If you are not familiar with the music of Andrew Osenga, you should become acquainted. You can start with some of the old CD’s by his band The Normals or try any of his solo projects since then. Or you can listen to my record when it comes out because he co-wrote two of the songs. And honestly, House of Boxes would have never happened without him. Which is strange, considering it is one of the most vulnerable personal songs I’ve ever written. But I didn’t want to write it.
Andy and I had gone out for hamburgers, which is a great way to start out a co-writing session. We had returned to his work studio and I was trying to suggest any number of devastatingly interesting and popular song ideas. But Andy kept coming back to this one part of my story that I had shared with him. The story goes like this…
I got engaged on the last night of our fall tour in 2007. Then I had to turn right around and head out on the Christmas tour. Brian ended up in the hospital a day or two before tour, so he had to stay home and I had to use a replacement drummer. While I was on Christmas tour, my house sold. They wanted to move in immediately. So I came home from Christmas tour to find my house was completely packed. Brian, always a great friend, had packed up all my stuff. So I came home and the next morning I rented a U-Haul, packed it up, and I was gone. Memphis was in the rearview mirror and I was headed back to Texas to start a new life.
Osenga had latched on to the idea of coming home to a house full of boxes. I kept trying to lead the conversation somewhere else. I had never written a song like that before. But eventually I agreed to at least give it a try. As I began to work, a song started coming together and I realized this was a story that needed to be told. It was a story of hope, a story of change. A story of love and life. Of finding love and having the courage to build a new life. Of leaving a life that assumed God would bless everyone but me. Of learning to be loved. A story of finally finding a home in a place I’d never been before. People needed to hear this story. And one of those people was me. Thanks, Andy.