Saturday Night Serenade–Cantios Obscurum

The 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was last Saturday night in Cleveland.  Next month, they’ll show it on HBO, and I can’t wait.  Among this year’s  inductees is one of my favorite bands, Bon Jovi.  I’ve loved them since their big hair days of the 80s.

This obscure little song was tucked at the end of 1988’s New Jersey, and I’ve always thought it was cheeky fun.

Speaking of cheeky fun, I’ll follow up with a little shout-out to yesterday, 4/20.  It’s one of Toby Keith’s ‘bus songs’ and it’s a lot of fun, too.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

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Saturday Night Serenade–Something That We Do

I grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I traveled through Nashville countless times on my way to visit relatives in Kentucky.  But it wasn’t until I was an adult that I first stayed there for a couple of nights.

Nashville is a cool town, with lots to see and do.  We stayed downtown, and walked all over the place.  We got a little rowdy in a huge bar called the Wildhorse Saloon, and we didn’t miss the opportunity to stop by the Ryman Auditorium, the sacred cathedral of country music.

The Grand Ole Opry started out as a live radio show in 1925, and was housed in the Ryman starting in 1943 and remained there until 1974, when it moved to its current, larger location.  In the center of the new stage, there’s a six-foot circle of oak that came from the Ryman stage, symbolically and literally the heart of the theatre.

Even if you’re not a country music fan, the Grand Ole Opry is a sight to behold.  It’s still a live radio show, every Saturday night.  It also airs on television.  But to be there is an experience.

Because unbeknownst to listeners, the Opry stage is like a three-ring circus, with something always happening.  While someone is performing, someone who just finished is still out there breaking down, and the next act up is busy getting set up.  Groups of tourists enter and leave the stage, snapping photos and getting autographs if they’re lucky.

In addition to being a show and a venue, the Opry is something of a Hall of Fame as well.  Performers who are deemed worthy are invited to join, and it’s a huge honor.  It’s also a commitment–Opry members are required to perform there a certain number of times per year.

There is a set schedule every week, so when you purchase your tickets, you know who you’ll be seeing.  BUT…  Performers who have a little time available often pop in unannounced, the better to get some of their annual obligation out of the way.

And so it happened that the night we went to the Grand Ole Opry, we were treated to a performance we didn’t expect.  As one act was finishing up, we noticed an increased level of excitement at the side of the stage.

As soon as that performer left the stage, Clint Black and his co-writer Skip Ewing walked out, each carrying an acoustic guitar and a stool.  Sitting on the apron of the stage, they began to play Something That We Do.  The entire place went dark, with only a spotlight on the pair, and for the first time all night, a hush fell over the room, all of us spellbound by this beautiful song.

I remember well the day we wed
I can see that picture in my head
I still believe the words we said
Forever will ring true
Love is certain, love is kind
Love is yours and love is mine
But it isn’t something that we find
It’s something that we do
It’s holding tight, lettin’ go
It’s flying high and laying low
Let your strongest feelings show
And your weakness, too
It’s a little and a lot to ask
An endless and a welcome task
Love isn’t something that we have
It’s something that we do
We help to make each other all that we can be
Though we can find our strength and inspiration independently
The way we work together is what sets our love apart
So closely that you can’t tell where I end and where you start
It gives me heart remembering how
We started with a simple vow
There’s so much to look back on now
Still it feels brand-new
We’re on a road that has no end
And each day we begin again
Love’s not just something that we’re in
It’s something that we do
We help to make each other all that we can be
Though we can find our strength and inspiration independently
The way we work together is what sets our love apart
So closely that you can’t tell where I end and where you start
Love is wide, love is long
Love is deep and love is strong
Love is why I love this song
And I hope you love it too
I remember well the day we wed
I can see that picture in my head
Love isn’t just those words we said
It’s something that we do
There’s no request too big or small
We give ourselves, we give our all
Love isn’t someplace that we fall
It’s something that we do

It’s a moment I’ll never forget.  And I can’t shake the message of the song, that love isn’t somewhere we fall, or something we find, it’s something we do.  Every day.  Every moment.

I hope this evening finds you well, and surrounded by those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

Happy Saturday night!

PS–I’m adding another beautiful Clint Black song, this one a duet with his wife, Lisa.  ❤

Saturday Night Serenade–Standing Outside the Fire

Need a little inspiration tonight?

I spent a few hours today with some of the most amazing people.  Horses That Help is an organization right in my own neighborhood that puts special needs kids on horses every first Saturday of the month.

Mr. R has been a volunteer with them for a while, but today was my first time.  I usually spend Saturday working, but they were short on ‘side walkers’ this time, so I agreed to go.

They’ve been doing these monthly events for years, and they have it down to a science.  While an experienced horse person leads each horse, two side walkers stand on either side of the rider, ensuring that he or she doesn’t fall off.

I’ve heard it said before, and today, I witnessed it for myself–there is a transformation that occurs when you put a kid on horse.  I did three 25-minute rounds, and met three great kids.  HTH doesn’t make a big deal about pointing out specific disabilities, but I’m guessing my new friends were on the ‘spectrum’.  Without exception, once these kids were perched in the saddle, their faces lit up, and they chatted easily about everything under the sun.

One kid screamed and thrashed around as the adults put him on a Shetland pony called Icee.  But once they got moving, the boy’s screams turned to infectious giggles.  It was amazing.

Better yet, the transformations I saw weren’t just the kids.  The parents lit up,  too, watching their special needs kids smiling and laughing and having a great time.  They waved and took photos and videos as we passed by.  I imagine those moments are few and far between in those homes.  What a treat to be able to relax, and for half an hour let someone else care for your child in a loving, judgement-free place.

Tonight’s serenade is Standing Outside the Fire by Garth Brooks.  The theme of the song is that if you never really put yourself out there, break out of your comfort zone, you never really live.   The staff of HTH and the families who take advantage of their free program know exactly what it is to dance within the flame.  They do it everyday.

I’m exhausted.  We must have walked miles around and around the enclosure.  My right arm is stiff from holding onto the saddle to keep the kids from sliding off.  It was close to 90 degrees and the sun was relentless.

But I know where I’ll be May 5.

Maybe you know what it is to dance withing the flame yourself.  If not, it might be the right time to give it a whirl.

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

AND…
I’m including the link to HTH’s website.
Check it out.
There’s even a picture of Icee.
And there’s a place to donate if you feel so led.
I know they’d really appreciate it.

Horses That Help