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 (NYG) had an annual BWCA canoe trip. It was (originally) the whole reason I started going to Youth Group.  When the time came to plan for the trip, and split up into groups (2 chaperones and 8 youth per group) – I was pretty disappointed to find out that most of my closest friends had already grouped up leaving me solo to find a place in a group that likely contained people that didn’t know me, and that I did not know very well.  My closest friends would all be spending the week together having fun, bonding, and creating memories, and I was not going to be able to be with them. 

As fate would have it, I ended up in a predominantly female group. A group of females that I didn't really know at all.  (A frightening predicament for a chubby young lad with mild social anxiety.)  While my regular friends did all group together, had fund, bonded, and created memories (as I suspected they would) – by the end of the week together I was quite unexpectedly surprised to see how much I did too!

There was Lynn D - Lynn was the female adult chaperone. Lynn chaperoned Pam V, Amiee R, and Nancy G. These four gals were the core group of ladies I camped with each year.  Never in a million years would I have thought that the week we spent in the BWCA together with these ladies (ladies I didn’t even know or have anything in common with) how much we would get to know and befriend each other. 

Like my regular friends did – our group also had fun, bonded, and created our own memories!  So much so that after my first year with these ladies, (and each subsequent year afterwards) I actually looked forward to, and sought out being grouped up with these same ladies! 

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

Sometime during our first year together these ladies affectionately coined themselves "Lynn's Bit*hes". 
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 and our group could use needed some mental stimulation and a shot of motivation – these amazing gals would break out in song!  They sang out (quite loudly) 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 don't know if 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!

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 Bit*hes 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!


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