No story behind this week’s Monday Morning Music. Just a song that strikes a chord with me lately.
Plus, it’s Depeche Mode, and who doesn’t like Depeche Mode? 😀 I will, at some point soon, have an actual Depeche Mode story for you. Along with the U2 story
In the good news department, I’m finally on the mend after getting slapped down by the sickness I did my best to avoid over Christmas and New Year’s.
At least it waited until after the year started. I have this theory that however one’s New Year’s Eve goes, so goes the year to follow. After having spent so much time being sick, acute OR chronically, I did NOT want to spend this entire year dealing with being sick. That’s not to say I won’t have health issues to continue to address, but I’m sick of my health being the sole focus of my attention.
The Misfit’s got a brand new bag.
Or at least I hope to. 🙂
(That’s a metaphor, although I did pick up a super cute Betsey Johnson purse not too long ago. Ha!)
There’s something inherently sexy about him. I’ve been lucky enough to see him live twice – once with my mom and once with my parents and a man I was dating at the time.
Neither time did I throw my panties at him.
I’m disappointed in myself about this.
Anyway, Tom Jones brings to mind a snippet of a memory. Summertime in Germany, spending days at the Schwimmbad Heddernheim (Heddernheim is a city district of Frankfurt am Main. You can read more here, if you’re interested), and a schwimmbad is German for swimming pool.
The interesting thing about Heddernhem (which is all we used to call the schwimmbad) was that it was all outside. Lots of grassy area to sunbathe and hang out, a fantastic slide that looked a little something this this:
Freibad Heddernheim – Photo Courtesy of city-residence.de
and had lots of swim related things to do. I honestly don’t remember anything except the slide (which I remember as looking a bit different than the image, but we’re talking well over 30 years ago, so it may have actually been updated OR my memory sucks…) and the grassy area.
I have a snippet of memory of meeting a handsome German guy who was deaf at the slide, and another of sunbathing while blasting “Kiss” by the Art of Noise featuring Tom Jones and a boombox.
With all the cold temperatures – as much as I’ve enjoyed the change of pace – it’s awesome to have a summer memory to warm things up a bit.
So, Happy Monday, and I hope this helps get your week off to a great start!
This week I was going to share the story about road trippin’ to see U2 in Indianapolis, but I think I’ll save it for another day. It deserves not to get lost in other revelry.
I’m a homebody, especially when it comes to New Year’s Eve. I can’t think of one time I ventured out to celebrate, even when I wasn’t more inclined to spend my time at home – hence being thankful I’m not among the squash of bodies in Times Square, or any where else, for that matter.
I’m currently binge watching Game of Thrones, trying to decide which New Year’s Eve show to watch. I watched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve growing up – and watched it faithfully, even after Ryan Seacrest took over and Dick Clark made only an appearance. But I haven’t watched it since Dick Clark passed away in 2012.
It’s just not the same.
It’s always a crap shoot if I’ll be able to keep my eyes open until midnight to ring in the new year, anyway. Knowing me, I’ll pass out, wake up as the ball drops, say a sleepy “Happy New Year” and pass out again. 🙂
In any case, the first song I always play on New Year’s Day, regardless of whether it’s 12:01 or 9:00am, is “New Year’s Day” by U2.
I don’t know when this became my ritual or why I chose the song – it drives me insane that it’s such an obvious choice. But it’s also the perfect choice. I can’t think of another song better suited to help me ring in the new year.
I have lots of plans for 2018. Some are rehashing of the old (getting my German language skills back up to par, for instance), some are learning of the new (I haven’t decided what, yet), and some are not being such a homebody. Thanks to the chronic illness, I have to pace myself considerably, but I’m pretty well over being house-bound.
In any case, I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and a fantastic start to 2018!
By Trailer screenshot (White Christmas trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Despite living in Florida more often than not for nearly 30 years, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without cold weather and snow. Honestly, if my family wasn’t here, I wouldn’t have stayed nearly as long as I have. And with the nieces and nephews, I probably won’t be leaving any time soon.
I can’t predict what the weather will be like over Christmas, but at least last week, it was cooler than usual at night – dipping all the way down tot he 40s!! – which made for great sleeping weather. And it helped me ignore that I’d rather be somewhere where Christmas feels like Christmas.
Couple that with one of my favorite Christmas movies of all time, White Christmas, with Bing Crosby, Vera Ellen, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney, and you have the clip below. Just lovely.
(Below the White Christmas clip, is the original Bing Crosby version, because, well, it’s Bing.)
Welcome Donna Simonetta for this week’s Tell Tale Tuesday.
My husband and I moved to Baltimore nineteen years ago, prior to that I’d never lived in a city. It was a huge adjustment for me. While we live in the city limits, we were able to find a cute house on a small dead-end street of single-family homes, and I’ve come to appreciate Baltimore’s quirky charm. I’ve never adjusted to the driving downtown though!
We moved here to be closer to my mother-in-law, who was having health issues, and frequently had to drive several hours to see her in Virginia. We quickly learned a route that would avoid D.C. traffic, and would drive west toward the mountains, and then wend our way south. We would enter Virginia by crossing the Potomac River at Point of Rocks, Maryland. From there we meandered through green fields, dotted with hay bales and horses. It was a beautiful area, and I always thought, a little wistfully since I wasn’t used to city living yet, it would be a nice place to live.
So when I got the idea for my small-town contemporary romance Rivers Bend trilogy, I knew that part of Virginia was where I wanted it to be set. It was fun to create a fictional town, with its one stoplight, frequently set to flashing since there wasn’t much traffic, and the Town Green, complete with Gazebo. And of course, throughout it all flows the Potomac River.
A Sweeter Spot is the first book in the trilogy, and the main character, Magda, is a little bit of a fish out of water when she moves there from Manhattan. She quickly comes to love Rivers Bend, and wishes it could be her permanent home, rather than a temporary stop, while she helps out her best friend.
Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.
Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.
Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?
Here’s a brief excerpt that conveys the beauty and peace of the town, and Magda’s longing for a place to set down roots and call home…
She stretched her arms over her head and turned her face to the sky. “Mmm. Yesterday my life was all turmoil, and today, I’m here. I feel so calm—so right. Thanks for bringing me to this lovely spot.”
“Anytime.” Jeff’s voice was a little rough as he watched her breasts strain against her T-shirt as she stretched. She dropped her arms.
“You’re lucky to live here. To be a part of this land.”
“I am. I never really fit in anywhere else I’ve lived. My roots are here. My family.”
“It’s your home.” Her voice sounded wistful.
He dropped to the ground and leaned back on his elbows, his mile-long legs stretched out in front of him. Magda assumed the same position at his side. One of the horses nickered softly behind them, and the river glistened in the sunlight as it flowed in front of them.
“Where’s your home, Maggie?”
She shrugged. “Nowhere. I’m from Connecticut originally. Stratford. But my dad died last year, and I sold our house there when I moved to New York to live with Pierce. Now I guess I’m just a drifter.”
My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.
By University of Houston Digital Library – http://digital.lib.uh.edu/u?/p15195coll6,268, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19790429
A song from my childhood, for sure. Back when my Christmas was accompanied by the combined scents of crisp, cold air, gluehwein, roasted chestnuts, and hot bratwrust with warm brotchen. #ChristmasinGermany 🙂
(Can you believe this year is almost over? I don’t know about you, but it’s zipped by insanely fast!)
We’ve been dealing with the cooties over two households since before Thanksgiving – this is the second time I’ve been sidelined by the stupid stomach bug going around.
In any case, since Thanksgiving is over, I thought I’d spend the rest of the Mondays in the year, sharing my favorite Christmas tunes.
The first is “All I Want for Christmas”. I’ve seen Love Actually a zillion times, it seems, and mo matter how many times I watch, though, I always cry during the Christmas concert scene. I. Cannot. Help. Myself. 🙂 – one of my favorite movies – so many wonderful actors and stories! I’ll definitely be watching it at least once before Christmas.
So to kick off the Christmas season, here’s the clip from Love Actually.
p.s. Would you believe I had no idea it was a Mariah Carey song?
By May S. Young [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I’ve been thinking about Germany lately – some of you may know that I was born there and spent the most important parts of my growing up years with Frankfurt as my playground.
I can’t yet divulge why Germany has been on my mind so much lately, but Spandau Ballet’s “Through the Barricades” always reminds me of how I grew up straddling different cultures, and they’ve all played a significant part in making me who I am.
I had a huge crush on Martin Kemp (SB’s bass player – he’s done some acting since… in The Krays, which got me fascinated with the twin gangsters long after my musical crush was established – and I believe he was on Eastenders for quite some time [which I’ve never actually watched…].
Anyway, two things come to mind when I think of Spandau Ballet… One was my first trip to London via ferry ride from Ostend, Belguim to Dover. Where I met a gent by the name of Liam Fairhurst, who I kept in touch with for years before we lost touch. No idea what happened to him, but he was in the British military. Ultimately, that’s a story for another day.
Spandau Ballet comes in on my return to Germany and home where I told everyone I’d bumped into Martin on the streets of London and we’d hit it off famously! I’m sure the story was far more detailed, but I’ll be damned if I can remember the specifics. I do remember at least a few people falling prey to blatant lies before the truth was revealed.
I also got to see them live at the Frankfurt Alte Oper (I think…) with CR (who’s been mentionoed on #MondayMorningMusic here, and here) and FM and my brother. The highlight of the night was Martin picking up the note I threw down to the stage and waving blindly in my direction as he and the band walked offstage. I have no idea what the note said, except that it included my phone number.
I had some grand adventures over the years, that’s for sure. And I wouldn’t change any of them for the world.
Happy Monday, y’all. Here’s to a short work week, and Happy Thanksgiving to all celebrating this week!
Spandau Ballet – “Through the Barricades” Official Video
Spandau Ballet – “Through the Barricades” – a live, stripped down version with Tony Hadley and Gary Kemp, that I think is pretty amazing.