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.  ❤

Advertisements

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

Saturday Night Serenade–Happy Easter!

It’s the end of March, the weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer.  And it’s finally Spring.  Hopefully, it feels that way where you are.

Happy Easter!  It’s a time of renewal and rebirth, a time for peace.  For this week’s serenade, I have a couple of classics from Cat Stevens, or, if you prefer, Yusuf Islam as he’s now known.  I imagine his new name stirs up some feelings for some people.  Who am I to judge?  I call myself Pandora Spocks, for corn’s sake.  😉

What I know is that Morning Has Broken is a sweet reminder of mercies that are new every morning.  And for that, I’m grateful.

And as long as we’re talking Cat Stevens, I couldn’t resist this performance of Peace Train from the 2014 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  I saw the whole show, and this was the surprise highlight.

This Easter, suppose we embraced peace.  Wouldn’t that be amazing?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend with your family, no matter what holiday you celebrate.  Be sure to hug the ones you love.

Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Staying Woke

For the last week and a half, we’ve been mourning the loss of 17 in south Florida.  And we’ve been reminded of those we lost in Columbine, and Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas, and Texas, and Orlando, and countless other places.  Senseless losses that should capture our attention and strengthen our determination to solve the problems that led us there, to keep it from happening again.

But in the ‘short attention span theatre’ that is the 21st century news cycle, the cause just before Parkland was #MeToo and #TimesUp, the social movement that is calling out sexism and misogyny.    It’s been posited that every woman you know, along with many men, has her own Me Too story.  I know I do.  Maybe one day I’ll write about it.

It’s astounding, really, that for so long we’ve all excused sexual predation as ‘locker room talk’ and ‘boys being boys’.  Clue: It’s NOT okay.  It NEVER was.

I’m hopeful that now that the dialogue has begun, it will continue, that we’ll move forward more enlightened, treating EVERYONE with respect and compassion.  EVERYONE.  Now that we’re woke, let’s stay woke, amen?

I heard this song, Female by Keith Urban, the other day, and it touched my heart.  I’m including the official lyric version, too, because words are important.

I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  Be sure to honor the women in your life, and hug the people you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Mourning

It’s happened again.  This time less than an hour away from my home.  Heaven forbid we should ever get accustomed to it.

A sad, lost, disturbed child entered a school with a gun and killed seventeen people.

As usual, the finger-pointing and politicizing started instantaneously.  On every side.  Does it help?  Do we feel superior now?

No matter the factors that led to the tragedy, we’re heart-broken.  Seventeen lives were senselessly snuffed out.  Seventeen journeys cut short.  Seventeen families shattered.  Countless survivors scarred for life.

So now what?  While we wait for politicians to get their shit together and do something effective–about guns, about mental illness, about family social services, about following up on reports filed by citizens who saw something and said something.  What do we do?

I think we love.  Starting with those closest to us.  We hug them, and we tell them that we love them.  We reach out to those who are hurting and we help them if we can, or refer them to someone who is better equipped.

I heard Bob Goff speak last week about love in action.  Loving those we find “creepy,” because they need it the most.  His book Love Does is currently in my Amazon cart.  It’s ten bucks and available on Prime.

A small investment in a better world.

Happy Saturday night.

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Oh, For A Pint On A Fall Night

Happy November!  Can it be possible that the holidays are right around the corner?  Oh, it CAN be–judging by the sudden onslaught of Christmas displays in the stores and the commercials on television.

Last weekend was cool here in south Florida.  A/C was turned off, windows were opened, a fresh breeze whisked away all the stale air from the house.  We even had a fire in the fireplace a couple of nights.  This weekend is more or less back to normal for this time of year–bright sunshine and low humidity with high temps around 80.

But last weekend put me in a mood.  I want to escape to a pub in Galway, and sip a pint of Guinness while listening to a local band.

I love this song by Ed Sheeran, and I adore this video even more.  Join me for a pint, and celebrate this beautiful fall evening.  Be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–When All Hell Broke Loose

It’s been a week, hasn’t it?  Just last week I was giddy, happy about our anniversary.

My friend Danielle has had a rough couple of months.  Realizing it was a huge mistake, she called off her wedding.  Then last Friday, she lost her job.  So she headed off for the weekend to blow off a little steam.  In Las Vegas.

When I woke up Monday morning to the news about the mass shooting, I went crazy trying to get in touch with her.  She’d marked herself ‘safe’ on Facebook, and eventually, I heard from her.  She was in a different part of the Strip, and was completely safe.

Then came news about Tom Petty.  He was dead.  Then he wasn’t dead.  Then he was dead again.  For Pete’s sake, can we please get these things right?

I’ve never been a huge fan, but he’s one of those artists you come to realize has been the soundtrack for a lot of your life.  This song, American Girl, seems to encapsulate a lot of what we’ve had to wrap our heads around this week.  This version is from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and it’s stellar.

Any good news?  Danielle returned home safely.  She’s not married to a guy she doesn’t love.  Oh, and she starts a great new job on Monday.

I’m hoping tonight finds you and your loved ones safe and sound.  Hug’em tight, because you just never know.  If you’re on the Gulf Coast, please take care.

Happy Saturday night!