Tuneful Tourism

Inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo Challenge: Tourism

So share some of your favorite spots from among your travels and tell us a bit about why you enjoyed it!


I decided to take a break from posting photos from my favorite destination in California, and go with a tourist spot more local for this challenge. Perhaps others have the same experience in that we take for granted what is practically in our backyard.

Although I don’t live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, it is within driving distance from my home. Despite the eclectic restaurants and shops lining the streets, I tend to avoid it because of the parking hassles. And seemingly supersonic growth of hotels and high end condos.

What happened to what was once a quaint little city?


Vacationers travel from all over the world to visit Portsmouth – especially in the summer.  And for good reason. It’s also the time of year when I may brave the crowds…and the parking challenges. To pull up my lawn chair at the Prescott Park Arts Festival. This festival began on a much smaller scale in 1974…and is still going strong. A beautiful spot of land right next to the harbor.

I keep an eye on the schedule when it comes out each June. If I’m lucky, I can sit under the stars and watch a favorite musician or two perform. Many attendees bring a picnic dinner. Since the stage is also used for the summer musical, you never know what decorative sets will serve as the backdrop for that evening’s concert.

Two memorable nights:

Remember Peter, Paul and Mary?
Peter Yarrow gave a magical performance one night in 2012 – charming everyone there when he invited children up on stage at the end of the concert.

Prescott park 2012
Prescott Park 2012
pete yarrow
Prescott Park 2012


One of my all time favorite Prescott Park concerts was in 2013.

Mary Chapin Carpenter and Marc Cohn shared the stage for another amazing night in the park.

prescott park 2013
Prescott Park 2013

Perhaps I’m a tourist after all.

Grateful for the opportunity right down the highway!

Song Lyric Sunday – Burn/Fire/Flame

My contribution to this week’s Song Lyric Sunday

One of my newest favorite singer/songwriter/guitarists – Mary Chapin Carpenter – has actually been making music for 30 years. Born in New Jersey, she spent the early part of her singing career in Washington DC before releasing her first album in 1987. The winner of 5 Grammy awards, she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.

I discovered her a few years ago at a local outdoor concert. I was blown away by her voice and personal catch-ya-off-guard lyrics. I couldn’t take my eyes – or ears – off her and the amazing band she performed with. Playing seamlessly together.

MCC concert
Mary Chapin Carpenter – Prescott Park Arts Festival – 2017 


Her most successful album Come On Come On was released in 1992 and went quadruple platinum.

Walking Through Fire is from this album.



Walking Through Fire

by Mary Chapin Carpenter

When you set a match to your heart, fueling it with bitterness and doubt
That’s the place that once it starts, no amount of tears can put out
I know you’re scared, but no one’s spared when you play with matches

You got me walking through fire
You got me walking through fire

Maybe you’ve been burned by lovers, maybe you’ve been scarred by the pain
But baby, I’m not like the others, drawing moths to a flame
Spite is like a spark, crackling in the dark, consuming all it catches

And you got me walking through fire
You got me walking through fire to get to you
Got me walking through fire (walking through fire)
You got me walking through fire (walking through fire)

You can see the toll it’s taking, you can feel the faith it’s shaking
You can hear the heart it’s breaking now
Baby, I’ve been burned by the fever, I’ve been scorched by desire
But baby, I am not your deceiver or your eloquent liar
Your jealous heart is tearing us apart, turning love to ashes

When you got me walking through fire
You’ve got me walking through fire to get to you
Got me walking through fire
You’ve got me walking through fire

You’ve got me walking through fire (walking through fire)
You’ve got me walking through fire (walking through fire)
As the flames shoot higher
You got me walking through fire (through fire), walking

Quote of the Day…

And then, not expecting it, you become middle-aged and anonymous. No one notices you. You achieve a wonderful freedom. It is a positive thing. You can move about, unnoticed and invisible.

Doris Lessing

But is this really a good thing? A positive thing? Not being seen or heard anymore? Content to be…hidden? What about our years of wisdom and experience…

I wonder.

I remember a fifth grade class assignment where we had to choose a superpower we’d wish for. And why. My choice: “being invisible.” I envisioned all kinds of adventure…and power. I could go anywhere. Be anything. Find out what was going on (because, after all, there must be something more interesting going on somewhere!).

But now? Decades later? Invisible is tantamount to just not being here…or anywhere…at all. Not really. After a certain age, you tend to disappear in the eyes of the younger set. Salespeople look through you, or just over your head. Questions are dodged or ignored all together. Their attention lost while you search for reading glasses.
Not everywhere and not all the time. But often enough to piss me off. And make me speak up a little louder. Whether I have the energy or not.

Mary Chapin Carpenter has a different take on the Middle Ages.

…We used to dread lives rendered ordinary
we always said we’d own a grander story
but the only kind worth telling somehow
is the one about a jolt that makes you listen
that jagged lightning bolt of recognition
that love and kindness are all that matter now…
Mary Chapin Carpenter


If I could choose a superpower now, it would probably be flying. It would solve so many problems. And what fun!

What would be your superpower choice? And…do you think being “middle-aged” invites anonymity? And, if so, is this a positive? I am still considering the possibilities.


So I guess I’m a writer

There’s a shoebox full of letters bound up neatly with some twine. Each one was like a diamond, now the jewel is lost in time…

Mary Chapin Carpenter


The first oneletterup “header”

The original February 2018 “about me” page:

about me

The nightly news shows it every time: flooded out neighborhoods, the charred remains of a home with its surviving chimney, homes swept away and covered with mud. What do people return looking for first amid the destruction after loved ones are accounted for?  What do they frantically, desperately,  sift through the rubble searching for?

It’s the photographs, the letters; the pieces of their lives that show where they came from.  Who they loved. The personal. The private. The papers. The irreplaceable. Their stories.

I am struck by that. Again and again. “Oh look!” they say with tears in their eyes…”We found it!” And they hold up smudged and torn wedding photos or a framed graduation diploma, now cracked – or a love letter still in its envelope. As if they had won a lottery. And in their minds, they did.

Which leads me to this blog.

By the grace of God or whatever… I still have them.  Photographs. Letters. Diaries. Journals. Stacks and boxes of them. Plus scraps of paper with scribbled half sentence thoughts, ideas and observations. Some musty with age but intact and still legible.  Modern day time travel? Perhaps. By default or design, I am the family archivist.

Letter by letter, word by word, in this blog…I will try to honor my small piece of history. It took place within the larger whole of the world around me as my world grew within.  From the age of 9 I felt the need to record what happened. Now retired from career and parenting (well, one never really retires from parenting, but theoretically speaking…), I can revisit and discuss and share with those who may relate (or not). But who knows…maybe I’ll figure out why life worked out the way it did. Including why in heaven’s name I wrote down all the TV shows I watched.

There must be a reason why I kept track of so many details all those years.

And saved all of it.

Here goes…Diary 2.0


handprint age 5
Handprint – age 5
May 1957048 copy 2
First OLU Profile Photo (age 3)