Me in the Middle of a JFK Revisit

One-Inch Picture Frame (1)

JFK Revisit

While looking for a new inspiration in my posts, I picked up Anne Lamott’s book ~ Bird by Bird ~ “Some Instructions on Writing and Life”.  One idea she had was to write short assignments ~ about as much as you can see through a One-Inch Picture Frame

My second short assignment was writing for five minutes about as much as I can see looking through a one-inch picture frame of revisiting  John F. Kennedy’s Assassination.

On November 22, 1963, two months to the day before our first child was born, I was standing in the living room ironing my husband’s shirts while watching television.  The screen suddenly was filled with the news that President Kennedy had been shot in Texas.  Life changed from that point on for all of us in America.  As I stood in stunned silence watching the news unfold over the following days, I saw images of Jackie Kennedy and her small son, John, standing by the roadside as the fallen president’s casket passed by.  I felt like I knew Jackie personally, as we had both experienced miscarriages and heartaches in our lost pregnancies.  She gave me hope that I too would be a mother one day, just as her husband gave us hope that we, as a country, could overcome our adversities and become greater still.


And now, over fifty  years later, “The documents—441 files that had previously been withheld entirely, along with 3,369 other documents that had been previously released only in part—were made public under terms of a 1992 law that requires the unsealing of all JFK assassination-related documents by October, the law’s 25-year deadline.”  And the interesting part of all this is that our current president has the power to block the unsealing of some controversial documents regarding the CIA and the FBI.  It’s possible that he will be asked to block some that are being released by the October deadline. “It does not reflect well on the legacy of either the CIA or the commission that, half a century after those gunshots rang out in Dealey Plaza, the newly released documents suggest that at least some of those conspiracy theories might be true.”

~ Stay tuned for the unfolding of the Real Camelot ~


How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder

What we know about the newly released JFK assassination records—and those yet to come

11-22-63 #3

Sketch by Mary Lou

Me in the Middle of School Lunches

One-Inch Picture Frame (1)

School Lunches

While looking for a new inspiration in my posts.  I picked up Anne Lamott’s book ~ Bird by Bird ~ “Some Instructions on Writing and Life”.  One idea she had was to write short assignments ~ about as much as you can see through a One-Inch Picture Frame

My first short assignment was writing for five minutes about as much as I can see looking through a one-inch picture frame of school lunches at my parochial school during the early fifties:

School lunch #2

The first five minutes of writing got me started ……………………

As I look into the one-inch picture frame of my memory of parochial school lunches in the early fifties, there isn’t much to see.  Just me …. sitting at a long lunch table in the old auditorium.  I can’t see who the classmates are that I’m sitting with.  My table is the first one near the door and I’m facing 3 or 4 more rows of tables filled with noisy kids eating their lunch.

We kept our coats and lunches in the cloakroom near the auditorium…. no lockers …. just hooks for our coats and a shelf above for our lunches.  I didn’t have a lunch box and my mother packed our sandwich in a brown paper bag.

(That’s about five minutes of writing …… 😀 ……… so I kept going for a half hour as my memory prodded me.)

There were no refrigerators so usually we carried cream cheese and jelly,  PB&J,  cheese slices w/ mustard, sliced tomato with  one leaf of lettuce and mayo, liverwurst or bologna sandwiches.  Everyone’s sandwich was made with white Wonder bread and you were weird if you had whole grain wheat, pumpernickel or rye.   My sandwich was usually flattened and mushed by the time I got to eat it.  Saran Wrap was just becoming popular in the early 50’s so my mother was still using waxed paper to wrap our sandwiches and without the cling factor they didn’t always travel well from home to school. There were a few kids that brought soup in a thermos.  Ugh!  😦  Snacks were an apple, banana or hard-boiled egg.  The auditorium kitchen sold us 1/2 pint cartons of milk.

The Mother’s Guild (mine included) would help out with supervising the kids .  We didn’t have cafeteria style lunches back then when I was around 10 years old.  The auditorium still had an old stage where they used to have class plays and events.  It was no longer used and all events were held in the church hall which was next door to the parochial school.  One of the nuns told us that the old stage in our auditorium had a pit behind the curtain where all the bad kids were thrown into.  I think even back then I was a bit of a skeptic and I didn’t really believe her.  😉

After lunch we were filed out into the schoolyard for recess time.  A few lucky kids were chosen to sell snacks to the rest of us.  They carried them around in a flat cardboard container that looked like the cover of a box.   I remember wanting to be chosen to do that and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to give change correctly.  The rest of us would bring our jump ropes, rubber balls, yoyos and trading cards outside with us until the lunch hour was over.

One of the nuns would then signal that it was time to line up again to go inside to the classroom.  Everyone would get in line and became real quiet.  Then we’d wait for the sound of the clicker to begin the march inside.




“………. tell me about school lunches …… at parochial schools, private schools, twenty years earlier than mine, or ten years later, in Southern California or New York.  And they always turn out to be similar to my middle-class Northern California public school lunches.  But in important ways they are different, too, and this is even more interesting, for the obvious reason that when we study the differences, we see in bolder relief what we have in common”  ~ Anne Lamott ~


~ Any thoughts on your school lunch experience?  I’d love to read them in the comments below! ~



*Images from Pixabay*

Me in the Middle of a One-Inch Picture Frame

One-Inch Picture Frame (1)

I have an idea!

While looking for a new inspiration in my posts.  I picked up Anne Lamott’s book ~ Bird by Bird ~ “Some Instructions on Writing and Life”.  One idea she had was to write short assignments ~ about as much as you can see through a one-inch picture frame.


“It reminds me that all I have to do is to write down as much as I can see through a one-inch picture frame.  This is all I have to bite off for the time being.  All I’m going to do right now, for example, is to write that one paragraph that sets the story in my hometown, in the late fifties, when the trains were still running.  I’m going to paint a picture of it, in words ………………”

Anne Lamott


Writing is a new past-time for me in the recent years.  In the past, I’ve sat down to write for a class assignment, create an essay here and there or send off a Letter to the Editor now and then.  Life kept me very busy and many experiences took priority over really delving into the art of writing.

Pixabay A Story

Creating this blog a few years back really got me motivated.  I set out to write my story with the main focus being my journey through a particular event that altered my life, for better and worse.  Then I got hooked on blogging and have kept up with a post every week.

My blogger friends will all agree that keeping the ideas flowing and creating a daily or weekly post isn’t always easy.  So my idea is to follow Anne’s advice.  My intent is to write short essays about my growing up years, beginning with looking through a one-inch picture frame.  It should be fun!

My first short assignment will be writing for five minutes about as much as I can see looking through a one-inch picture frame of school lunches at my parochial school during the early fifties.

~ To Be Continued Next Week ~



Me in the Middle of Week 3 Reflection ~ Self-Acceptance

 Kind Balance

 Week Three ~ Self-Acceptance

The third prompt for the Kindness Challenge 2017 is Self-Acceptance.

 I’ve accepted the fact that, at times in my life, I’ve loved too much.  While attempting to be the ‘perfect’ daughter’, the ‘perfect’ wife, the ‘perfect’ mother, etc., I’ve given over my power to others who might not deserve that trust.  In accepting this about myself, I’ve made a commitment to myself to trust my intuition and my need to set healthy boundaries and take a stand for myself.

How many times do I second-guess myself?  Let me count the ways!  At those time when I haven’t had confidence in myself and haven’t trusted my own decisions, I’ve contributed to co-dependent relationships by looking to others for affirmation.

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.”  

~ Anne Lamott ~

Trying to be perfect keeps us from really finding joy in our lives.  Whether it comes from the way we’ve been raised as a child or from our expectations of ourselves now as adults, perfectionism holds us back from spontaneity and being more emotionally responsive to others.  “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never achieve it.”  Salvador Dali


Lessons Learned from Week One and Week Two

********************Kindness owards ourselves


I get the ‘do unto others’ part and realize I need to put a little more into the ‘as you would do unto yourself’ part.  The Self-Love Reflection (Week One) helped me to realize that I struggle with the awareness that some have too little self worth and are too selfless, while others have too much narcissism and take advantage of the kindness of those who are too nice.  Sometimes you can leave yourself behind when loving others.  It’s about balance.  I’m learning to set healthier boundaries and not give too much power to those who might not deserve it.  Nice place to be!  🙂


“Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect.”

~ Brene Brown ~


I never thought of Self-Compassion (Week Two) as a letting go of perfectionism.  And yet there it was in my own words ……………..“I was just thinking that when I internally feel self-compassion I’m comforted by those thoughts. It’s when I verbalize them to others that I sometimes feel the person hearing me is thinking I’m making excuses for myself.” ………………It made me realize that part of Self-Compassion is believing you’re worthy of that compassion and it’s not a weakness when you are being kind and gentle with yourself.   It really doesn’t matter what others are thinking or saying.  We’re never going to be ‘perfect’ and we’re never going to be able to avoid the possibility of criticism and judgment from others.


~ You’re allowed to be both a Masterpiece and a Work in Progress simultaneously ~

Joanne Sharpe's Class 1

© Sketch by Mary Lou



Me in the Middle of atozchallenge ~ Y


My theme for the A to Z Blog Challenge @AprilA2Z during the month of April is ~ My Life Is My Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned



 “We contain all the ages we have ever been.” 

♥ Anne Lamott ♥



Forever Young ~ Joan Baez


Aging #2

The 2016 A to Z Challenge #atozchallenge@aprila2z  is 26 Days in April (No Sundays) of blogging using each letter of the alphabet as a prompt for each blog.  My theme for this Challenge is My Life is a Masterpiece ~ Lessons Learned  

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* Note:  My letter sketches were made from ideas I found on Google Images. *