Photo a Week – Cityscape/Townscape

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The theme this week – Cityscape/Townscape

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) FEATURING CITIES OR TOWNS.

 

I had the good fortune this past weekend to visit with my son, his girlfriend and their sweet pup. They live in the Boston area in a 4th floor walkup apartment. Lots of walking ensued…over 12,000 steps worth.

I also didn’t miss the opportunity to run into the middle of the street for photo ops along the way.

Boston and its suburbs – which often have the same look and feel of Boston proper – offer the usual old city buildings packed in amongst newer, more trendy coffee shops and ice cream stores. Apartments. Duplex homes and condos. A blend of the historical and present day.

Fortunately the snow had melted off the sidewalks and the sun was shining when we arrived at the Coolidge Corner subway stop in Brookline on Saturday.

corner
Coolidge Corner
Brookline, Massachusetts

On the way to my son’s apartment…a canopy of trees caught my eye…

side street

 

Until we turned the corner heading out of Brookline…and noticed a strange parade approaching…

One I did not expect to see…

turkeys

…in the middle of a suburb of a major city…

Waiting for no one to stop or move over, they just marched on from one corner to the next…

turkey parade

…hurrying on their way.

Part of the cityscape…no fear.

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round

This post inspired by Frank at Dutch goes the Photo

The prompt: Round

 

round crop

 

Have you ever heard of 3D Tic Tac Toe?

I never did until we took a family weekend trip to Boston in 1995. One of the highlights was a visit to the Boston Children’s Museum. The “Brain Games” section on the third floor included life-size chess and checkers…and 3D Tic Tac Toe. My 13 year old daughter “especially liked” that section (as noted in our travel scrapbook).

We all enjoyed it so much that my husband made a family home version…using a piece of pine board, dowels and 64 wooden beads (he painted half of them red).

Our homemade game survived downsizing.
Perhaps to entertain us in our old age.

Who says it’s just for children?

tictactoe
3D Tic Tac Toe

 

 

 

What’s in a Name

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #38: What’s In a Name?
what’s in a name? Specifically, your blog name.

 

img_8130.jpg
So how did I come up with…oneletterup?

It was a process…a metamorphosis from one idea to another.
Quickly realizing there were many like-minded WordPress writers who had already scooped up my blog name ideas. Containing the words diaries or letters or journals

I took that as a sign. To dig deeper. As this blog-to-be was just taking shape in my mind…and I surveyed the saved boxes of diaries, journals, stories – and old letters.

Especially the letters…hundreds of handwritten letters from as far back as when I was 7 years old. Precious pieces of everybody-has-a-story history. Letters from girlfriends, camp friends, grandparents, mother, father, sisters, brothers.
Also, just as interesting, were the letters I had written to my parents…from camp, summer jobs, college or from the privacy of my childhood bedroom.

Something…intuition I couldn’t ignore…kept me from throwing them all away.

Despite advice from well meaning loved ones…
What do you need all those letters for?
Burn them. They’re awful.
Or
Nobody cares.
It’s all in the past anyway!

However…the past – and its people – and their stories – are important.

I needed to write…and use the letters…and the diaries…
and (as I was to discover) the photographs that had piled up high.
Source material? Inspiration? Family history? Because it was fun? And perhaps cathartic at the same time?
All of the above.

I had already begun writing about my family and friends over the years. Sharing at various writing classes and groups. One short essay published online.

For the most part, though, my life had been full of responsibilities pushing the writing down low, if not completely off, the list. Until a year ago. When I was ready. And strong enough to ignore all the discouraging voices…inside and out.

Stories were swimming
Beneath the surface.

I needed to dive in
Put words on the page…
…one letter up….at a time.

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Tender Moments

This post inspired by Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge. The topic this week: Tender Moments

Being a big sister is not always easy.

I know that from experience, as I was a big sister 4 times. By the time my youngest sibling was born, I was in high school and became more of a surrogate parent than a sister. 

My daughter was almost 6 when her brother was born.
Five and three quarters! she would be quick to remind us.

The transition to sharing parental attention was a challenge I understood and tried to make as smooth as possible for her.
Without shortchanging her little brother.

Well, my husband and I got lucky. And with some guidance on our part…their relationship blossomed from the start. Her love for her brother was palpable. As was his for her. Not without some healthy competition of course. And normal periodic friction. Racing to the front door to be first. To the car for the front seat (Shotgun!). And down the stairs to see what Santa brought.

But there were also the quieter moments. Looking at picture books.
Playing games. Giggling at secret jokes.

And sitting under the backyard trees exploring what was hidden in the grass.

tender moment 9-3-88
Big sister age 6½…exploring nature with little brother…age 1¾

Their childhood together lasted until he was 12 and she was 18 and left home for college. Nineteen years ago.

But their connection remains solid to this very day.

And for that, I am eternally grateful.