Yesterday . . . and Today

It was a good day yesterday. And it was a fantastic night at Yesterday and Today. The Babe and I have seen this interactive Beatles experience every year since I think 2014. No two shows have ever been the same, since the requests submitted by the audience drive the set list. What a very creative and clever idea. And every year, it seems as if the McGuigan brothers cannot top what they’ve just done. You even get a lovely parting gift with this show.

That challenge is always accepted by Billy, Ryan, and Matthew. Their talent and performance pays tribute to their departed Dad, who died when they were pretty young. In fact, he was pretty young; 42. They learned Beatles songs as toddlers and now make a living performing those songs. Not impersonation, but real guys singing music their Dad loved. It’s a tender tribute that now follows into the next generation. Billy’s son Ciaran is an already accomplished guitarist while not even in high school yet. Watch out, Omaha! There’s some upcoming talent here. Think Clapton. Seriously.

Other band changes include adding horns and strings; most recordings from that fantastic era included these instruments. Why not on stage with the guys who do the Beatles justice, each and every time they pick up their instruments and sing? These guys are the Kings of “Why Not?”

Last year, Ryan made quite the theatrical entrance while performing, “I Am the Walrus,” complete with a gas mask. This year, he has a cool hooded crocheted sweater he wore over his John Lennon style “New York City” t-shirt. Ryan, did someone make it for you? It was pretty cool. Only you could carry it off, too. You can tell he’s an actor at heart. He’s a blast to watch and wonder what he’ll do next. It’s a gift.

Billy’s gift, in my opinion, is the adaptability to get through anything that challenges him, and I believe that true onstage and off. His humor is off the wall and off the cuff. Or is it? It sure appears that way. I think he’s a pretty funny guy. Speaking of funny guys, Max Meyer plays a mean cowbell. He get the crowd revved for sure. I do believe he’s pretty proud of that. You’ll find out why. Go see the show. He has another surprise for you, too. Go see the show. Dying to tell you what it is, but won’t join this special surprise.

Matthew is such a professional, always steady and just enjoying the musical moments. I believe he is a very talented arranger, and can arrange things in such a manner you wonder why the original song didn’t go that way in the first place. The knowledge he has must be unparalleled. It’s his gift. There is always a seemingly “quiet one” of the groups. The Beatles had George, and The McGuigan’s have Matthew. And that’s a very good thing.

Your Christmas gift to any music lover should be going to this show. Even if you’re not a Beatles fan, you will be a McGuigan Brothers fan. Go see the show. You’ll love it. The first Christmas, the Baby Jesus had three wise men, bearing gifts. This Christmas, Omaha has three wise men named McGuigan, bearing their gifts. The Celestial Star they follow is their Dad, who shines upon them. Go see the show. The Slowdown is an awesome venue for them to call home.

Countdown-Six Days to Go!

These last days before Christmas, I’m noting some seasonal songs I enjoy hearing at Christmas. Today’s is “Celebrate Me Home,” by Kenny Loggins. This was the extended version, so it’s a nice nearly ten minute break in your day. I love the thoughts about being home for Christmas. I never lived away from home, where I couldn’t come home for Christmas. All my siblings live in town, as do most of our cousins. My first husband took leave the first Christmas he was in the Army. He came home early from a cushy gig in Germany in December 1972. His older brother was in Thailand and missed two Christmases with the family.

I only had a few gifts to wrap, three for grandkids. I have one more for Gavin to assemble, then wrap or gift bag it. It’ll be fine. I’m coping pretty well at the moment about not seeing the kids at Christmas. My daughter hasn’t been home for that in many years, and that’s ok. They have two babies and it’s hard. Her mother-in-law would be alone unless they invited her along, but I’m not sure she would like to come. That’s ok, we wouldn’t want her to be alone.

It took a long time to come to terms with what Christmas is now, for empty nesters. Because of COVID, my one son who is in town doesn’t want to get together. His restaurant chef job could be shaky, and if he became ill, he wouldn’t have any PTO. It gets so complicated.

The cute header photo of two ornaments, two of our little neighbor children made. It was such a sweet surprise! The entire family walked over to present them. It was just so thoughtful. Mom is home-schooling because of COVID, and Dad works from home. My hat is off to her. She schedules them time to be outside; run their energy out and go back inside and be quiet to not disturb Dad’s ZOOM meetings. It’s lovely to see how they work together.

This is so true. Find Joy in the Snow, whether or not you love it. Rather be joyful than negative.

I decorate with snowmen once the Christmas decorations come down. It is less of a shock to just change out some decorations instead of looking at a naked house in the cold, dark days of January. Hopefully, we will have mass vaccinations by February and we can live our lives again. I’m praying for a good outcome that is safe.

If you know of anyone alone this Christmas, try to communicate with them. They would probably love a phone call or a little bag of candy and cookies. It takes very little for a stranger to brighten a person’s day. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. Be Safe. And Spread the Christmas Message of Love, not COVID. Blessings. See you tomorrow.

Summation Saturday

I’m enjoying music by Ray Scott this morning. The Babe and I saw him briefly about a year ago with our friend Jimmy Weber at a local hole in the wall, Buck’s. It was a fun night, but the Babe was dealing with a wound vac and wasn’t feeling well enough to stay for the entire show. What we heard, we liked. We bought up all the CD’s I could find online. He’s very good. The songs are making me think, which helps me create. Thanks, Ray!

It’s been quite a week. I’ve experienced some weird memories and dreams, when I figure out what they meant, I’ll let you know. Messages come in your dreams, and if you keep your eyes open, you can see them all around you. Mentally, I’m getting more in the Christmas spirit than before. Not sure why, but these holidays can be very tough for some of us. I’ll leave it at that for now. Remember that with your friends and family. Help them get through these days. It’s not all silver bells and tinsel. And now, we get to add in the Covid-19 which just adds to funk and fog. Be gentle with yourself and others.

My Writing Space. I love the laptop stand.

Yesterday, I mentioned this stand I purchased from a small company through Amazon. It’s the best investment I’ve ever made. With the stand all the way down, it raises the Chromebook up about three inches. I am not putting stress on my neck by looking down while writing. I can write longer! It’s a Christmas miracle! Get one for anyone in your life who needs some ergonomics in their life. The company is Lifelong.

Today, I’m going to sift through all the papers and printed things I’ve accumulated during this writing journey we’re on. It’s a good time to keep what I have found useful and toss everything that isn’t helpful. Later, I’m going to mark a quilt for quilting and tomorrow, going to hem a dress for a beautiful young lady. Time will fly by, as always.

Go for a walk today, or just get a little fresh air. From my studio window, I can see a couple houses putting up Christmas lights on their homes. It’s always fun to see them lit at night. If there are sound effects with them the dogs get a little nervous. They’re such cowards when it really gets down to it. They make me laugh out loud!

The last but best happening this week; When I talked about what I learned about writing from Carol Gino, Mario Puzo’s twenty-year companion and fellow writer, she took the time and e-mailed me. I am over the moon! We’ll talk more about that all later. I’m just going to enjoy the orbit I’m in. Thanks for reading, I’m headed out to the deck for a little fresh air. Be Kind. Be Careful. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. Slow down. You’ll get there. Just get there. See you tomorrow!