Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

Boxing Day Massacree

Holiday Greetings! It’s December 26–Boxing Day. I have a little story to share with you that will warm your insides. But, in order for it to make sense, I need to tell you another story first…

This past June, Dave took me to Nashville for a long weekend to celebrate my 50th birthday. We wrote about our first night here. But, what we didn’t share was the epic 24-hour period during said weekend when Dave’s sister, Kris, joined us for some fun. It was her first time to Nashville–and she wanted to know what all our fuss was about.

As soon as she met us at our East Nashville rental, we dialed up Lyft and took her down to Lower Broadway. Three guesses what came next!

“Be still, my heart. It’s those Killen kids and they brought another!” – Mama Tootsie

When in Rome…drink Corona.

Oh, Tootsie’s… and the 2 p.m. Saturday Day Drinking binge with our buddy, Jake Mauer. The ghost of Mama Tootsie and the present day Miss Julie behind the bar know us so well. Dave led us onward, Kris smushed in the middle and me sweeping up the back. We threaded our way in, barely made eye contact with Miss Julie, had beers placed in hand, and secured a spot in the back corner in less than a minute. To us, it was normal. For Kris, well, she was in that strange place between mystified and horrified. It happens when you go from bright daylight into jammed honky tonk. I told her she would be okay. “Uh-huh…”

The three of us settled into a space that was tops 24-inches square. (Well, Dave and I settled. Kris was in awe.) In typical Tootsie’s fashion, Dave and I started to chat with an affable couple who became wedged into said small space with the three of us. Turned out they were from Toronto. We quickly apologized for the state of our nation and made mental note to become friends with them. Who knows when we may need to visit, eh?

Jake kept playing and warming up the crowd…reminding us all that, “no good story every starts with a salad!” We began to explain to Kris, as well as Frank and Rochelle, the fine art getting drunk and making bad decisions at 2 p.m. on a Saturday. Frank quickly told us about the bad decision he had made moments prior to finding Tootsie’s that culminated in the fine hat upon his head. We assured him it was a good decision and continued to chat. (make friends-make-friends-make friends-tip the band-make friends)

And, in typical  Tootsie’s fashion verse two, we did become good friends. Best of friends. All five of us. Any riff between U.S. and Canada was forgiven and forgotten. Beer bottles clinked. We laughed and swapped stories. We yelled for the band to play more. And then it happened. Frank disappeared.

The Tootsie’s Summit, June 2018

Oh, but, only for a moment (don’t want anyone to worry). With a grin, and his snappy chapeaux off to the side, he came back to us, bearing gifts of gold. These. Five shots of Fireball. “Christmas in a cup,” as our friend, Andi, would say. But I digress…

Kris didn’t know what to do. Remember, this was her first time. It was probably 2:30 in the afternoon and she was starting to get the depths of the salad joke. Dave, not much for the firewater muttered, “aw prairie shit!” under his breath. Me, not wanting to upset our future Canadian sponsors, happily accepted. While our northern friends were kicking theirs back, through clinched smile, I hissed to the brother and sister duo, “drink, it…both of you. NOW!”

Kris, clutching her offering in one hand, took a timid sip, smiling over the rim. Dave, waved his shot glass up high so no one could see. I quickly said “Merry Christmas” with a gulp and then reprised the action all slight-of-hand-like two more times for Kris and Dave. Frank and Rochelle were grinning, “Good, yeah?” We smiled, nodded enthusiastically and returned to Frank three empty cups. Two Killens relieved–one, slightly aglow.

“Haller and Swaller!”

Looking back, I’d say we spent another hour or so with Frank and Rochelle. Well enough time to snap a bunch of photos and text them to each other. Yes, international numbers exchanged! But all good times do come to an end and soon, the moment came for them to move on and get ready for a night at the Opry. With hugs and high fives we bid them good-bye.

Since that day, random texts have been exchanged with our friends from the north. Fourth of July. Bastille Day. Some other random toasting event… all precious and educational. We’ve learned new customs.

And now that I’ve set the stage, I can move forward with my post. The real post. This is a story about Boxing Day, right? You remember, Boxing Day…

For Christmas 2018, Dave wanted to get something special for his big sister. He had heard she was looking for a new perfume for the coming year. And, while wrapping up our shopping the other day, he disappeared. But, he quickly came back with a mysterious brown paper bag and some art supplies. Hmmm….

As our Christmas gift exchange was in full swing Monday night, the moment came. Dave let his sister know that he found just the thing for her. The thing she was pining for. The gift that celebrated her true being and inner spirit. He had to look high and low but he found it. And he hoped she would really, really like it.

Who doesn’t love a gift presentation with a story?


Fragrance evokes memory. I think the grand reveal says it all. In spite of everything that has transpired after our swirl through Music City, we had a lot of fun on Christmas Eve. We were taught to Christmas well.

“What in the world…?”

(It all comes back in a rush…)

Best. Gift. Ever.

And to our friends in Toronto, Frank and Rochelle, I wish you all the best on this Boxing Day and do hope our paths cross again for real. Thank you for the smiles and the laughter. Awesome memories, indeed, to the very last drop.





“Merry Christmas!” ~Jacqui

December 26, 2018 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: