Saturday Night Serenade–Easter Thoughts

Happy Easter!
Don’t you just love a long holiday weekend?  And the chance to get together with friends and loved ones to share customs, traditions, and a nice big dinner?

Easter is really a tale of two holidays–one all about hidden eggs, colorful baskets, and fun treats, the other about something a bit deeper.

Mr. R and I consider ourselves to be more spiritual rather than religious.  To my way of thinking, spirituality is more about being grateful for your blessings and wanting to pay it forward, and less about following a rigid set of regulations and judging others who don’t quite measure up.

I love Joan Osbourne’s One of Us.  It poses an interesting question: What if God was one of us?  What if that homeless person asking for spare change was God?  What if that person on Facebook with different politics was God?

Would we treat them differently?  Would we be more kind, more compassionate?  When Jesus was actually on earth, we weren’t especially kind.  Something to think about, anyway.

For Easter, I also want to share my favorite song of the holiday.  It’s a moldy oldie by the late Keith Green.  When I was a teenager, his music meant a lot to me.  Sadly, he died in a plane crash in 1982 at the age of 29.

Whether you celebrate Easter or Passover, I hope this holiday weekend finds you surrounded by loved ones.  Be sure to tell them how much they mean to you.

Happy Saturday night!

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Saturday Night Serenade–Wistful

Had enough of the whole ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality? I know I have. What’s happened to us? Seriously.

Remember when we could appreciate viewpoints different from our own? When we could discuss divergent opinions respectfully and in the end, agree to disagree?

How have we come to the place where ‘He who disagrees with me is my enemy’? When the hell did that happen?

This weekend, I’m finding myself wistfully nostalgic for the good old days when cooler heads prevailed, when name-calling was reserved for those simple souls who ran short on vocabulary and long on self-importance. For when civil discourse was, in fact, civil.

Maybe I’m kidding myself. Maybe times were never really that simple. Maybe that’s yet to come.

In tonight’s serenade, Garth Brooks dreams of a time when We Shall Be Free. The song, co-written with Stephanie Davis, comes from his 1992 album, The Chase.

It was not without its controversy. Polite company in the early 90s wasn’t prepared for a song that celebrated tolerance of all kinds.

Of the fuss, Brooks said,

We Shall Be Free’ is definitely and easily the most controversial song I have ever done. A song of love, a song of tolerance from someone who claims not to be a prophet but just an ordinary man. I never thought there would be any problems with this song. Sometimes the roads we take do not turn out to be the roads we envisioned them to be. All I can say about ‘We Shall Be Free” is that I will stand by every line of this song as long as I live. I am very proud of it. And I am very proud of Stephanie Davis, the writer. I hope you enjoy it and see it for what it was meant to be.“–Garth Brooks–The Hits CD Booklet

The song won Video of the Year at the 1993 Academy of Country Music Awards. It’s a shame you can’t find the original on YouTube.

But I hope you enjoy the simple wish for everyone to just live their lives and to afford others the same courtesy. Have a wonderful spring weekend. Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Seasons of Love

Happy last Saturday of January!  Can you believe it?  Next week, it’s February.  It seems like the month has passed quickly.

Have I mentioned that I’m a HUGE fan of musical theatre?  Just kidding, I know I have said maybe one or two things.  Possibly more, LOL.

Which is why I’m so excited about Sunday night’s live performance of RENT on FOX.

Loosely adapted from Puccini’s opera La boheme (in fact there’s a song called La Vie Bohème), RENT ran on Broadway for twelve years and won several awards including a Tony for Best Musical.  It was also adapted into a movie which featured many of the original cast, including the amazing Idina Menzel.

Fun Fact: I mention RENT and La Vie Bohème in the first Rannigan’s Redemption book, RESISTING RISK. 

The LIVE telecast starts at 8pm EST Sunday on FOX.  So guess where I’ll be?

I hope you’re staying safe and warm this last January weekend.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–We Need a Little Christmas

Happy last Saturday of November!
If you’re in the US, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Here at Chez R, we had a nice, peaceful day, with a delicious meal for which we were truly thankful.

Have you ever felt like you need a little Christmas?
We live in Palm Beach County, and we just survived a nasty, contentious election season that ended with the recount from Hell.  Ultimately, I stopped caring about who won or lost.  Just get the friggin’ thing over with, and let’s get on with our lives.

Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost sight of the fact that we’re all on the same side.  We all love our country, and we believe in liberty and justice for all.  We all love our families, and we want to leave behind us a world that’s better than the one into which we were born.  It’s beyond disheartening to see everything turned into Us vs Them.

To be honest, I was ready to decorate for Christmas back in September.  I just wanted a little something to lift the spirits, to distract from the angry, spiteful, false, fear-based rhetoric lambasting us from all sides.

But this holiday weekend, Mr. R and I finally dragged in all the boxes from the garage and set up the tree.  He decorated the fireplace (since it’s still in the 80s, we won’t be needing it anytime soon), and we have a start on the outside lights.  Because we need a little Christmas now.

This version of the holiday classic is from the 1974 movie Mame, and it features the divine Lucille Ball.  If you need a little Christmas like I do, this should be just the thing.

I’ll leave you with a photo of our finished tree.  Normally there’s a cat curled up beneath it, but she must have wandered off.  It’s covered with ornaments we’ve gathered over the years, and things the kids made somewhere along the line.  Those are the most special decorations, now that they’re grown and out on their own.

I hope you’re still enjoying this long holiday weekend.  Be sure to hug the ones you love.

Happy Saturday night!

 

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Cold November

Cold weather arrived here in the US this week, didn’t it?  I think a lot of places skipped fall and went straight to winter.

Even here in south Florida, we went from the high 80s to lows in the low 50s.  I had to put on socks, people.  Shit got serious, LOL!

Tonight’s song is one I haven’t been able to get out of my mind.  I suppose it works for Cold November Snow, too.

All joking aside, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of California whose homes and neighborhoods are being devastated by wildfires.  Last time I heard, there were 600 people still unaccounted for.

600.  It boggles the mind.

So if you’re a praying person, be sure to send up a few words for the missing and for those left behind.  And for the firefighters, who run in when the rest of us run out.  May they be kept safe.

And if you’re in the position to do so, maybe consider donating to the Red Cross Wildfire Relief effort.

In the meantime, stay warm.  Huddle up with those you love and be sure to hug them tight.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Romantic September

It’s a rough weekend if you live in the Carolinas.  And it looks like Florence is going to push miles inland, impacting a huge swath of the east with tons of rain.  Take care, y’all, and pay attention to the what the authorities tell you.

The rest of us are looking on with our thoughts and prayers on this September weekend.  September always feels like fall to me, although fall doesn’t officially start until next week.

But I always picture leaves in brilliant colors, mugs of spiced cider, and people walking around in jackets.  That’s the way it was where I grew up in Tennessee.

Here in south Florida, the only fall color we get is in October, when the Methodist church puts a pumpkin patch on their front lawn.

I know everybody talks about special fall coffees, but I’m not a fan myself.  Mr. R wondered aloud this week if Pumpkin Spice was one of the Spice Girls.  I said yes, the round orange one.

Tonight, I’m feeling the romance of September, and I thought this song by the Corrs was fitting.

I hope wherever you are, you’re safe, dry, and surrounded by those you love.  Be sure to give them a hug.

And if you’re of a mind to, consider donating to hurricane relief.  It’s going to be a long haul for a lot of people.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Reflection

Michael Jackson would have been 60 this past week.
That’s hard to imagine.  He was 50 when he died, but he always seemed child-like to me.

I know…  There were all sorts of sordid stories and allegations.  And maybe they’re true.  Probably they are.  And we know there were drug issues.  The ‘King of Pop’, who literally had all the money to buy anything his heart desired, lived a sad life.

But for all of that, he struck me as a person of compassion.  Tonight’s song, Man in the Mirror, is heart-felt and touching.  He sings about making the world better by starting with yourself.  It’s interesting that in the official video, Michael Jackson, arguably the most famous man on the planet at the time, does not actually appear.

We lost another American icon this week, a rare man of character, honor, and conviction.  Whatever your politics, I don’t think it can be argued that John McCain is a true hero.  He served his country as a naval aviator, and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war for his trouble, refusing to accept an early release, choosing instead to honor the first captured, first released rule.

After he returned, he spent the rest of his life as a rare politician, voting his convictions over what was politically expedient in the moment.  He understood the concept of agreeing to disagree, and the value of working with those of differing opinions toward a common goal.

I believe that at the end, he was a man at peace with the man in the mirror.
He is an enduring reminder that we, as Americans, should aspire to more.

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

Happy Saturday night!

A l’il bonus, just because…