These days.

During a drive this weekend, I popped in a random CD and came across one of my favorite country songs, “These Days” by Rascal Flatts.

The song, which is the story about a man running into a girl he’s loved for years although she’s married, is a little cheesy (and so is the music video), but I just love it. In fact, I remember the first time I heard it.

It was the summer between my senior year in high school and my freshman year of college. I really didn’t like country music, but I had two things working against me: 1. my boyfriend at the time, and 2. my summer job.

My then boyfriend, Zach, was a small-town boy who loved country music. I specifically remember nights in his backyard listening to Kenny Chesney, feeling as if we were on an exotic beach, when really, we were behind miles of cornfields and muddin’ tracks.

Those fond moments I had, soundtracked to country, carved a sweet place in my heart.

Then there was my summer job as a carhop at Grab ‘N Go, a place that sold fried pork tenderloins and orange slushies. My boss was good in business, bad in marriage, but only listened to country. That’s all we played at Grab ‘N Go. I learned to like it.

During a shift one afternoon, I heard “These Days,” and it really struck a chord; it was just so sweet. It was one of the first country songs I burned onto a CD for my car.

I still love the song, and I really love singing to it whenever I get the chance. I don’t know if it’s the song I love so much, or the great memories attached to it.

“Someone told me, after college, you ran off to Vegas. You married a rodeo-cowboy, why, that ain’t the girl I knew. Me? I’ve been a few places, mostly here or there once or twice, still sortin’ out life, but I’m doin’ alright.” —Rascal Flatts

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