Monday, October 11, 2010

Holidays and Special Moments

by Julia Buckley

Happy Columbus Day to all. In honor of the holiday, my children and I have the day off of school--a yearly treat that all who follow the school calendar come to rely upon. I recently had the honor of reading Liz Zelvin's new novel about a young man who sailed with Columbus, and it has given me a whole new understanding of Columbus's time, of the many conflicts in Spain and in the New World, and of Columbus himself. So Liz, I will be thinking of those details as I celebrate the day.

Speaking of celebrations, Friday the 8th was my husband Jeff's 50th birthday. So yesterday, his day off, we had a big party with many of his family and friends. I haven't thrown a sizeable party in a while, and since we had this one at a local restaurant, I didn't even have to clean my house first. :)

However, as is the tradition in my family, we did have to provide a little show. So I took liberties with the Beatles' famous anthem Hey, Jude and re-titled it Hey, Jeff to sing a ditty to my husband about the joys (and sorrows) of growing older.

Accompanied by my son Ian and his cousin Dan, talented guitarists both, the whole group of us sang to him (thanks to some cue cards we made in advance). Our song went like this:

Hey, Jeff (by the Beatles, with some liberties)

Hey, Jeff
You’re fifty now;
Seems like last year
You were just thirty.
Remember, when all your muscles felt new?
All you could do–-when you were 30?

Hey, Jeff
It’s not so bad
AARP has plenty of perks.
And restaurants will give you discounts on food;
Bring the whole brood, and order some soup.

And any time your back’s in pain, Hey, Jeff, it’s plain
You’ll need to apply some heat to your spine;
And limping home from work at nine
Hey Jeff, it’s fine–
You just need to sit down with some good wine.

Na na na na na–na na na na–na na na na . . .

Hey Jeff–

You have two sons;
They have stolen your strength and vigor
They jokingly like to call you ‘old man.’
But that’s the plan–-of getting older.

And now that you have turned 5-0, hey Jeff,
you know
Your view of the world is slightly calmer;
You still love rock, but folk is cool, yeah, Jeff, you rule
You’re like the toned-down version of Leila.

And don’t you know that it’s okay
Life goes that way
And you can just have some fun with fifty.

Na na na na na, na na na na. . .

Hey Jeff--
We’re on your side.
We brought presents and lots of pasta;
Don’t worry about the years that roll in
You can begin
To like it better, better, better, better AHHHh!

Nah, Nah Nah nananana, nananana,
Hey Jeff.

Nah Nah Nah nananan, nananan,
Hey Jeff.

By the end there was much waving of arms; everybody knew the tune, even the senior citizens in the group, and the final words are a no-brainer. :)

The song was such a big hit that I realized again how important it is, not just for us to celebrate the moments of our lives, but to make them memorable in some meaningful way.

Happy Holiday to all! My husband, still exhausted from the party, is resting on the couch. Perhaps I can lure him out to enjoy this fall day and to contemplate the notion of this New World.


Sandra Parshall said...

Julia -- LOL! Love the song, and I hope Jeff had a fantastic birthday.

Julia Buckley said...

Thanks, Sandra! We had lots of fun, and I think Jeff did feel celebrated. :)

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Happy birthday to Jeff, and thanks for mentioning Voyage of Strangers, Julia. After doing my research, I'm hesitant to talk about "celebrating" Columbus Day, because the "discovery" was so tragic for the folks Columbus discovered. But a day off from school is always worth celebrating. :) And 50th birthday, huh? The traditional presents are prunes and All-Bran. ;)

Julia Buckley said...

It's true, Liz. Columbus and other colonizers of his ilk were blind to the notion of disparate cultures, or the idea that one could learn from other peoples rather than having to conquer them.

But you're also right when you say that "Columbus Day" has a totally different connotation in the educational world. :)

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