The Voice Contestant Kat Perkins at a concert in our capital city. It was something we’ve been looking forward to for months and a really good reason to wear my leather pants.

It turned out to be quite the evening, drawing thousands of people ready to support a couple North Dakota girls singing their hearts out under a beautiful sky. The guys nailed it, Kat was amazing in every way, the crowd warmed up the chilly air and I busted out some dance moves and managed to not fall on my face on the stage.

It was one of those gigs that was hard to describe. It was so much fun. There was so much energy. We were so happy to be up there on that stage doing what we love to do the most to a crowd that came to have fun.

Now I’ve managed to make singing a part of my career, and as jobs go, it’s not always bring your family to work day. But there are some gigs I can’t do myself, so I need to call in the troops to help sell CDs, make sure my fly is zipped, take some pictures and just generally be there for moral support because I might be, you know, a little nervous about the thousands of people…

When your office is a stage the best part is looking out and seeing the faces of the people who love you smiling back and singing along.

And in the case of Saturday, my bandmates giving their all, my Pops next to me playing harmonica, my mom selling T-shirts and CDs, my friends who drove for miles (one even hopped a plane) to be there to cheer me on and my husband out there snapping photos and ensuring I don’t forget to eventually get my gear from the stage to the car at the end of the night.

Anyway, the day after the show my weekly column was published. I sat down earlier that week and wrote it about the man who has stood behind my passions all these years, many times putting his own aside to make sure that I had someone in the audience, something to photograph, or someone at home who remembered to turn the porch light on…

Life is such a balancing act in so many ways. In our work we can lose ourself. In our passions we can become selfish. In our love we can become resentful.

My husband has a theory that marriage is all about doing everything you can to make the other person happy. Love is finding joy in other people’s joy.

It’s an easy concept but not one that’s always easily implemented. We all know this. We all argue and fight and huff about the little things that seem big at the time. Sock folding and dinner making and tracking mud in on the floor. And then there’s the big things, ones that seem unresolvable. We all have those too.

But this past month I have seen my husband take a breath a bit and decide to grab a hold of something he loves and sort of lose himself in it in order to find himself again.

Bow and arrow

I could go on about this now, about how when we live with someone we notice the shifts and changes, the ebbs and flows, the worry, but I won’t.

All I will say is that I would give a thousand nights like Saturday night if it were the only way to see that man do the things he loves and spend time being completely and utterly himself…the way he encourages me to be.

But I know it doesn’t work that way. I know my happiness is his too. And I just hope he knows it goes both ways…

Coming Home: Time to rekindle passions after long seasons of work
by Jessie Veeder
Forum Communications







“Sneeeek….Sneeeeeeeek….” “Shhhhhh…”

It’s hunting season here. Well, bow hunting season to start it off. So I’ve lost husband for the evenings from now until, well, I don’t know,  I must blank out when we talk about these things…I think until at least Christmas. But I could be wrong.

If you haven’t figured this out yet, I will tell you something about husband…he is a patient, patient man. So naturally, he is good with the whole bow hunting sport, which requires a lot of quiet, and sneaking, and waiting and analyzing animal patterns in the unpredictable fall weather. He is particularly enthused about the sport this season because:

  1. we are living in the deer’s backyard  and
  2. he saw some of those deer on a cow chasing ride the other day…and they had grown some really….big….horns….(or antlers, I think I am supposed to say antlers)

So this week husband has come home after a hard day’s work and…

….hello wife…goodbye wife…goodnight wife…

And the cycle continues.

Husband loves hunting season. And I love husband. So sometimes I go along.

Truth is I actually hunt too. With a gun. But it’s the kind of hunting that involves one of the men in my life helping quite a bit…help getting my license, lending me a gun, loading the gun, picking out my camouflage shirt and placing the blaze orange Elmer Fudd hat on my head (which, by the way is not my color) and shoving my once warm and cozy ass out of our backdoor and into the innocent, unsuspecting wilderness.

And for the record, I’m a damn good shot, no matter the outfit.

Proof with one of my bucks (and dad). I removed the blaze orange hat for photographic purposes.

But I love hunting. I do. I love traipsing around in the crisp air, treading lightly on the earth and blending in with my surroundings. Because in those moments (you know, when you resemble a tree) if you do it right, you really see it. When you are forced to be unbelievably still  (either by free will, or because husband continues to calmly “shush” you) and when your state is unobstructed by cell phones dinging, The Bachelor on television, or that damn laundry, you give yourself a gift really.

While you focus on the quiet part, you notice how the hawks circle, you spot a porcupine perched in a tree, you can hear the bumble bees swarming in a nearby patch of fall flowers, just hanging on tight to life before the winter sets in.  When you are paying attention to silence, you are also, thankfully, paying attention enough to not sit on that cactus, really hear the wind in the trees, and… oh look at those beautiful red fall leaves, and the geese, and the way the sun is setting, giving way to the moon…oh, I need my camera…

…beep, beep, click…


Oh, yeah. We’re hunting deer here…

When you remain completely still and don’t use your typical “sneaking” sound effects, e.g.: “…sneeeeeek, sneeeeeeekeeekkeeeee, sneeeek….” you notice how the deer graze in the open spots and move and bed down and spook at the slightest crack or pop of a twig or, you know…sound effect.

Ooops. Oh deer…

In my defense, I wasn’t a total distraction on my inaugural bow hunt this year (I didn’t wear my “swishy” pants this time). I mean, I kept it together enough to get close to some really beautiful creatures, but I had my fair share of coffee that afternoon, didn’t remember the lunch thing, and forgot that “crisp fall weather” means wear some long underwear. So unfortunately, my growling stomach and shivering cut our hunt short of the necessary “witching hour.”

I was wearing the exact same thing. Just hanging back, blending in...

And I felt a little bad, because I’m usually a trooper. Really, I was raised following behind the footprints of my father, in snow up to my armpits, chasing after the majestic beasts that he had been scoping out all season. I have been in on some really intense, really successful, really invigorating hunts. And I’m sure I will be again, that is, if I’m ever invited back.

So on our way home, when I was staring at the ground (instead of the horizon) and thinking about how I could get Chinese food delivered to the middle of nowhere, I apologized to patient husband for my apathetic, non-sportsmanlike, non-intense behavior. I apologized for the giggling, the sneeze, the sneaking sound and the un-authorized camera click.

And after all of my rambling, I was reminded of the spirit of the sport when husband turned to me and said:

“I’m just glad you came with me. I am glad to have you here”

Awwwww….the words of true sportsman. Or a man looking to secure many, many more hunting trips, to which I say, “wishes granted.”

So, I might not be a bow hunter yet, but I am working on it…

And in my defense, it is a little difficult to focus on the hunt when I am surrounded by such beauty…don’t you think?

Happy hunting.