Every once in a while, life throws you a do-over.

I went to a Brad Paisley concert a couple years ago. Facebook Memories likes to remind me of it every year around this time. And thanks to the power of a free ticket and a friend who knew I needed a do-over, I got one this weekend.

I was everything I dreamed it would be. So happy I got to go again and enjoy every single moment.

Southern Boulevard selfie.

Rewinding a couple years … I started out doing well the last time Brad came to town. Ate healthfully, had one (admittedly big-ass) beer, and that was that.

Then it rained. And we took cover under the tent of another group of tailgaters. Who had Fireball. Lots and lots of Fireball.

Yeah, the next several hours are a blur. I remember upgrading our tickets and getting super-close to the stage. I also remember going to the bathroom before the main performer’s set … and losing my ticket.

Kept this one!

I vaguely recall arguing with the people checking my ticket. Like, you just let me in there before. I dropped my ticket. YOU KNOW ME. Let me in. I even have a brand-new spiced-rum-and-diet-Coke sitting under my chair … waiting to be reunited with me.

No luck. So I sat on the sidelines and watched the concert on the Jumbotrons. And did some texting I shouldn’t have, that finally gave permission to someone who was trying to start a relationship with me to do so.

In any event, fast-forward to today

This time I had a small beer in the parking lot. That’s it. Sat on my little square on our little blanket the whole time. Didn’t have to run to pee because I wasn’t drinking.

What was really cool is that we went to the very back of the lawn, high atop a hill that overlooks two lakes. I didn’t get any photos because my phone sucks.

Well except this one.

But that’s OK. We were far from the cigarettes and pot and, even better, other people.

The ground was soaked from Hurricane Irma. It quickly permeated the blanket and my jeans.

It was OK. We lived through the storm — now the skies were clear, a million stars were out and we were seeing a fantastic show for free, thanks to Brad donating a bunch of tickets to local first responders … many of whom were working the show so their families could go and invite their friends. (I.E., how I got there.)

In any event, I’ve said before that if I could do-over the part about the text conversation that started so many summers ago, I wouldn’t do it at all. I always wondered what I missed while it was going on.

But I see now that life happened as it needed to. And it all turned out OK.

And at a time when my outside world is littered with dead, uprooted trees and debris and fallen electrical lines, it’s good to have my inside world tidied up again.

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