Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal  July 2003 

JULY 31    It is off to Columbus we go. There is nothing like reading about plans for attacks on airlines just before you get on a plane to the east coast. Just makes you feel, well you know. The good news is this, you are not done until you are done. I am ready for heaven if heaven is ready for me. I imagine I will be in one of those shanties across the tracks but hey, I just want in. I am truly thankful for my life. The honor and grace of knowing love. I talked to Liz yesterday about life. She told me she wanted to be a Princess when she grew and asked how would that ever happen. I told her she is a princess. She also asked if I remembered every time I ever yelled at her. I said, probably not, but I am sorry. I said even when I was little I wanted to grow up and be a good father. I guess I blew that, I said. Liz said, no you didn't. I got something in my eyes when she said that. I will treasure that conversation. Now I am going to say a prayer of thanks for those Maine lobsters that have Andie and my name on them and ask for safe passage to visit Randy and Terri.

JULY 30    I heard from David Jones last night. He and Daphne are as busy as Andie and I. He has a feel and approach to the playing the guitar that is very similar to mine. After the rush of the next few weeks we will plan some get togethers to share songwriting and singing. David was so helpful to me after I met him at Lake Stevens Covenant when he was a visiting pastor. Once again new eternal friendships were kindled. Trust in the Lord and He will sustain you, as the saying goes. Music! Music! That is the call I hear. I was talking to my long time friend, Jamie Phalen about life and dreams and work. I said we know what we are supposed to do. We don't need to be doing a job other than using the talents that God gave us. He had said "Selling motor cycles is not what I am supposed to be doing." I said God doesn't think so either. A leap of faith, take it, but wear a parachute: have faith & a plan. Remember to say your prayers & hold hands with the one you love.

JULY 29 Another day in the great northwest. It was in the 70's last night and very very hot all day. I just put up some of Andie's photos from Cabo San Lucas. It already seems like a dream. Randy and Terri are just coming back today. Now that would be a vacation and some. It takes about three days to get situated when you travel. You then get into the laid back mode and that is a good place to be. I think what I liked the most about our trip was getting to spend the days and evenings with Andie. Like that old Beach Boys song, Wouldn't It Be Nice, " after having spent the day together, hold each other close the whole night through, wouldn't it be nice." It was! The next adventure will be strange because our flights are 10 or 12 hours long and there were no seats available for us to sit together. That definitely is not my favorite, but we will have fun anyway and maybe some one will trade seats with us. I feel a change is coming in our lives and I am not sure what, but I believe the Lord has some new plans for us and we are ready.

JULY 28 I am too darned tired to even write. Lots of talk about dreams this weekend. Doing what you love and loving what you do. I believe my main purpose for being here is fulfilled through music. I am just not sure how to take it to a wider audience and into the bigger picture. I am sure of this though, I love the exchange of playing and singing for people. It was great to see our friends from Lake Stevens Covenant, Suzanne and Lenore come down to Provinces, and to hear Jimmy's wife Loretta laughing when Andie showed the picture of me doing my Steve Urcal dance in Cabo. It was good to see Jim and Pennie. And Dale out on his own sticking it out for the whole evening, thank you God. I love it when Andie is with me and when she gets up to sing. I love knowing when people are touched by the music and when they are having fun with the show. Jamie is great at entertaining, so is Jimmy and so am I, when I come out of my shell. Today I feel like climbing in though and sleeping for about a week. I miss Sarah too. I miss lots of people. I am excited about going to Ohio. It has been a whirl wind since we got back and I just realized again that we are off and flying this weekend once again. Yea Hah. We are going to the Fickel Lobster Fest!

JULY 23 I am still going through the adjustment phase from Cabo San Lucas to Washington and work and commuting. It feels like I am dreaming part of the time. We came back from rest and relaxation to jump and run. I am rehearsing with Mr. Right Now to get ready for the Garlic Festival. Andie and I are burning and editing CD's and it is a big weekend ahead with both the Columbia Winery and Provinces on Friday and Saturday. I may be getting too old for this. Not really. We are scrambling to prepare for our trip to Ohio as well. The adventure continues. Andie looks so lovely, all golden brown from the Mexican sunshine. When I stop and look at her the stress just melts away. Sarah takes good care of things when we are away and she was right there waiting at the airport when we returned. It is good to come home and hear her singing her scales in the dining room. I am hoping she and Andie and I can work up some songs together and do some performances. How to compress the work day and expand the music day is the question. I am looking forward to all the performances this weekend although nine hours of playing a day will be a bit of a challenge. The body gets weary but the spirit is renewed whenever I sing for people. That's why I am here.

JULY 21 Home again home again yea hah. A great time was had by all. We had a wonderful time all thanks to Jim and Penni. We shared a beautiful place to stay and built on what I believe will be a life long friendship. We had nice quiet talks and danced and just hung out at the beach and the pool. We will be forever grateful to Jim and Penni for their kindness in inviting us to vacation with them. We met some great folks from Arkansas, Tom and Charlotte. They were walking encyclopedias of information on Arkansas. I was fascinated at how much knowledge they had of their home state. And we spent the day and evening with Randy and Terri Fickel from Columbus. They are really fun people and they share a special affinity for a couple of our favorite movies,The Three Amigos and Princess Bride and they are also Christians. It is always refreshing to meet another couple who like each other like Andie and I and Jim and Penni do. They had some very entertaining stories and I am thinking their son Danny missed his calling by not being a stand up comedian. He is working for the Lord though and I am sure that his sense of humor comes in handy. We will be off to visit them in two weeks on another adventure. It is good to be home, so much to do, so little time.

JULY 17  Here we are in Cabo San Lucas as I write this. Andie is at the pool swimming. I somehow managed to get 2nd degree sunburn on the inside of both my shins. Go figure. Jim and Penni are off to town. What an incredible and life long memory they have given us in inviting us on their holiday at this incredible resort, Sunset Beach, a Pueblo Bonito resort. They waves thunder outside on the shore in a spectacular display of power and color. There is no swimming on this beach unless you first write a suicide note. The rip tides will dispose of your life and body shortly after entering the water. This benefit in disguise provides a view of a beach from left to right as far as you can see with, if you can believe it, not a single person in sight. Yesterday we watched a little girl searching for shells not far from the resort. She was a lone tiny spec on a vast landscape of sand. Remember how big everything seemed when you were a child. I can only imagine what memories she will carry in her heart of that experience. This is such a blessing to be here in the company of friends with my wife and love, Andie. There is no Internet access in the room so I am not sure when this will get posted but wow, what an experience.

JULY 9  Okay, I am finally getting excited about our vacation with Jim and Penni to Cabo San Lucas. I have been preoccupied with everything else that is going on but now that Sarah is home and living with us I feel a peace. Vacation time is fast approaching and Andie and I will be heading out on a new adventure. We were talking about making moves and changes in the future. It is wide open and so are we. The important things like love, family, friendship and trust are in place, everything else is icing on the cake. Andie is a wonderful partner and she deserves this vacation so much. It is my hope that it will be the best so far. The funny thing is I am happy when and wherever we are together. It brings me joy to see her smile and I know how excited she is and so am I. Talks with Sarah and an e-mail from my friend Dale remind me how important it is to show the people you love how special they are. I think the gift of your time is the best gift of all to someone you love. Stop and listen when you take that time and you'll be amazed at what you learn.

July 7 What are the blues anyway and why aren't they called the purples or the greens? The blues cause that strange sensation that creeps up on all of us at one time or other and yanks hard to pull us down if we are up, or keep us down if we have fallen. Our family has a special kind of blues we call the "mur-rahs". They come in quick and silent and knock you down so fast that when asked what is wrong, you really don't have an explanation. The feeling varies in the thoughts that it stimulates but one thing is common in all forms of the blues, it is company that you are glad to be rid of when they finally leave. I know when I get the blues I have to face them alone and ride it out like like a surfer rides a wave. Sometimes I am a little bruised when I come out the other side but I always survive. Love is good that way. Today I don't see any blues in sight and I am not going to complain about that.

July 2 The thought of family and friends is on my mind as we approach another fourth of July. I am thankful for the freedoms we have in this country, even with all its flaws. The fourth is hard for me because I find that the sound of fireworks is amazingly similar to the sound of AK-47 rifles and for some reason I still find that a bit stressful. I love the visual part, just not the audio. But the fourth does remind me of all the people who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom that we have. I am also conscious of and praying for the troops who continue to be in harms way in Iraq. I am certain they would rather be at home with their loved ones and I hope that occurs soon. I know through all our travels and all our trials that Dorothy's words are still true. There's no place like home.

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist