Do You Love Me? Will You Love Me Forever?

They say that things like smells, and sound (particularly music) can transport you back to a different time and a different place.  I know this to be true...  One prime example hit me right square between the eyes (or is it ears?) last week…

I was driving to work, with a impending camping trip on my mind (an important element – remember this fact), when all of a sudden THIS popped up on my XM radio!

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪
Stop right there!!
I gotta know right now, before we go any further.
Do you love me? Will you love me forever?
Do you need me? Will you never leave me?
Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?
Will you take me away and will you make me your wife?

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

For those of you unfamiliar…
(Fast forward to 4 minutes, 28 seconds).

Suddenly, it was the summer of 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1987 – all rolled into one.

The story goes a little something like this…

Our Church’s Youth Group used to host an annual BWCA canoe trip. This canoe / camping trip was originally the whole reason I started going to Youth Group. Once I joined youth group, I really started enjoying the time I spent there, and the friends I made while attending – but in that very first year, my youth group friends were somewhat limited.

When it came time to plan for the trip, attendees had to split up into small groups (2 chaperones and 8 youth per group). Since this was my first year attending youth group, the list of my close friends was pretty minimal. Honestly? I was pretty disappointed when I found out that most of my closest friends had already grouped up - leaving me solo to find a place in a group of kids I didn’t know very well, and that didn’t know me.

When the dust settled and I found a group to join, the group ended up being a predominantly female group. A group of girls that I didn't really know at all, of course.

(A frightening predicament for a chubby young lad with mild social anxiety.)

There was Lynn D - Lynn was the female adult chaperone for our small group. Then, there was Pam V, Amiee R, and Nancy G. These four gals were the core group of ladies I camped with that year. 

Never in a million years would I have imagined how much that week I spent camping together with these ladies (ladies I didn’t even know or have anything in common with) would be the start of what would be an annual tradition!

Like all the groups on this trip, our group had a lot of fun together. We bonded and created memories! In fact, we had so much fun on that first trip that I actually looked forward to, and sought out being grouped with these same ladies each year I attended the annual camping trip!

Each year during my BWCA trip - the face of the male chaperone, and the other male youth that joined us changed - with the exception Donny K. (Donny K was my canoe partner each and every year we went to the BWCA) Regardless of who else was on the trip with us - I found myself spending a week in the Northern Wilderness of Minnesota with these same ladies!

Sometime during our first year together these ladies affectionately coined themselves "Lynn's Bitches".
A name that stuck throughout each and every subsequent trip through our time together.

Inevitably, while canoeing a long stretch of lake somewhere in the solitude of the BWCA - the day would become exceptionally monotonous. When this happened (and our group needed some mental stimulation and a shot of motivation) these amazing gals would break out in song! They sang out (quite loudly I would add) and in a cappella (which somehow made it even better) - the lyrics to Meatloaf's smash hit “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” (often, several times in a row).

I doubt these ladies ever really knew how much I loved and appreciated their enthusiasm, and how much their breaking up a long day of canoeing by belting out the above chorus REALLY MADE MY DAY!

Not only did they make my day, these “sessions” became a special part of my trips to the BWCA each year - and my memories of those trips some 30 years later!

Still, to this day when Meatloaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Lights comes on - I am whisked back to a time and place where I am sitting in the back of a canoe with my buddy Donny K, surrounded by Lynn and her Bit*hes all shouting (to their heart’s content) how they want to be loved forever before they go any further - cheering us all up, and cheering us all on!  Even more so, when my mind was already in the “camping” mode!

So, if Lynn or any of her Bitches ever stumble upon this blog – please accept my gratitude.

I can’t thank you enough – for the great times then, and the fond memories now!


  1. I will miss you on social media but am glad that I will still find you here. It's been a joy.

  2. Some songs just bring back happy, happy memories. How fun to read your memories of camping and canoeing with people who became great friends!


Did you reach the Bottom of this blog?

If you have read down to here and are interested in reading more, be sure to click here, click on the "Older Posts" link to your right, or use the "Archive" tool on the right sidebar. Thanks for visiting!