Triple Threat Optimist Playlist

Dan getting after it.

Have you heard the old adage about firewood? It warms you three times. Once when you haul it, second when you split/stack it and third when you burn it.

I never really understood this until we moved to a small village in Southeast Alaska and spent the next seven years heating our home with whatever wood we could gather.

Our beloved cabin in Alaska.

Total babes in the woods.

We were very green behind the ears when we naively moved there in the cold winter of ‘96 and faced a very empty woodshed.  Meyers Chuck was our new home and this little village of less than 20 people had no roads or stores.  We were enthusiastic about our downshift into a new kind of remote living but very much in over our 20-something heads.

Cavernous wood shed...

Thank goodness for a kind and dear “old-timer” couple in the cabin next to us named Steve and Cassy Peavey. They schooled us quickly and more than once graciously helped us to fill that woodshed.

Sitting here comfy in my furnace-heated PDX home (but missing both the Peaveys and the cozy warmth of wood heat), I’m finding that my Optimist Playlist is a fantastic alternative. When I put the call out a month ago for uplifting song suggestions I didn’t know what kind of response I’d get. I was delighted with the breadth, power and joy of all the tunes that arrived in my inbox (over 70 people contributed 325+ song suggestions)

The one and only Steve Peavey.

A young Hadley loved to snuggle up in the woodbin.

But it didn’t stop at song titles. I lovingly received actual music in the form of new and burned CD’s, fat memory sticks, streaming links and iTunes gift cards. The tunes came from all over the world and to top it all off, I received an original song that was recorded for me by my pals Justin and Alistair in the wee hours of a Shanghai morning.

These handpicked songs have given me real healing heat three times. First upon reading the wonderful, uplifting notes that accompanied them.  Then, playing them to decide the not-so-short-list (so hard to choose!… but I did manage to cull it down by more than half) And finally, they warm my heart every day as I listen and re-listen to what has become a very optimistic and powerful soundtrack for the Spring and Summer of 2010.  Good thing it’s an extended playlist…

I share all 138 songs with you here dear friends and thank each of you for your amazing support.  I know there’s an artful flow that awaits the order of my customized “mix tape” but I don’t yet have the skill or energy to find it so have alphabetized by song title for now. Please… bring on the DJ skills if you have them and share your mix with me!  It won’t be easy.  The Beasties… Aretha… the Boss… Pink Floyd…MC Yogi… But there’s magic in this crazy blend.

In other news, I charged chemo-mountain #3 this past week and heard from the OHSU nurse that the bad guys seem to be retreating!  Doc is cautiously optimistic.  Must be the playlist!


1234: Plain White Tees

3 Little Birds: Bob Marley

A Rollerskating Jam Named Saturday: De La Soul

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive: Aretha Franklin

Adventures in Solitude: The New Pornographers

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Marvin Gaye

Australia: The Shins

Beautiful Day: U2

Beautiful Life: Fisher

Better Now: Collective Soul

Boogie On Reggae Woman: Steve Wonder

Brand New Day: Joshua Radin

Brand New Key:  Melanie

Break My Stride: Matthew Wilder

Breath: Telepopmusik

Bright Side of the Road: Van Morrison

Bust a Move: Young MC

California Stars: Wilco

Catch my Disease: Ben Lee

Change: The Lightening Seeds

Come On Get Happy: The Partridge Family

Daughters: John Mayer

Defying Gravity: Wicked Cast

Ditty: Paperboy

Dog Days are Over: Florence and the Machine

Don’t Let me Fall: Lenka

Don’t Stop Believing: Journey

Don’t Stop: Fleetwood Mac

El Duelo (Duo Con Ely Guerra): La Ley

Eye of the Tiger: Survivor

Favorite Girl: Justin Bieber

Flight of the Cosmic Hippo: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones:

Free: Ultra Nate

Freedom Train: Toots and the Maytals

Getting Better: Beatles

Glamorous: Fergie

Gone Going: Black Eyed Peas

Hard Headed Woman: Elvis Presley

Have a Little Faith: Michael Franti

Here Comes The Sun: Nina Simone

Here Comes the Sun: Sheryl Crow

Heroes: David Bowie

Hey Pocky A-Way: The Meters

Hey Ya!: Outkast

Higher Ground: Stevie Wonder

Hip Hop:  Dead Prez

I Can See Clearly Now: Johnny Nash

I Made It Through The Rain: Barry Manilow

I Will Follow You:  Amy Milan

I Will Not Be Broken:  Bonnie Raitt

I Will Survive: Cake

I Won’t Back Down: Tom Petty

I’ll Be There: Jackson 5

I’m Every Woman: Whitney Houston

If You Want the Rainbow (You Must Have the Rain): Dolly Parton

I’m Sticking with You: Velvet Underground

Into the Ccean: Blue October

Island in the Sun: Weezer

It’s a Long Way to the Top: AC/DC

It’s Only Life: The Feelies

Juicy: Notorious BIG

JUMP: Van Halen

Keep Hanging On: Avril Levigne

Ladies of the World: Flight of the Conchords

Lean on Me: Bill Withers

Learning to Fly: Pink Floyd

Lets Dance to Joy Division: The Wombats

Living on a Prayer: Bon Jovi

Look Me In the Eye Sister: Groove Armada

Love You Madly: Cake

Lovely Day: Bill Withers

Make You Feel My Love; Adele

Man In the Mirror: Michael Jackson

MC Yogi: Ganesh is Fresh

Miracle: Foo Fighters

Momma Said Knock You Out: LL Cool J

Move on Up: Curtis Mayfield

Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues: Eels

My Hero: Foo Fighters

New Soul:  Yael Naim

No Rain:  Blind Melon

Obladi, Oblada, Life Goes On: The Beatles

Once in a Lifetime: Talking Heads

One Way or Another: Blondie

O-o-h Child: Beth Orton

Pappas Gotta Brand New Bag: James Brown

Piece of Clay: Marvin Gaye

Please Don’t Stop the Music: Rihanna

Precious Time: The Macabees

Queen of my Soul: Average White Band

Ray of Light: Madonna

Respect: Aretha Franklin

Rock & Roll: Eric Hutchinson

See the World: Gomez

Shake Your Rump: Beastie Boys

She Said: Plan B

Shine On: The Kooks

Shiny Happy People: REM

Smile: Rod Stewart

Someone Saved My Life Tonight: Elton John

Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Israel Kamakawiwo

St Robinson in his Cadillac Dream: Counting Crows

Stronger: Kanye West

Sugar Sugar: The Archies

Summertime; Will Smith

Sweet Caroline: Neil Diamond

Sweet Child of Mine: Guns ‘n Roses

Take It Easy: The Eagles

Tear the Roof off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk): Parliament

That’s The Way The World Goes ‘Round: John Prine

The Best Days of My Life (Original by Justin Hays and Alistair Lennie)

The Best of What’s Around: Dave Mathews Band

The Climb: Miley Cyrus

The Patience Bossa: Deborah Harry & Perry Farrell

The Sound of Music: Cast/Julie Andrews

The Sound: Human Highway

Theologians: Wilco

These Boots Were Made for Walking: Nancy Sinatra

Thin Line: Indigo Girls

This Little Light of Mine (in Dublin): Bruce Springsteen

This Will Be Our Year: The Zombies

Till I Collapse: Eminem

Upside Down: Jack Johnson

Vivi Davero: Giorgia

Waiting on a Sunny Day: Bruce Springsteen

Walk On: U2

Walking on the Sunshine: Katrina and the Waves

Wango: Orchestre Baobab

Wavin Flag: K’naan

We are Family:  Sister Sledge

What a Wonderful World: Louis Armstrong

Whispering Hope: Willy Nelson

With Arms Oustretched: Rilo Kiley

Wolf Like Me: TV on the Radio

Working on a Dream: Bruce Springsteen

You Get What You Give: New Radicals

(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher: Jackie Wilson

Your Smiling Face: James Taylor

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  1. Jim Geraghty
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Great to see a photo of the (indeed) one & only Steve Peavey! Many great tales and happy trails.

  2. Anna Cornell
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Love the playlist – I’ll have to track some of those songs down!

    What was the name of the only restaurant in Meyers Chuck? I still remember hearing about the kids in the tree-house who cooked eggs for you. Was it called Sticks or something like that? And I love seeing those photos. Thanks for posting them and for sharing your news about your news from the doctors. So happy to know the chemo is doing it’s job.

    See you soon! Anna

  3. Alistair C
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Great job on the playlist. What an amazing response you had! Love seeing the pics of Meyers Chuck and your great neighbors, The Peaveys…

  4. Margaret Brede
    Posted May 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kerri,
    Nancy just sent me your blog. I have been thinking of you since I heard of your diagnosis. I must say your outlook is wonderful. I too, went through chemo 3 years ago Feb. I found going bald and an occassional scarf or ball cap the most comfortable. Thank you for your gift for my friend Nathan, he is getting some good reports, but still goes to OSUH every month. I will be following you now on your blog. One day at a time.
    Hugs and Love to you.

One Trackback

  1. By Coming Full Circle on January 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    [...] look after us when we naively moved there in ‘96 (Steve and Cassy, who you can read about in a former post here). Stay with me if you can for this twisty tale.  It’s rather random but maybe it [...]

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