Saturday Night Serenade–Ready To Feel Good

It was a week.  I can’t complain, not really.  We had a Cat 5 hurricane barreling toward us, and ended up losing power for only about 15 hours.  No damage to the house, just a lot of tree branches and debris down in the yard.  Parts of the Keys are devastated.  I almost feel guilty for feeling relieved.

Local news was 24/7 hurricane coverage for a good five days, warning us of doom, gloom, and imminent disaster.  We had no idea what was going on in the rest of the world.

When the electricity and internet were back up, I was ready to go back to normal life.  Not so fast, though.  Not everyone around here has had their power restored.  We were apparently among the very fortunate.  And the county just lifted the curfews they’d enacted.  For quite a few days, there was no going anywhere from dusk to dawn.

View of the Jupiter Lighthouse from Square Grouper, after Hurricane Irma.

Cabin fever forced Mr. R. and I to go exploring on Wednesday.  On the most off chance, we cruised by one of our favorite watering holes, knowing that because it’s on the water, it would definitely be closed.

It wasn’t.  Precious few people knew, so it was blissfully uncrowded and we spend a nice hour decompressing toward normal.

I’m ready to feel good again.  So for tonight’s serenade, I’m bringing along Ed Sheeran with Castle on the Hill.  I love this song.  It makes me feel happy.

I hope you’re enjoying this September evening.  Is it cool where you are?  It’s still steamy hot here.  Hug those you love, and maybe consider donating to hurricane relief.  Between Texas and Florida, there are a lot of hurting folks out there.

Happy Saturday night!

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Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #9

Happy August, everyone!  This summer is just moving on along, isn’t it?  I’m feeling pretty happy right now, I’ll just be honest with you.

This is the final summer weekend for all my teacher friends.  They have to show up on Monday, ready for another year.  My retirement officially starts Monday.

I know, I’ve been off all summer, but I would have been anyway.  In all fairness, though, since the end of school in June, I’ve been working seven days a week as I endeavor to make a go of full-time writing, so I didn’t actually take a break.  But I’m happy doing what I’m doing, I’m nearly finished with my new novel, and I know what my next project will be.

Tonight’s serenade is a romantic little song,  I’m Yours by Jason Mraz.  It isn’t a summer song per se, but it always feels summery to me.  Guanabanas, one of our favorite date night destinations, is a tropical paradise, an outdoor bar/restaurant on the river in Jupiter.  On their tiki stage, there’s usually a guy with an acoustic guitar singing Jason Mraz covers.  I love to order a Cat 5 hurricane along with a round of their homemade fish dip and just chill.

Feel free to do the same on this first weekend of August.  Be sure to hug those you love, and tell them how much they mean to you.  Happy Saturday night!

I’m Yours

Well, you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill, but you’re so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks
Now I’m trying to get back

Before the cool done run out
I’ll be giving it my bestest
And nothing’s gonna stop me but divine intervention.
I reckon, it’s again my turn
To win some or learn some.

But I won’t hesitate
No more, no more.
It cannot wait,
I’m yours.

Well, open up your mind and see like me,
Open up your plans and damn you’re free.
Look into your heart and you’ll find love, love, love, love.
Listen to the music of the moment, people dance and sing, we’re just one big family
And it’s our God-forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved, loved

So I won’t hesitate
No more, no more.
It cannot wait,
I’m sure.
There’s no need to complicate.
Our time is short.
This is our fate,
I’m yours.

Do you want to come on, scooch on over closer, dear
And I will nibble your ear

I’ve been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror
And bending over backwards just to try to see it clearer
But my breath fogged up the glass
And so I drew a new face and I laughed.

I guess what I’ll be saying is there ain’t no better reason
To rid yourself of vanities and just go with the seasons.
It’s what we aim to do.
Our name is our virtue.

But I won’t hesitate
No more, no more.
It cannot wait,
I’m yours.

Well, open up your mind and see like me,
Open up your plans and damn you’re free.
Look into your heart and you’ll find that the sky is yours.
So please don’t, please don’t, please don’t…
There’s no need to complicate.
‘Cause our time is short.
This oh, this oh, this is our fate.
I’m yours.

Oh, I’m yours
Oh, I’m yours
Oh, oh,
Baby, do you believe, I’m yours?
You best believe, you best believe, I’m yours.

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #8

It’s the end of July.  Normally around this time, I’d be panicked thinking about going back to work.  My living room would be filled with piles of composition books, spiral notebooks, folders, crayons, glue sticks, scissors, pencils, and all the other back-to-school paraphernalia.

This year is different.  Since school ended in June, I’ve been working seven days a week on my new full-time career.  And loving every minute of it.  I don’t mind hard work when I believe in what I do and have the freedom to do it in the way it should be done.  Teaching hasn’t been that way for a long time.

Last school year was spectacularly bad, and more than half the staff of my school has found other positions.  A few, like me, have found new careers.  Since that’s the case and we’ve all gone our separate ways, I’m making it my mission to see that we all stay in touch, and to that end, my bestie Mo and I started a group on Facebook.  We call it a ‘book club’, a tongue-in-cheek nod to the code word we used last year when we needed to share ‘ears only’ information (told you it was a bad year), and it’s by invitation only.  The main purpose is to have a communication platform–we’re planning to get together for lunch once a month to stay in contact, keep up with everyone, and encourage each other in our new endeavors.

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Yesterday was our second meeting, and we had a blast.  We’ve decided that ‘our place’ is an outdoor bar on the Jupiter Inlet called Square Grouper.  The vibe is island casual, with sand for the floor and palm fronds for the ceiling, with a view of the Jupiter lighthouse across the inlet.  Oh, and did I mention that I’ve made it a setting in my new book, due out in September?  It’s a place to go when you need to decompress.  There’s nothing like the lull of the water and the gentle ocean breeze that lets you sit back and relax.

book club pano

Which is exactly what we did.  Before we left yesterday, we made plans for our August meeting.  I offered to change up the venue, but everyone wanted to come back to this little slice of paradise where it’s always 5:00.

And that brings me to tonight’s serenade, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.  It’s a great summer song.  It also happened to be shot here, at Square Grouper.  The video is old–the place has put in a few upgrades, but they’ve maintained the tranquil, island-time essence that brings everyone back.

Tonight, I’m grateful for good friends, cold drinks, a gentle summer breeze, and life in general.  I hope you’re well and enjoying your summer.  Be sure to hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #5

Happy Weekend, everyone!  Hope your 4th went well.  Mr. R ended up making two trips to the fireworks store, and suffice it to say, we had plenty of things that went BOOM.

Friday was Date Night, and being the middle of July, it was time for Shakespeare by the Sea, the annual outdoor performance at the Carlin Park Amphitheatre.  This year’s play was one I’d never heard of, Love’s Labour’s Lost, but as always, it was lots of fun.

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We enjoyed pizza al fresco and shaved ice, but, tragedy, we forgot the wine.  On the upside, there’s wine in the fridge for tonight.

After the show, we headed back home by way of A1A, driving along the beach.  There was a beautiful, nearly full moon, and we stopped along the way to take a look.  We were not disappointed.

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All in all, it was a fabulous evening.

I hope you’re enjoying this hot summer night.  It’s the fifth installment of the Summer Songs series, and I’m pulling out an old favorite.  Remember that summer when we all walked like an ‘Egypt-she-in’?  I say, let’s do it again!  Who’s with me?

You know you want to do that sideways head bob.  While you’re at it, hug those you love.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Norah Jones

Happy Small Business Saturday!  Hopefully you were able to support small local business at some point today.  You could always buy a book by an Indie author, just saying…

Mr. R. and I went out looking to help out the local economy today.  First, we took my new car to a mom and pop car wash.  Next, we attempted to buy some goodies from a small Cuban bakery, but we were thwarted by long lines and slow clerks.

So instead, we ended up at one of our favorite bars, Square Grouper, on the Jupiter Inlet.  It’s everything that’s great about an outdoor tiki bar.  It’s directly on the water, right across from the Jupiter lighthouse, which has been decorated for the holidays.  The floor is sand, the ‘ceiling’ is made up of the fronds of the many coconut palms planted throughout the property.  You can order your pirate punch and sip while watching boats going in and out, dodging the stand-up paddle boarders.  Flocks of pelicans bob on the swells, occasionally dipping their beaks and scooping up fish.  We’ve even seen stingrays gliding along beneath the surface of the water.

And, more often than not, they have live music.  Today, there was a lone chick, who was playing East Bound and Down when we first arrived.  Later on, she slipped into a bluesy vibe and covered Norah Jones.  Which brings us to tonight’s serenade.  I love Norah Jones and I love this song.

I hope you’re still feeling thankful and that you’re surrounded by those you love.  Hug them extra tight, and remember that every day is a good day to support small business.

Happy Saturday night!

If It’s July, It Must Be Shakespeare

July is always a bit of a downer for me.  That’s because past the 4th of July, my summer vacation is more than half-way over.

However…

Mid-July brings Shakespeare by the Sea, the annual performance by the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival at Carlin Park in Jupiter.  Each year, they choose a play by the bard and give it their own spin.  This year, they’re doing The Taming of the Shrew, and it’s set at the Kentucky Derby.  Which has me shrugging my shoulders a bit, but I’m happy to go along for the ride.

The play is performed at the Seabreeze Amphitheatre across the street from the beach.  Patrons of all ages are invited to bring picnic suppers, wine, blankets, and lawn chairs as they come to enjoy an evening of entertainment.

A couple of years ago, my folks were visiting along with my six-year-old niece, Lily, and I was so excited to take them to see Much Ado About Nothing.  They were not convinced that Lily would be content to watch a Shakespeare play.  But once we arrived and got settled, some of the actors came out and interacted with her.  When the curtain went up, she was riveted.

The event runs for two consecutive long weekends and is free, with a suggested donation of $5 to cover their expenses.  At last year’s performance of Hamlet, an actor performed a private sonnet in exchange for your donation.

I love everything about this video.  The actor is spot-on, his young audience handles the one-on-one attention with aplomb, and you get the feel of sitting on the hillside waiting for the play to begin.

So tonight, we take our picnic and enjoy opening night of The Taming of the Shrew.  I love this part of July!

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2016 cast of The Taming of the Shrew

Only In South Florida–Your Moment Of Holy $#!t

This unbelievable video was shot this week by a local paddleboarder.  The location is uncomfortably close to where we go to the beach.  It’s the beach where my boy and his lovely bride were married last May.

I mean, you always know sharks out there, right?  But seeing this is a huge reminder.  They’re OUT THERE.  Which is why I prefer to enjoy the ocean from the sand.  Yep.  The sand is just fine for me.