We revisit a simple reduced order model (Matveev, K., and Culick, F. E. C, 2003, A Model for Combustion Instability Involving Vortex Shedding, Combust Sci. and Tech., 175, 1059) and re-examine its implications in light of the non-normal and nonlinear nature of combustion acoustic interactions. To this end, one-dimensional linear acoustic equations are used to model the acoustic field in an open-open duct. The Galerkin technique is then implemented to expand the acoustic pressure and velocity fluctuations in terms of the natural acoustic modes. The coupled thermoacoustic system is shown to be non-normal and nonlinear. This leads to complicated but interesting physics that were not examined in the earlier study. Examples showing transient growth leading to instability and bootstrapping in an initially decaying system are then presented. It is also shown that a vortex-based combustor reaches different limit cycle amplitudes for the same system parameters when subjected to different initial conditions. Further, the effect of damping on the non-normal behavior of the system is studied. A test case is presented that shows that for a lowly damped system, a slight increase in damping leads to high amplitude unstable oscillations. Finally, pseudospectral analysis is presented to study the non-normal behavior of such systems.