One thing this time of year offers everyone, is ample pause for reflection. The holiday season is ripe with memories created over years and emblazoned in our hearts and minds.
Things seem more vivid, more poignant and even more emotional during the holidays. Maybe because this time is so fleeting, and so precious, that we want to spend it with those that mean the most to us.
We treasure this time, and those that we share it with. The holidays also span the decades as we harken back to days spent with those loved ones who are no longer part of our physical lives, yet live forever in our souls. It’s difficult to look at a Christmas tree or holiday wreath without picturing our own childhood, framed on Christmas morning, surrounded by a loving family and friends.
If only there was a package that could hold those happiest of times for us to open and re-live whenever we are feeling troubled or lost. Those warm memories still live within us, just waiting to be brought to the surface by opening the right greeting card or gift box.
Only the holidays can do that.
And so, on a cold Saturday night in December, Carl and I had the good fortune to be playing for some wonderful old friends.
Unbelievably, the last time that we saw them, their son was only a few months old. That son is now a grown man of thirty years.
When I say that we are indeed lucky to share our music with people, it is in times like these when we are so thankful to be doing what we love. We played for these folks three or four times as their company was growing and expanding back over three decades ago. The last time being the thirtieth birthday party of our hosts’ wife.
Always a pleasure and always enjoyable; we remember those gigs so fondly that when word came we were to play for them again, we couldn’t wait to arrive.
In the old days, their company was rooted in Romeo, so that is where we would gather. Cranking up the sound in their garage always had a home-spun, neighborhood-friendly feel to it. Real, honest, hardworking people who deserved all the best things and were willing to do the right things to achieve them.
Well, the good news is that they did achieve the good things in life. They prospered and in turn those around them did the same. Carl and I feel so lucky to simply be a small part.
When we arrived at the their estate in West Bloomfield, the house was dark and quiet. It seemed that all of the family and guests were out to attend a surprise dinner and would return for the party soon.
After exploring the residence, we set up our equipment for the night in the drawing room. I guess, it could have been the study, or the rumpus room. (since I’m not really sure what a rumpus room is). All set up, it was time to wait . . . .
. . . waiting for the guests to arrive allowed us the opportunity to learn about the caterers and how they would help make the party the big success it would eventually turn out to be. All nice, hardworking people. Dedicated and always there for their hosts.
Soon, the door opened, the Champaign was flowing, and the birthday guests were dancing to our very first song, We were a hit right from the first on this night. Seeing the host and hostess again after all these years, only confirmed what we already knew: these were some very nice people.
Each song we played was appreciated and enjoyed thoughroughly by everyone within earshot. So nice to be able to play each and every request, no matter what era or genre.
The party was warm and cozy, each room in the house, glowing with its own holiday spirit. Our music filling the spaces in between.
We were contracted to play nearly two hours, however, since we were having such a great time, we played three!
Soon it was time to pack up and say good night to all of the contented guests. On our way into the night, we stopped and shook the hand of our hosts.
Hearing their kind words only reminded us of how nice they had been thirty years earlier.
It certainly does make us feel good, knowing that for once, some of the hard working folks were rewarded with all the good things life can bring. Thoughtfulness, hard work and dedication really do pay off in the end.
. . . who knew?