Fandango’s Friday Flashback: February 14

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: February 14

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? …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 is from February 14, 2019 in response to the photo a day challenge (which is the same this year: Hearts ) and Ragtag Daily Prompt: Intimate.

And, after all, it was Valentine’s Day.


Love and Hearts and Grandparents


If we have someone who loves us — I don’t mean who indulges us, but who loves us enough to be on our side — then it’s easier to grow resilience, to grow belief in self, to grow self-esteem. And it’s self-esteem that allows a person to stand up.

Maya Angelou


from Grammy 1966

valentine's card 1967038
from Great Grandma 1967

I have much to be grateful for in my life. The love of family is at the top of the list. As a child…and then as an adult…I was well loved by my grandparents. Held up. Cherished. Accepted.

All four of my grandparents – and my one living great grandparent – took the time to write to me. Personal letters. Postcards. Valentines. Birthday cards….
I heard from them on a regular basis…knowing I was important in their lives. And not forgotten, even though we lived miles apart.

Treasured pages of handwritten news, stories, questions about my life and plans for the future….
Offering encouragement and understanding
And unconditional love.


Photo a day challenge – Hearts

RDP – Intimate


Time for a Rest

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Rest


A baby at rest.

A welcome sight for a sleep deprived new mom.

At 5 months old, my daughter often found it difficult to wind down. Close her eyes and take a rest. A nap even. So many exciting happenings in her baby world. Lights. Smiles. Laughs. Talking. Music. Hugs. Books. Sunshine. Mama’s Milk. Bananas. Cereal. Baby walker exploring. Johnny Jump-Up calisthenics.

She never wanted to miss a thing. Still doesn’t.

Resting happened wherever she happened to be…

resting baby034 2

…which was fine with me.

Happy Birthday Firstborn!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Find Something Red

Inspired by Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #81: Find Something Red

…If you wish, you have the option of “visiting” your photo archives….Capture shots which feature the color red… 


Find Something Red

When I was a young mother with a 5 year old daughter, I had my second child – a son – who was altogether different from my firstborn. No big surprise really, but even so… shockingly (to me anyway – I considered myself experienced by then) it required multitasking on an entirely new level.

One example: when we all went on outings of any kind, my son was likely to let go of my hand and run off. Or wander off. Precisely when my daughter and I were otherwise occupied. Perhaps being the big sister, she was less likely to do the same.  I’m not sure why, but I was most grateful at the time.

Two children to take care of and keep safe…a whole different ball game.

This brings to mind what Dr. A, our sweet pediatrician at the time, once said to me while trying to examine my son as he slipped from my lap and tried to crawl up her leg. As I described how my parenting techniques were not always successfully transcending to child #2.

She smiled that smile reminiscent of people who don’t have children…The first kid is for practice! I think parents should just throw the first one out. Ha Ha Ha.

She was just kidding of course. Although I kind of got the point.

But back to finding something red…

In order to keep track of this very lovable – and speedy – bundle of energy (once compared to a Great Dane by his first grade teacher) outside the confines of our home, I often dressed him in something red. It helped enormously if I needed to locate him in a crowd. At a park. A store. A playground. Since he was tall for his age, a red baseball hat usually worked quite nicely as I quickly spotted his head above the rest. Red shirts and jackets? He was a Chicago Bulls…and then later…a Red Sox fan. Done!

Never one to let winter’s chill keep him from basketball practice, a red snowsuit helped me keep track of him one January day when he was 5…

red ball031 copy

A red baseball mitt lit him up on the ball field playing catch at 4 ½…

red ball030 copy

Little did I know how quickly the time would come…

red ball033 copy

…when those flashes of red I’d see in the crowd at a neighborhood park would be someone else’s bundle of energy streaking by.

With a parent in hot pursuit.

On Your Mark…

…Get Set…

Young children know when to take action.

They just know…

Even if it’s just the spark of fun ignited by a soccer ball and the chance to race dad up and down a court at the neighborhood park.

charlie soccer 12-26-19 2 copy

They don’t wait for instruction at the age of 3 ½.

They don’t second guess themselves.

Rarely do they wonder what to do next.

Or hesitate to debate all the possibilities.

Or weigh every risk.

soccer dec 26 2019 copy

Rarely is there self doubt…

Only a response to pure instinct…

Before fulfilling a simple wish…in a simple game…for the exhilaration of out-of-breath, heart pumping movement.

One kick at a time.
One step at a time.
One jump at a time.
One giggle at a time…


Shrieking with confidence.
Under a sunny sky.

soccer kick copy
We have much to learn from such joyful spontaneity.


Doubly inspired…

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #78: action

…think about where action is needed in your life, or in the world in general. The word itself does not need to appear in your post, but the movement should be obvious.

A Photo a Week Challenge: At Play


Holiday Highlights

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo: Holidays

The challenge for this week is to bring out the magic that you find in the season and share it with one another!


A good friend of mine has a saying: Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a season.

I would further elaborate.

It can bring out the goodness in people. The willingness to share with those less fortunate. The willingness to share an extra smile. Doing what they can to brighten someone’s day. Bringing real meaning to the greeting Happy Holidays.

I spent the week of Christmas in Washington, DC at my daughter and son-in-law’s home. Surrounded by love-infused holiday festivities…marked by delicious meals, cookie decorating, present opening, cooking and baking side by side. Playing pretend with my grandson. Reading stories. Building Lego cities. Singing Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

One night we all went for an early evening walk…parents, grandparents, 3 year old and two dogs…

Let’s go look at the lights! 

house lights

house lights 3


A holiday season highlight…

light night

…a once a year magical moment.



Photo a Week: Christmas Memories

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Christmas Memories



Christmas memories fill up my photo albums. All the best ones involve my family…when our children lived at home and we celebrated together.

Choosing just a few was indeed difficult…

One of my favorite memories was the year my son was a fast moving – very curious – toddler. At the tender age of 13 months, he was able to dash from one end of the living room to the other, quicker than we could catch him.

The Christmas tree presented a special challenge that year…as he was fascinated by those shiny things hanging from the branches. As well as the colored lightbulbs strung on green wire. Which he could unscrew, shouting HOT! HOT!

Barricades were in order…

christmas barricades

…until we removed them on Christmas morning…

Which presented the perfect opportunity for ornament inspection and removal…while daddy and big sister were opening their stockings and getting their pictures taken…

christmas 1988

However, nine years later…

decorating 1997

..he was the expert at hanging the ornaments up ON the tree.

One more special memory.