Fandango’s Flashback Friday: January 28th

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: January 28th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year. How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?


This post was published January 28th, 2019. Interesting follow-up fun fact – but perhaps more of a personal lightbulb moment…kids everywhere who passed those notes have all grown up and now use email. Anger is highlighted in red. Rumors and character assassinations run wild. Weekends and holidays are no exception. Boundaries disappear. They can still be a gut punch.

So goes a very short rant-of-the-day from my current life as a condo board member. It’s time-consuming, emotionally draining work and eerily reminiscent of times past. Bullies at 70 are just as awful as bullies at 12. On paper and in person. Which is why I have neglected my favorite place here on WP. Who knew that middle school (learning!) experiences like this would be called upon now…


Pass That Note

This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Note

I saw a note that Gail wrote
& it says she hates me…

I don’t know if you’re mad at Gail but I am…

When did I first run headlong into notes?
At that awkward will-I-fit-in-say-the-right-thing-avoid-exclusion-at-all-cost stage that characterized my middle school years in the 1960’s.

When successfully passing notes was a prized achievement. A right of passage. If you didn’t get caught.

Notes directed the intense undercurrent of a girl’s ever shifting social hierarchy. They could make or break your day at school.

Scrawled on lined notebook paper. Ripped out of 3-ring binders. Torn into halves. Or quarters. Hastily folded as small as possible. Then..slipped to a friend. Or potential friend. Or some kid sitting at a desk on the way to the note’s intended recipient.

With one eye on the teacher, who with chalk in hand might not turn towards the blackboard as quickly as you think. Who might snatch the wrinkled piece of paper. Which held the potential key to your social future. And then, horror of horrors, read it out loud. So everyone would hear…

Are you mad at me?
Write down yes or no.
Check next to these names…
Do you like them or not?

Or worse, if the note was for you…
From the girlfriends you just had a sleepover with…

We have decided that you are not our type.
Please don’t hang around with us that much. 
You can if you want….Every time
we look at you you are reading. I know you
like to but not every second. Don’t hang around
that much anymore.

Elaborate codes were devised

I’ve always wondered…why? Why did girls jostle for position in such cut throat ways? Which is probably why I saved a few notes for 50 years. Thinking I’d figure it out. I have not. I still have no clue.

Except I am grateful there was no Facebook when I was struggling to fit in. No Instagram. No social media.
Notes would have followed me everywhere.
Day and night.
I can’t imagine.

Notes on wrinkled paper were thrown away. Or stuffed in a drawer.
Only public for an agonizing minute if the teacher recited them in front of snickering classmates.

Then the bell would ring.
And out the door I’d go.


Last on the Card – Big Smile!

For the Last on the Card challenge…The rules are simple:
1. Post the last photo on your SD card or last photo on your phone for the 31st December.
2. No editing – who cares if it is out of focus, not framed as you would like or the subject matter didn’t cooperate.


I found this quickly taken photo on my iPhone for bushboys world‘s Last on the Card challenge. It wasn’t taken on December 31st, but it’s the last photo for December 2021. I was sitting at the computer – far from my camera – but couldn’t resist this surprise pic of my favorite 7-month old granddaughter poking her head into the kitchen. She was always happy to see me during my visit at Christmas.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: October 29

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: October 29

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year. How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?


This post was published October 29, 2018, during oneletterup’s first year online. I experienced no déjà vu during the Major League Baseball playoffs this year, but was reminded of 2018…and more vividly…2004. What a fun surprise to discover this October 29th flashback to share. (Update: my then 2 year old grandson is now 5 and is a passionate Washington Nationals fan…forging his own sports fan path. His 5 month old sister – still undecided – wore a Red Sox hat during the recent playoffs…)


Seventy Nine Messages

I woke up this morning to 79 text messages…

Last night was the Fifth and potentially Deciding game of the World Series. The Boston Red Sox vs. The L.A. Dodgers.

Hence the text messages…

Before going to sleep at around 10pm last night, I was in a frantic texting chain with my husband (here), our son (in MA) and daughter (in DC) – starting at 8pm Eastern Time.

Major League Baseball drama in overdrive. As is often the case, it was a family long distance affair.

At 8:00, there was checking in to see if everyone was wearing their gear. Yes for the guys. No for the gals. Uh oh.

And then the play by play got under way (condensed version)…

8:19: Benny!!!!
8:20:29: Pearce!!!!
8:20:40: Pearce!!!
8:25:15: Ok, David. Your turn.
8:25:45: Big chance for him.
8:26:32: Oh yeah.
and Fast forward….
9:36:11: Good stuff, Price!
9:36:29: He has settled down nicely
9:56:19: Mookie!!!!!
9:56:36: He was so overdue.
9:56:45: He sure was
10:05:06: nice catch!
11:10:26: Sale?
11:10:50: JBJ!
11:11:03: I love having Sale here to close it out.
11:11:07: He can just let loose
11:11:34: True
11:12:40: 2
11:15:47: Yes!!!
11:18:02: We won!!!!!
11:18:24: We did!!!!!!
About 2 dozen texts later…
11:36:13: I’m gonna miss baseball
11:38:21: Me too
…father and son wound down at 11:43 pm.
This morning, my daughter and I were greeted by over 70 texts that arrived while we slept. 🙂

Another season over. The Red Sox won another World Series!

Still hard to believe.

Growing up in New Hampshire, my husband has the Sox in his blood. He can’t help it. His tattered falling-apart scrapbook commemorating the almost-made-it 1967 season survived downsizing. And now lives on in the storage unit.

I grew up in NJ and neither of my parents followed professional sports. My grandfather was a passionate baseball fan and rooted for whoever he was betting on; but was forever loyal to the Cincinnati Reds – the team of his childhood. As an adult he lived in NY, near our home. He took his grandchildren (including me) to Yankee stadium a few times in the 1960’s. I don’t think we truly appreciated it like he expected. My little brother was more interested in eating hot dogs and visiting the men’s room.

Once our kids were old enough to sit in front of the TV and whoop and holler along with their dad, they got Sox hats and shirts. Red Sox baseball cards. Off they went into Sox fan-land; as was their birthright.

In 1996, the 4 of us went to our first Red Sox game together. Bad news was brewing:  Fenway Park might be torn down! (it wasn’t)
“Save Fenway Park” appeared on bumper stickers. We had to get down there before it was too late…despite the fact that the Sox perpetually lost game after game. Or only made it to the first round. Or almost did….

This was before the Big Win in 2004; the end of the Curse Of The Bambino, the dawn of now-anything-is-possible.

sox 10-27-04058
Oct. 27, 2004 – Celebrating Red Sox World Series Win

Now it’s 2018. My kids are grown and have moved away. But devotion to their hometown team remains strong. And still connects us. Modern technology definitely helps. I’ve got over 150 text messages of loyalty to Red Sox Nation. Including coaching commentary.

My daughter did, however, marry a Yankees fan. How will they raise my now 2 year old grandson…as a Sox fan…or a Yankees fan…?  Who knows?
Perhaps he’ll be won over by a Fenway Frank.
Time will tell.

Ya think we’re related?

Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future.

Gail Lumet Buckley


BeckyB’s Squares Challenge: PastSquares

Family blasts
from the
distant and recent

Three baby girls…one generation following another.
From the 1950s to 2021.
Bright smiles. Bright beginnings.
Stories still unfolding.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Colors of Autumn

Lens-Artists Challenge #167: Colors of Autumn


The colors of Autumn are peeking out…little by little…in my northeast corner of the US. I have chosen some old favorites to share in this challenge, as I think Autumn (once it gets going in my neighborhood) is the most colorful season (sorry Spring!).

There’s nothing like blazing red, orange and everything in between when you look up. It all seems to happen overnight or close to it.

Leaves crunch underfoot. I marvel at the uniqueness of each one. I know it’s nature and the leaves’ final stage of life, but perhaps the blaze of color is its glorious send-off after shading us all summer…

Gourds are once again arriving at grocery stores and farm stands. Their colors and textures…so unlike the vegetables of summer. They’ve always struck me as strange in a cool sort of way. I never know what to do with them (no decorating potential…Martha Stewart I’m not), but they deserve a photo.

I know that apples are available year-round at the grocery store – trucked in from somewhere, but Autumn is the time for apple picking in my local area. Fresh off the trees, branches weighted down…there’s nothing like it. Orchards are busy in September & October…morphing into destination spots for festivals, bluegrass music, hayrides and apple cider donuts. And apples. Lots of apples.

Last but not least, there is orange once more…not just leaves…but pumpkins too – so plentiful in Autumn. Pumpkins to set out on your porch as a festive nod to the season…but when our kids were growing up…the first step was carving jack ‘o lanterns. Very important preparation for placing a lit candle inside on Halloween night.

Hand a knife to a 5 year old and look out!

Careful creativity in the making….

Daddy and budding artist daughter

It’s All About the Light

Len’s Artists Challenge #162: It’s All About the Light

This week the Lens-Artists team invites you to join us in exploring the magic of light…your challenge is to share images that illustrate the power of light ….


Walk in the woods…catching the light

In my mind, the magic of light hides in shadows and the secrets they reveal. I love the surprise. I’m always on a treasure hunt…discovering the hidden lines and shapes of nature’s artistry.

It can be anywhere…a photo taken indoors near a sunlit window…crouching down on the floor…whatever it takes…or downtown, walking along a chain link fence…at just the right time of day…waiting for the clouds to part for the sun.

Sunlit Tulips

The shoreline at the beach…end of day in November…light and color merge in spectacular fashion…

Hampton Beach, NH

However…perhaps nothing takes the place of well placed natural light streaming through a window…at the perfect moment…capturing a 5 year old’s uninhibited profile of joy….

It is indeed…all about the light.

5 years old


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #159: Postcards

...If you have some real postcards it would be great if you would like to share them with us, I’m sure they have a nice story behind them…


Postcards? I still have every postcard I ever received. Musty, faded & bent corners …no matter. The connection forged with the actual written word is unique because it is so very personal. I also have postcards passed down to me – as the family archivist for better or worse (someday they will be passed down again). Such a fascinating peek into the past…both for the images on the front and messages on the back.

The “postal card” was used in 1913 as a form of advertising; probably because it was a cheaper way to communicate via the US mail. It seems similar to the junk mail of today, but it also doubles as a fascinating snapshot of history over 100 years later. I discovered this postcard in a box of photographs & letters from my grandparents. I looked closely at the photo for the first time. Hamilton Ave…1913…boats in the street?!? A few mouse clicks later, I solved the mystery: March 26th, 1913 – the “Great Miami River Flood” in Hamilton, Ohio (as well as other towns in the Miami Valley). The river crested at 44 feet, resulting in 467 deaths.

The Stanley L. Dornseifer Company used an image of the devastation 6 months later to let customers know they were still in business…their sign prominent in the photo… Postage? 1 cent.

Postcards were apparently also used to share class photos – in addition to advertising a photographer’s services. I found this example featuring my grandmother’s grammar school class in Cincinnati, Ohio. Not sure which grade…circa 1914 -1915.

My grandmother (Oma) always labeled everything (for which I am eternally grateful)…so here’s the back…

Fast forward 50 years or so and I began collecting postcards…mostly from my grandparents. They often sent me newsy notes when I was at Girl Scout camp (...I suppose you are having a good time playing games, singing and dancing…Do they play baseball? We both miss you very much...Love, Oma and Opa.). Or when they went on trips to let me know they were thinking of me. The handwritten cards are so precious to me, but I have to admit I wonder at the interesting (?) choice of images…

At the time I’m sure I was more focused on the messages…I was never a big fan of cats anyway.

Over the years, I’ve always checked out the postcard section in card or souvenir shops – both when traveling and shopping locally – and I have amassed quite the collection of humorous postcards. Some were mailed off to friends and some I have kept. Below is a tiny sample.

Memes before there were memes…

I hope postcards never go completely out of style.