Melody of Love

Hold me in your arms dear – dream with me,
Cradled by your kisses – tenderly,
While a choir of angels – from above
Sing our melody of love. – H. Englemann/T. Glazer, sung by Frank Sinatra

Bill and I ate lunch yesterday at Oregano’s, his favorite pizza place here in AZ. The next best pizza to Fox’s, according to the Chicago native who is my husband. Could be. Anyway, though there are a number of Oregano’s restaurants around the city, every single one of them is busy all of the time. That’s okay. It’s worth the wait.

Busy often equates to noisy, and as we age, noise becomes a bit more of a problem. But neither too many customers nor noise were a problem yesterday, mostly because we got there when they first opened. When they unlocked the door, our noses were pressed up against it so that we nearly fell in. Not really, but frankly, it was almost that bad. The pizza ovens hadn’t even gotten hot.

We were led to a table (and let me assure you that there were a few other 60- and 70-somethings already seated), and the server took our order – a 12-inch sausage pizza, a big salad, and two diet Pepsi’s. Because what else?

Oregano’s has a schtick, and it’s part of the fun. Overhead on small-screen black and white televisions they are always playing either some sort of old romantic musical featuring a 20-year-old Frank Sinatra, an episode of The Lone Ranger, or an episode of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. But the televisions are on mute, because overhead from the speakers come the sounds of Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin or Perry Como or Rosemary Clooney.

And here’s the thing: I know the words to almost every song. As I’ve said before, I mistakenly use every one of my grandkids’ names before I get to the right one, but I can sing I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck though you make my heart a wreck. You make my heart a wreck and you make my life a mess. Make my life a mess, yes a mess of happiness…. And so forth.

Right near our table sat a huge radio, the kind that folks listened to before RCA televisions began making their appearances in American homes…..

Bill reminisced about how he listened to the radio before they got a TV, though he admitted that mostly he was interested in playing outside with his friends.

That made me start thinking about the radio that sat on my mom’s kitchen counter when I grew up in Columbus. As she would prepare meals, or sweep the kitchen floor, or put groceries away, or dust the living room tables, she always had the radio turned on, tuned to KFAB radio out of Omaha. And she listened to music from the likes of Dinah Shore and Peggy Lee and Nat King Cole and Tony Bennett and Doris Day and Eydie Gorme and Robert Goulet. And later in the 50s, maybe Bobby Vinton or Connie Stevens.

I don’t recall whether or not she sang along to the tunes. But what I do know is that somehow all of those lyrics from all of those songs that were playing in the background as I ran in and out of the house, or maybe as I did my chores, have stuck in my head all of these years. That’s likely why I have all of those lyrics in my head, even when I can’t remember where I put my purse.

Blue moon,
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own.
Blue moon,
You knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for.

I’m afraid I remember more song lyrics than answers to my Baltimore Catechism questions. But that’s okay, because they simply don’t write lyrics like those anymore.

Thursday Thoughts


Jessie, second from the left with her Capstone Project group, is still and always, little.

Would You Like Ketchup With That?
When my niece Jessie was a little girl (well, arguably, she’s still a little girl, though in her 20s. A good wind could blow her away.) Anyhoo, when asked what she wanted for lunch, she might say a plain hotdog. In fact, the first time she asked me for a plain hotdog, I — quite reasonably, I think — placed a weiner into a bun and handed it to her. No ketchup or mustard. No onions or pickle relish or chili. A weiner and a bun. No, I want a plain hotdog, she said firmly. I eventually came to understand that for her, a plain hotdog meant a hotdog bun. Period. No weiner. No ketchup. No mustard. A bun. This is the same girl who, along with her sister Kacy, would go through the salad bar and place croutons on the plate, douse the croutons with ranch dressing and call it a salad. Like bread much? I thought about this recently as I served Cole a hot dog in his preferred style…..


Autumn Leaves
September is perhaps my favorite month of the year. I like that the days are still warm, but nights start to cool off. I like that I can without guilt give up on my flowers and let them play out until they give up the goat. I like the changing leaves. I was recently at a nearby park and saw this beautiful maple tree that is just starting to turn…..


And yet, I find that the fall has a bit of a melancholy feel to it. Perhaps it’s the flip side of all of those things that I just listed that I like. Click on this link and tell me if Nat King Cole doesn’t make you tear up.

My sister Jen and I recently had a conversation about a woman she knows who, she said, is perhaps the worst dishwasher loader ever. This is in contrast to my daughter-in-law Alyx, who can load a dishwasher so efficiently that I think she could make it hold every dish I own. Unfortunately, here is a picture I took of the dishwasher after I loaded it recently. I’m not proud of it, my friends…..


Phresh Phish
I had lunch the other day, and as usual, paid for it with my credit card with no problems. However, as I walked to my car, I got a text message that indicated my credit card (they named the bank that issued it) had a problem, and requested that I call the toll-free number provided. Since I had just used the card, I felt that it was reasonable that there really could be a problem. I was just about to press the number they provided, when I heard (in my head) my husband’s voice saying, “Never assume the number they give in a text or email is safe. Instead, always call the number on the card. And so I did. And I learned that there wasn’t a thing wrong with my card. The customer service representative complimented me on being a wise consumer, and told me the text was undoubtedly phishing. Not only am I proud of myself for not falling for their dirty tricks, I’m also proud that I know the correct way to spell p-h-i-s-h. Don’t mess with me, tricksters. I wasn’t born yesterday. And now, if you’ll excuse me, there is a Nigerian prince who has asked for my help.