1300 Miles.

That's how much I drove, sans cruise control no less, over the past five days. Five shows. Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee. So much fun. So much Clive Cussler-on-tape.

I can't thank my amazing hosts enough. Five incredibly gracious people/couples/families who invited me into their communities, fed me, gave me a place to sleep and sent me on my way the next day with hugs and leftovers.

The highlight, besides last night's amazing steak dinner, had to be my night in Charlotte. The evening was a benefit for a girl named Aimee Powell who was killed six weeks ago in an automobile accident. She was a young teacher who was enormously loved and loving.

I thought the night would be sad, but it was a real celebration. So many friends and family had come together for her funeral and then scattered shortly after. This evening they got to get back together, in a different mindset, and enjoy each other and get to connect in their love for Aimee another time.

The venue was fantastic, the air was charged with grief, but mostly joy, and I didn't forget any words. It was one of the nights where it feels the songs come out of you like cold breath and you watch them change into something else before your eyes. It was really special.

But really, each night had such personality and I felt so loved and connected to the folks listening. I'm just so grateful for the years people have spent with my songs in the background of their lives and it's been really exciting to get to be out there connecting the dots on my own.

So thank you so much to everyone who came to shows this past weekend. I'm so grateful.

I'm also hoarse. I got pretty sick the second day out and pretty much lost my voice the last three days. Thankfully, being alone in the car gave me time to conserve my voice and I generally had just enough to get through a show and a few hours of conversation before collapsing back in the Toyota, pop a few Advil and be glad for the next 16 hours of no-talking.

Still, I'm praying it gets better before Thursday's show in Indianapolis.

Well, I'm wiped and we have a Modern Family on the DVR begging to be watched before I crawl into bed. Thanks again, and to the folks in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Elmhurst, IL, and Champaign, IL: I'm coming to town this week and I'd love you to join me!