Let Me In


by Donnie Schexnayder | Truth & Magic


It’s Day Two! Here’s today’s track from Truth & Magic…it’s called “Elevation” and it’s based on an experience I had climbing Pikes Peak during a lightning storm. Yeah, you read that right!

I lived in Colorado for almost 17 years before we moved to Texas, and I hiked to the summit of Pikes Peak several times while we lived there. It was actually a tradition I did with my kids; whenever they turned 13 years old, we’d hike the Peak together. We would always get an early start to avoid the summer lightning storms that rolled in every day by 2 or 3 PM.

This one time I decided to go with some guys I had just met, and of course, they were an hour or two late. We made it to the top just fine and had coffee and high-altitude donuts (you have to try them at least once). Everything was fine until we started hiking back down through an area called “Devil’s Playground”…here’s a photo of me standing at the exact spot:

We made it a little further than this sign, when all of a sudden it start to cloud over – then it started to RAIN (which quickly turned into HAIL) – and then the LIGHTNING came. Lighting at 14,000 feet above sea level is nothing to mess around with. We ran for our lives and hid under a stack of huge boulders until the storm passed. It was the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard, and you could see the lighting flashes hitting the ground all around us. I thought for sure we were all going to die, and I was so angry at those guys for being late that I never went hiking with them again.

There’s a cool lesson I learned from this experience, though –  climbing the mountains in our lives can be painful, and sometimes life throws a few lighting bolts at us. It’s scary as hell, but if we push through the fear and keep walking forward, we’ll eventually make it to the summit. And the view from the top of the mountain is worth every painful step it took to get there!

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Let Me In

This is the other song from my 2007 EP (along with Time, which you heard yesterday). This one is painful because I always think about a friend of mine who passed away from cancer whenever I hear it. Yeah, cancer seems to be a recurring theme these days 🙁

Her name was Kim and she was my next door neighbor growing up. I played an early version of Let Me In for some friends back in the 1990’s and Kim really liked it. She kept asking me for a cassette tape recording of it so she could listen in her car (yep, it was the 90’s lol).

A year or two later, she started complaining about headaches and having blackouts. My wife and I were driving down the highway one day, and we saw a car swerve out of control ahead of us and turn over sideways on the shoulder. We stopped to help and sure enough, it was Kim.

After a visit to the doctor, she was admitted into the charity hospital in New Orleans to have emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor. We were there at the hospital for the surgery. She seemed to pull through OK at first, but things declined over time and after a few years…she was gone.

Cancer is one of those things my mind can’t fully comprehend. It’s a silent, indiscriminate killer with no sense of honor or fairness. It sweeps through and takes one person quickly; for others, it drags the ordeal out for years before the end…and for some, it lets them survive with no rhyme or reason.

I lost a grandmother, an uncle and an aunt to cancer. One other uncle, like me, went through it and lived to tell the tale. Am I just lucky, or was my life spared for a reason? I really believe I was given a second chance so that I could make a difference with my life. That’s why I made the Truth & Magic EP.

I’ll never forget Kim’s reaction to this song, and I’ll never be able to listen to it without thinking about her. Rest in peace, my old friend! This one’s for you…

Choose your favorite format for download/streaming:

Let Me In

by Donnie Schexnayder | 2007 EP

That’s it for Day Two. Tomorrow is when the real fun begins… 🙂