Dennis & Barb Heart. 50 years.

For this #SolarMusicMonday, I wanted to pause and honor my parents, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary together this weekend. We were fortunate to have a very small, outdoor celebration at their home. It is hard to grasp the magnitude of this milestone; but telling stories, laughing and singing in their backyard seemed like a perfect way to celebrate everything they have given to our family. They are such a core part of who I am today. Daily, they demonstrate how to love. How to love each other, how to love the planet and every living thing, and how to hope for our future. And how to slow down, listen, and enjoy the wonders around us.

This year has been a tough one. My mom is immunocompromised, and has not been anywhere since late January of this year, other than a few car rides with my dad to see the changing seasons and migration of the animals through Wisconsin. It has been a challenge, but one of things that has gotten her through is the hopeful and fun music of the Okee Dokee Brothers. So I’d like to share that with you today.

This folk duo from Minnesota has brought so much fun and hope to our entire family. While putting his canoe on top of the car, my dad first heard “Can You Canoe” on WPR’s Simply Folk. From that moment on, their music has lifted their spirits, and our family has been able to enjoy concerts together like at Big Top Chautauqua.

The Okee Dokee Brothers were gracious enough to send a virtual message to my parents this weekend, recording of one of their lovely songs that can bring hope in this current moment. We are so thankful they took time to share their music and well wishes with my parents, so I wanted to share that song, Good Old Times, with you.

Two final notes on the Okee Dokee Brothers that you should know:

1. They are gracious in giving back to the community, including supporting this fundraiser for YMCA Camp Northern Lights to create a week of intercultural connected-ness in the woods, creating a family camp with 50% BIPOC families to help disrupt the traditional power dynamics that is too often present at camps. To make spaces more inclusive by thoughtfully and intentionally representing and supporting indigenous families and people of color.

2. If you have kids, this is a win for you. Check out their full movie video specials, and soon enough you’ll be floating down the Mississippi, or riding horseback out west; and your family will have new songs to sing. And, honestly, anything new helps during this pandemic!  My mom says she knows your family will enjoy! <3

Good Old Times
The Okee Dokee Brothers

We used to sit around the fire
Tellin’ tales about the days of old
We’d reminisce about the times we missed
I reminisce about the stories we told
And as the fire got to dying down
And the night would start to turn back to day
We’d laugh once more for fun
And then someone would say

Yessir, Yessir, those days were fine
Yessir, Yessir, but these are the good old times

When we’re old and our memories are grey
If we have any left at all
In the spring, we’ll watch leaves being born
And then we’ll watch them change in the fall
We’ll wish that we were young again
Tell that story about your wedding day
Life is short, but we’ve had each other
And then one of us will say…

Yessir, Yessir, those days were fine
Yessir, Yessir, but these are the good old times

If there was a time to sing this old tune
I figured that would be now
Cuz today will be yesterday tomorrow
Ain’t it crazy how time works out
There ain’t nothin’ like a good old friend
And there ain’t many friends like you and me
We’ve got a lot of great stories
But I think we can all agree…

Yessir, Yessir, those days were fine
Yessir, Yessir, but these are the good old times


Listen to the full #SolarMusicMonday playlist HERE.

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