Wind Beneath My Wings #Monday Musical Memories

Last Friday, October 18th, my late husband Bill would have been 76 years old. He was my hero, the wind beneath my wings. If not for him, I might not have quit my day job and started writing full-time. Without his love, encouragement, and feedback, I might not have published my first two books. Without his inspiration, I might not have five books under my belt with a sixth on the way. He made me who I am today.

After his strokes, I often sang him this song. He always cried when I got to the part about walking a step behind. That was how we always walked together before the strokes, so my white cane wouldn’t hit him, as I arced it back and forth along the sidewalk. He placed one hand on my shoulder and the other on his support cane. You can read more of our story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Now, six years after his passing, I still can’t sing this song without losing it. I’ve tried, but I can’t do it justice, at least not yet. So, I’ve given Bette Midler the honor of performing it for us today.

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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That’s Amore #Monday Musical Memories

When I was little, I didn’t like pizza or any other finger food. But by the time I was ten, my taste had changed. Mother often heated frozen pizzas for my younger brother and me. I liked the large pies she cut into triangular slices. Until I was an adult, I didn’t eat the crust unless it was soft, which it often wasn’t.

Those frozen pizzas weren’t nearly as good as those we ate at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. In 1974, after my family moved from Tucson, Arizona, to Sheridan, Wyoming, a restaurant in that chain opened here. This establishment had a stage with a piano and a microphone. But unlike in the one in Tucson, nobody played it or sang until one night when my family ate there.

By that time, I was twelve, and I’d started playing the piano and singing at home. I don’t know whose idea it was, but I found myself at that piano. After Dad walked me up there and made sure the microphone was working, I began. At first, I was nervous, but after a bit, it was as if I was in our living room with only my family listening. Apparently, others in the restaurant were also listening because I received plenty of applause. I played several songs before returning to our table.

When the manager came over, I thought he was going to kick us out. But instead, he presented me with a pitcher of Coke. Thus, my singing career began, such as it was.

My late husband Bill also liked pizza. But unlike me, he was finicky about what went on it. He only wanted meat, cheese, and maybe a few mushrooms. I, on the other hand, have always enjoyed pies with everything on them except for anchovies and jalapeno peppers.

When Bill and I often ordered pizzas delivered from Domino’s, we got a medium-sized half and half pie with one half meat, cheese, and mushrooms, and the other half with everything. Because of my limited vision, I sometimes got the two halves confused. Bill would take a bite of a slice I gave him and say, “Ooh, this is your half.” You can read more about how I became Bill’s caregiver after he suffered two strokes in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Now that Bill is gone, I rarely order pizza from Domino’s. Another establishment here in town called Powder River Pizza delivers personal pies, so I occasionally order one of them.

I also like frozen individual pizzas from Schwan. I realized that the pizzas Mother prepared were cooked in the oven too long. So, I heat one Schwan single-serve supreme pizza for only two minutes in the microwave. Some might find the crust too soggy, heated this way, but for me, it’s just right.

The song I’ll sing for you today compares love to pizza and other things. I didn’t know it when I entertained at Shakey’s, but it’s one I’d sing if I ever had another chance to perform in a pizza joint.

That’s Amore

 

How about you? What do you remember about pizza growing up? What do you like on your pie now? October is National Pizza Month, so I hope you’ll have an opportunity to enjoy some this month.

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Golden Ring #Monday Musical Memories

Two months after my late husband Bill sent me a braille letter, asking me to marry him, he traveled from his home in Fowler, Colorado, to my home in Sheridan, Wyoming, to propose officially during a dinner with family and friends we’d pre-arranged. He brought a gold ring. Fortunately, I had the foresight to try it on beforehand because it was too small.

We took it to a local jewelry store, hoping they could re-size it in time for the dinner. But they had to send it away for that, and it would be a few weeks before I would have it back. Luckily, Bill had also brought a necklace. As he placed it around my neck in front of all those near and dear to me, he said, in jest, “If you say no, I’ll choke you with this.” Everyone laughed, including me. By that time, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life loving him, so it was a no-brainer.

When the newly re-sized ring was returned to me, I wore it all the time, taking it off only to sleep, shower, wash dishes, and exercise in the YMCA’s swimming pool. On our wedding day, Bill had another ring. Afterward, we had the two combined, and I wore that ring all through our marriage until he passed seven years later. Today, it still lies in a ring holder on my bureau, untouched for years. You can read our story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

At least my ring has a happier story than the one in the song I’m featuring today. That ring was purchased in a pawn shop, and the couple was married that same afternoon. Later, when the woman fell out of love with her husband, the ring was cast aside and no doubt ended up back in that pawn shop.

I hope you enjoy this live performance by George Jones and Tammy Wynette. It took place two years after their divorce. I don’t know if this song is their story, but it’s definitely a poignant one.

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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The Sound of Music Medley #Monday Musical Memories

When I was in second grade, I was first introduced to The Sound of Music while hanging out at a friend’s house on weekends. Her family had the soundtrack, and we listened to it a lot. In fifth grade, I sang in the school choir, and we performed “Climb Every Mountain” for graduation. In seventh and eighth grade glee clubs, we used variations of “Doe Ray Me” to warm up before practicing songs we would perform.

When I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home, one resident liked to yodel. So, I sang “The Lonely Goat Herd” with her. I wasn’t the best yodeler, but she sang along with me and seemed to enjoy it.

A couple of years ago when I started entertaining at an assisted living facility on a regular basis, one lady told me she’d lived in Austria when they were filming The Sound of Music, and her favorite song was “Edelweiss.” So, I sang that song for her every time. She has since passed away, but I still perform the song there occasionally.

The Sound of Music was my late husband’s favorite. In My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, I describe the agonizing process of getting him to sing with me, which the speech therapist recommended. Before his strokes, he was a pretty good singer. But afterward, although he could intone the words in the right rhythm, he couldn’t carry the tune.

Now that he’s gone, I enjoy singing songs from The Sound of Music because it brings me closer to him. I hope you also enjoy my medley of songs from this precious musical. May your hills always be alive with the sound of music.

 

Sound of Music Medley

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

The Impossible Dream #Monday Musical Memories

The musical this song is from was one of my late husband Bill’s favorites. After he suffered his first stroke, and it was evident that he wouldn’t be walking anytime soon, I worked to achieve what some might consider an impossible dream, caring for him at home. It was hard work, learning to perform all of Bill’s personal care tasks, but I did it.

Meanwhile, he tried to reach his unreachable star, to walk again. He never reached that star, but I reached mine, caring for him at home for six years, almost until his last days. You can read more about this in my memoir, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Susan Boyle’s beautiful rendition of this song brought all this to mind. I hope you find it as moving as I did.

 

How about you? Did you have a dream that you or anyone else thought was impossible? Did you achieve it?

 

New! ! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Three Little Birds #Monday Musical Memories

I have a nasty habit of worrying. I keep telling myself it doesn’t do any good, that whatever worries me will work out one way or another, but that doesn’t always help. I started worrying when I was thirteen years old.

At the time, all my friends had baby-sitting jobs. So naturally, I wanted one. I didn’t need the money. I just liked the idea of caring for smaller children. My parents, who were active in community theater, finally decided I was old enough to be left home alone with my younger brother Andy.

I then discovered that baby-sitting wasn’t easy. Andy rarely respected my authority. He was supposed to go to bed at nine o’clock, but when the time came, getting him there was a feat comparable to climbing Mount Everest. I cajoled, threatened, begged. Finally, after about fifteen minutes of arguing, he gave in. He was six years old and could get himself ready and into bed. Once he was asleep, the house was oddly quiet, and the nightmare began.

I lay awake, waiting for the reassuring hum of my parents’ car pulling into the garage next to my bedroom. Most nights, they were home by ten thirty. But one night, they still hadn’t returned by eleven.

I lay there, wondering what to do. My stomach, after having been tied up in knots for the past hour and a half, finally revolted. I leaped out of bed and dashed for the nearest bathroom, which was off the master bedroom. Andy often slept in our parents’ bed until they came home. So naturally, my vomiting woke him up. For once, he was nice. He offered to call Joan, a family friend Mother said we could contact in an emergency. I thought that wouldn’t be a bad idea. Maybe she would even come over and stay with us until our folks came home.

When Andy reached her on the bedside phone and explained that I was sick and Mother and Dad weren’t home yet, she suggested I brush my teeth and get back into bed and she would try to find our folks. I did as she suggested. Andy let me snuggle with him in our parents’ bed, a rare treat since my baby brother was getting past the cuddly stage.

A few minutes later, Joan called back and said she hadn’t been able to find our parents. I burst into tears, proclaiming that they’d been killed in a car accident and we were now orphans. This possibility didn’t seem to bother Andy. He just lay there, saying nothing.

Joan was sympathetic and patient. She assured me that our parents were probably out drinking somewhere and they would be home soon. She stayed on the phone with me until I felt sleepy. When Mother and Dad finally came home around two in the morning, they found us both asleep in their bed.

Because I’d been sick the night before, I was allowed to stay home from school the next day. Mother told me that if the incident from the previous night happened again, she would hire a baby-sitter. I wanted to tell her she could do that. I was done with that career. But I was too proud.

Mother also berated me for scaring Andy with the notion that we were orphans. What would she have done in my situation? Dad told me I just needed to go to sleep, and they would get home when they got home. That was easier said than done.

From then on, play rehearsal nights and any time our parents went out without us became a source of dread. Most nights, they were home early, but other nights, they weren’t. I thought if I went to bed while Andy was still up, I could be asleep before our folks came home and wouldn’t be responsible if Andy decided not to go to bed at his appointed time. Although I fell asleep, I had weird dreams and woke frequently. I never rested easy until our parents’ car pulled into the garage.

When I got into high school, I finally stopped worrying about our parents when they were out late. But I’ve never stopped worrying about things beyond my control. I often think of “what if” scenarios. Because of my vivid imagination, that’s why I’m a writer.

If you’re not familiar with the song I’m featuring today, you’re probably wondering what three little birds have to do with all this. In the song, three little birds deliver a message that we shouldn’t worry, that every little thing will be all right. If I’d heard this song back in my first baby-sitting days, would it have changed my perspective? Who knows?

 

How about you? Are you a worrier? Have you ever worried unnecessarily?

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Like a Prayer #Monday Musical Memories

My late husband Bill once told me he fell in love with my voice. So, the song I’m featuring today expresses what he must have been feeling. I don’t think he’d heard it, or he would have included it in one of several cassette tapes he sent me containing music he’d downloaded from the Internet before we were married. I hadn’t heard it until recently while streaming an 80’s station from Amazon Music, but when I did, I immediately thought of Bill. The song must have come out after I lost interest in popular music in 1985.

Madonna’s words can be hard to understand at times. So, I’ve copied the lyrics from Google and pasted them below the video. To learn more about Bill and me, you can read My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Like a Prayer
Madonna

 

Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone
I hear you call my name
And it feels like home
When you call my name it’s like a little prayer
I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there
In the midnight hour I can feel your power
Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there
I hear your voice, it’s like an angel sighing
I have no choice, I hear your voice
Feels like flying
I close my eyes, Oh God I think I’m falling
Out of the sky, I close my eyes
Heaven help me
When you call my name it’s like a little prayer
I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there
In the midnight hour I can feel your power
Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there
Like a child you whisper softly to me
You’re in control just like a child
Now I’m dancing
It’s like a dream, no end and no beginning
You’re here with me, it’s like a dream
Let the choir sing
When you call my name it’s like a little prayer
I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there
In the midnight hour I can feel your power
Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there
When you call my name it’s like a little prayer
I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there
In the midnight hour I can feel a power
Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there
Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone
I hear you call my name
And it feels like home
Just like a prayer, your voice can take me there
Just like a muse to me, you are a mystery
Just like a dream, you are not what you seem
Just like a prayer, no choice your voice can take me there
Just like a prayer, I’ll take you there
It’s like a dream to me
Just like a prayer, I’ll take you there
It’s like a dream to me
Just like a prayer, I’ll take you there
It’s like a dream to me
Just like a prayer, I’ll take you there
It’s like a dream to me
Just like a prayer, your voice can take me there
Just like a muse to me, you are a mystery
Just like a dream, you are not what you seem
Just like a prayer, no choice your voice can take me there
Just like a prayer, your voice can take me there
Just like a muse to me, you are a mystery
Just like a dream, you are not what you seem
Just like a prayer, no choice your voice can take me there
Your voice can take me there, just like a prayer
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Patrick Leonard / Madonna Ciccone
Like a Prayer lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

***

What about you? Was there something in particular about your significant other that captivated you?

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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My Amazon Author Page

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.