Shannon here: Barbour/Door County author shares her real life romance and a chance to win a second copy of A Door County Christmas. Comment on any post dated Dec 20 – Dec 25. Deadline: Dec 25, midnight Central time. Here’s Becky:
1. What’s the most romantic thing your spouse has ever done for you?
In our first year of marriage, Bill was going to school and working in a factory that made rubber gaskets. At the factory on Valentine’s Day, he cut a heart out of a bright red shipping ticket, drew little hearts on it, and wrote, “Be My Valentine.” It meant so much that he was thinking of me at work—and that he risked ridicule from all his co-workers! Thirty-eight years later, it’s framed and sitting on a shelf in my office.
2. What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for your spouse?
Is it cheating if I had to ask? Bill says it was surprising him with an anniversary weekend on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. In a hotel, not the street. The highlight of that weekend was dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse where they inject each steak with about a pound of butter, then cook it in some magical, secret way that makes every bite a savory celebration.
3. Where is the most romantic place you and your spouse have ever been?
Two years ago we took a month off, calling it “retirement practice,” and drove our RV from Wisconsin to a chiropractic convention in Las Vegas. The whole month was romantic—time alone, the Grand Canyon, sunlight on ice-coated trees in Oklahoma after an ice storm, the mountains, Carlsbad Caverns…but a particularly romantic spot was our campsite overlooking Las Cruces, New Mexico. So beautiful to watch the sun set over the valley twinkling with lights. Ah…I want to go back!
4. Do you and your spouse have a favorite romantic restaurant?
We love going to the Prime Quarter in Madison, WI. Not your typical romantic destination, it’s a cook-your-own steak house with massive grills. We love talking as we grill steaks and load up at the salad and potato bar. Okay, so it’s a little about the food, but a lot about the company! When in Door County, the Cookery in Fish Creek is a must, followed by sundaes (warm cherries, hot fudge, whipped cream…) at a funky little place called Not Licked Yet.
5. Do you and your spouse have a favorite song?
“I Love How You Love Me” by Bobby Vinton (released in 1968!) Still love slow dancing to that song, breathing in the scent of Avon Leather—an aftershave they quit making decades ago, which we still have in our underground safe guarded by pit bulls and large, heavily armed guards. Bill uses it sparingly on special occasions. Still makes my knees weak.
6. What’s the most romantic present your spouse ever bought for you?
This is going to sound very unromantic to some. Two years ago I was suffering from chronic neck pain from hours on the computer (even with free chiropractic adjustments on demand!). Bill bought me an air desk and it solved the problem. The added bonus was that I could write while we were on the road in our RV without my laptop bouncing off my lap. My air desk is on my “favorite things” list.
7. What’s the most romantic present you ever bought your spouse?
Again, this may not sound romantic to some, but with one of the first checks I received from writing, I surprised him with a new Lazy-Boy recliner. Money was tight and the smile on his face was a gift to me.
8. Do you and your spouse have a favorite romantic vacation destination?
Door County, Wisconsin! In fact, as I write this, we’re preparing for the four hour ride on our Honda Gold Wing. We’ll be with friends, but it will still be romantic. You just can’t not hold hands while walking through the cozy little towns nestled around Green Bay or walking along the shore of Lake Michigan.
9. What simple gesture does your spouse do that melts you every time?
He nibbles my ear—goosebumps every time! I can say that, right? I have a paper that makes ear-nibbling legal.
An Excerpt from CHRISTMAS CRAZY
(Becky Melby’s novella from A Door County Christmas)
“So you think you. . .we can pull this off?” Ricky opened the door of the Door County Ice Cream Factory. The sweet smell of hand-made waffle cones made his stomach grumble loud enough to make Jillian grin.
“I have to try.” Jillian walked through the door. “I can’t stand that hopeless look on my uncle’s face.”
As they perused the menu board Jillian sighed. “Do you believe in God?”
Ricky’s tongue pushed out his cheek. The guy behind the counter looked up.
“Ready to order?”
Jillian nodded, little red maple leaves jiggling from her earlobes. “I’ll have the Cana Island Panini and a glass of water.”
Ricky ordered an eight-inch Factory Special pizza and a root beer float. When he asked for two straws a cute little wheezy sound came from the girl beside him. She turned away before he could read her expression. He paid for their food, waited for their drinks, and followed her to a high-backed booth. Aiming one bent straw at her, he offered her a taste. She shook her head. Maple leaves buffeted her jaw line.
“Beyond belief.” He redirected the straw.
“Huh?” The skin between her eyes scrunched. Confusion looked good on her.
“You asked me a question. I believe in God and then some.” He took a long slurp from both straws.
Jillian froze with one arm out of her jacket. “So you’re a. . .polytheist.”
Ricky took a sharp and poorly planned breath. Ice cream-laced root beer sprayed the back of his throat like a fire hose. “N-no!” He held up his index finger until the spasm stopped. “One God. Only one. I meant I believe. . .lots. Like living out what I believe.
“Oh. . .oh! Good.” Pink cheeks rose in an amazing smile. “Good. God put you in my uncle’s life for a reason.”
And what about yours? He banished the thought as soon as it surfaced. Two weeks to go until he could entertain a far-fetched idea like that.
About Becky: Becky Melby has been married to Bill, her high school sweetheart, for 38 years. They have four married sons and eleven fabulous grandchildren. Becky has co-authored nine books for Heartsong Presents and a Barbour Publishing novella. Becky is currently working on a contemporary fiction series with a historical thread for Barbour. Her favorite pastimes are spoiling grandkids and taking trips with Bill in their RV or on their Honda Gold Wing. To find out more about Becky or her books, visit her at beckymelby.blogspot.com/ or www.melby-wienke.com.
Come back Dec 22 for my 2nd favorite post for this quarter, an encore of Lynette Sowell’s real life romance.