3TC — Lost Letters

FDA4BF2C-155C-4BAA-A426-C22DE097AD8FAnita found the bundle of letters and old photographs inside the desk drawer of her late mother’s desk as she and her husband were preparing for the estate sale.

January 11, 1917

My Dearest Theodore,

I still am having trouble adjusting to the fact that it is summer down here in South Africa while you are probably knee-deep in snow back home. The sail across the Atlantic from New York took forever and I’m so glad to finally be on solid ground. I can’t tell you how many times the ship’s captain offered up a mia culpa for the rough seas we encountered. But otherwise, he was quite amicable and accommodating.

I just checked into the hotel and it’s less primitive than I expected it to be. I’m going to take a bath, then go to the salon to have my hair done, and then will be dining with a few of my traveling companions.

All my love,



January 31, 1917

My Darling Marie,

It’s still a mystery to me as to why, especially in a time of such global conflict, that you would embark on such a trip, but you’ve always been a free spirit. I miss you so and I’m looking forward to your return to me in March.

Yours forever,



February 21, 1917

Dearest Theodore,

I missed being with you on Valentine’s Day, but I have been having the most amazing time here in Africa. This week I went on a safari into the bush lands and I even rode on an elephant. It was an experience I shall never forget. Tonight our safari tour guide is taking us all out to dinner to celebrate our successful adventure. I’m exhausted, my dear, but I feel that it would not be proper of me to weasel out of that dinner, especially after Nigel gave me a beautiful native talisman.

Until next time,



March 10, 1917

Dear Maria,

Thank you for sending me those beautiful photographs. You look very happy. Was that man standing next to you with his arm around your waist your safari guide? Is that Nigel? Did you get the photographs I sent to you of all the snow blanketing the city? We’ve had an unusually cold and wet winter this year.

On another note, I’m sure you’ve heard about how some passenger ships in the North Atlantic have been sunk by German U-Boats over the past several months. I hope that your journey home at the end of this month will be uneventful. By the time you return, it will be spring here and we can enjoy all the city has to offer.




April 2, 1917

Dear Theodore,

I know you expected me to have arrived home by now, but I have totally fallen in love with Nigel. Much to my surprise, Nigel has invited me to move in with him and I have graciously accepted. I do hope you’ll understand.

Best regards,




You brazen hussy. I hope you and your safari man come down with cholera or some other exotic disease. Should you ever decide to return to the States, may your passenger ship have a close encounter with a German U-Boat.


Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are salon, mystery, and elephant.

Also for Teresa’s Genre Writing Challenge, where the writing genre is Epistolary Fiction, or stories constructed as a series of letters exchanged between characters, based upon the image at the top of this post.

Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (mea culpa), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (amicable), Ragtag Daily Prompt (weasel), and Your Daily Word Prompt (talisman).

In Case I Missed You

My normal routine when I wake up in the morning, before I even drag myself out of bed, is to reach for my iPhone, open up my WordPress app, check how many views I’ve gotten so far, and then go to my Reader and start reading posts that come in overnight while I was sleeping from bloggers I follow.

I scroll back to the last post I read the night before and use that as my starting point. Then I start with the first post that came in after that last one.

But yesterday morning I noticed something disturbing in my WordPress Reader. There was a four hour gap between the last post I read the night before and the next post that appeared in my Reader.578BEDE7-856D-4587-A82E-97BE055135B5That’s weird, I thought. So I then opened up my iPhone’s Safari browser, logged into WordPress, went to my Reader, scrolled down to the last post I’d read the night before, and there was virtually no gap between the last post I read and the next post after that.1fc5dd7e-fd3d-4b94-99ff-1d4e50c9030f.jpegWTF? What happened to all of those posts in that four hour gap? Why aren’t they showing up in my WordPress app Reader but are showing up in my WordPress.com Safari browser Reader?

So I opened up a ticket with the Happiness Engineers and they said that I should “Try scrolling down in the ‘Followed Sites’ page in the mobile app. This will trigger an extra refresh.”

I tried that and it didn’t work. I responded back to let them know, but haven’t heard back yet.

So this is a long-winded (or verbose?) way of saying that it’s likely that I may have missed a bunch of your posts, particularly if you posted them between 11 pm and 7 am Pacific Time (US). I’m not sure how long this issue has been going on, but if you think you posted a “must read” post in the — or my — overnight hours, during the past few days, I probably didn’t see it. So feel free to include a link to any such posts in a comment on this post.


How I Spend My Time

Some of you are aware that I use my iPhone for blogging. I have the iOS WordPress app, which I use for reading and responding to comments on my posts and for reading what other bloggers I follow have posted and for commenting on their posts .

But for writing my posts I use my iPhone’s Safari browser to log onto WordPress because it’s easier to use for composing posts than the WordPress app for iOS editor. And it gives me a real-time word counter, which comes in handy for prompts with word limits.

Why my iPhone and not my laptop? I do it because I can read, comment, and post from anywhere. My bed, my living room, the dining room, my backyard, on a bus, at the park. And, if I do say so myself, I have become quite adept at using my iPhone’s virtual keypad.

Anyway, a few days ago I downloaded iOS 12, the latest iPhone operating system, to my iPhone. I have found a few quirky things (i.e., bugs), which I’m sure (hope) will be addressed in iOS 12.1. But one of the new features on iOS 12 is something called “Screen Time.” It keeps track of how much time you spend on your iPhone and how you’re spending that time.

Out of curiosity, last night before I went to bed, I checked Screen Time. And I’ll be honest with you, what I saw shocked me.D06C4129-5193-4F1D-8ED1-01A160F5EFBE.jpegOf the 17 hours I was awake yesterday (from 6 am to 11 pm), I spent 10½ using my iPhone. And of those 10½ hours, I spent 6¾ hours blogging — either reading, commenting, responding to comments, or posting.

In other words, I spent 61% of my waking hours on my iPhone, which is just nuts. But of those 10½ hours, I spent on my iPhone, nearly two-thirds of it was spent related to blogging.

I’ve been awake so far today for 2½ hours. That time includes taking a shower, getting dressed, fixing and eating breakfast and reading the newspaper. And yet, of that 2½ hours, I spent 1½ hours on my iPhone, one hour and 20 minutes of which were spent on WordPress.

I think I need to rethink how I’m spending my time.