20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers

We went for a ride up into Maine yesterday.

Originally posted on Living and Lovin:

The day started rainy and socked in with think fog here in New England yesterday,  while so many suffered in horrible cold and snowy conditions.  We will take what we can left of this year, before we too must huddle together and keep ourselves warm.

A few years ago I took a class with Mom on fusing glass with a wonderful teacher who has since passed away.  She had told us about a woman in Maine who taught wire wrapping,  so we could make our pieces we did,  look even nicer and go from glass into jewelry pieces. Well that winter we went out to Arizona  to hunt for Gold and I met a woman there who took the time to show me a simple wrap that as I got more proficient I could add my own flair to.  Well yesterday the woman in Maine, who I follow through Facebook, had an Open…

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Rescued at Last

I felt chapped and burned all over, though the clouds were dark and threatening that cold winter day.

He ran down from the stunted trees, to the dock, where I waited in the boat as it rocked in the shallows of the sound. There on the the boat, he kissed my cheek. “You’re alive!” he cried out. As the schooner slipped below the waves, I grasped his hand and cried. I remember the horror of that day, not because of the warmth of the land, or the lovely clusters of palms, but because of the fierceness of the burning sands.

The Beach Is A Mess


The Beach Is A Mess

Originally posted on Living and Lovin:

Well last night we lost an hour of sleep due to our moving our clocks ahead in spring as we do here in New Hampshire for Daylight Savings Time.  I went to bed early after being at the beach.  Yes a perfect day in the mid 40′s.  It was a very Messy Beach and some lost their homes.  I am not sure if you caught it on your news as I never know if AP news will broadcast things that happen here, all over the world.

You know I will keep you up on the stories in the news throughout New England well at least when it comes to storms and flooding.


JT and I walked along the shoreline for exercise and play while her daddy searched for treasure.  I left her Frisbee in the truck and grabbed a stick we keep for windy days.  I knew she would want…

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On a cold day here in New England

The shoreline still calls out to us

Our trips here are usually never planned

We just know we must get out or sit at home and rust

JT is always ready for our trips to the shore

We never  have to tell her that is where we are going

She sees him get the metal detector out  and she goes right to the door

On this day she was sad no Frisbee with the way the winds were blowing

He swung his machine over the sand

He left a path of places he had dug and filled back in

Nothing ever seems to go as planned

With him though it usually ends with a grin

His collecting apron has many treasures within

Pull tabs, copper wire and piping and so many coins and rings

Want to know the reason for the grin

Well he is always happy when finding THINGS

So on a cold day with nasty raw winds gusting

JT and I walk into the wind defiant to let it ruin our day

I remind myself we could have been home rusting

So glad we went it was such a pretty day given the fact we stayed



“Beach Art” By JT


I know you have probably seen the shells that sit along the high tide mark but do you know about Border Collie Art?

She is so well-bred that she leaves an amazing piece of artwork, all along the beach,  as we make or way onto it

for a game of Frisbee.

Can you see her moves up above?

On and on she goes

Round and Round

Catching it

Dropping it at my feet and heading back out for another loop to get ready to catch it again.

I know some of you may tire of my talk about this pup but she really is what keeps us smiling day in and day out pain and all.

She is a beautiful artist,  well at least in our eyes.

Other dogs just come to PLAY she seems to have a method to her madness as do I.


Her daddy is hunting for treasure in this B&W  photo also showing her design all along the sea.


Certain Things

A shell, a piece of bone, a tumbleweed,
some driftwood, Indian beads, a little stone…
these things hold memories, and how I need

them. Grandchildren learned names of shells with speed
from my collection. Don’t forget pinecone
to add to shell and bone and tumbleweed.

My mother cooked Thanksgiving once to feed
us in the pinewoods. Warm that year, sun shone.
These things hold memories. O, how I need

remembrance of the driftwood she would plead
with us to bring up from the beach. Windblown,
a shell, a piece of bone, a tumbleweed

arrived onshore. And then we would impede
their further travels, as our mom was prone
to loving things of nature. They, her need,

defined her as might the Apostles’ Creed.
Each lovely signature stood all alone
in her home, shell and bone and tumbleweed.
I understand the memories I need.

(a villanelle)

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Click the blue link below to read more and to hear my song: 



Original Song by Judy Unger, Copyright 2010


The alabaster seashell rests

gently in the sand

the tide sweeps to its refuge

leaving it to gleam

in drifting, dune-like patterns


The alabaster seashell rests

gently in his hand

he tells her how he found it

a treasured memory

and reminder of his love


That seashell once held a living thing

It’s beauty remains to always bring

reminders of days like the one

combing the seashore in a brilliant sun


The alabaster seashell rests

gently in her hand

she feels his love is with her

even though he’s gone

the shell glistens with her tears


That seashell once held a living thing

It’s beauty remains to always bring

reminders of days like the one

holding him tightly in a setting sun


The alabaster seashell rests

gently on her stand

it gathers dust with time

like the love that is

among her treasured memories

like the love that is

a treasured memory


My song, “Alabaster Seashell” began with three simple stanzas I wrote when I was 17. I vaguely remembered only part of the melody for the “Alabaster Seashell.” But it was the beautiful chord progressions, which utilized a different guitar tuning, that enraptured me. I knew my song needed something more, but I had no idea how I was going to expand my song about a seashell. I started to experiment to see what I could come up with.

I have always loved seashells and deeply appreciated their indescribable beauty. When my art career first began, I received an assignment to create a series of eight, large paintings of seashells, which would be marketed as prints. As I painted dozens of seashells, I became quite familiar with their intricate shapes and colors.

I was surprised how telling the story of a seashell memento also stirred up many emotions inside of me. My memories of collecting seashells began during childhood. I kept jars of them in my bedroom and each shell represented a beautiful memory of a day spent searching the seashore. With those feelings, I started to compose some new lyrics to add to my song, but then I had such a major revelation with “The Alabaster Seashell” that it took my breath away.

My song was originally based upon the story of a boyfriend giving me a seashell when I was in my teens. With that story, I pictured myself older and looking back at the treasured memory my boyfriend gave me long ago, after we were no longer in love. But as I sang my old melody, suddenly my heart took me somewhere else. I was swept to a clear day at the beach. I squinted as the brilliant sun warmed my soul. My young son was walking with me along the seashore. Then, he bent down and excitedly cupped a sparkling white seashell in his hands to show me. His blue eyes were shining. The revelation of how my song had changed and the memory of that tender moment caused me to become overwhelmed with emotion. I realized that I had discovered how my song could be expanded.      

I decided that a seashell was a beautiful metaphor about seeing death in a positive way. The creature that once inhabited the seashell left something beautiful behind when it died. Although the creature was gone, the seashell could bring comfort with its beauty and with the memories. The “Alabaster Seashell” reminded me of a magnificent day combing the beach with Jason. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I quickly scrawled out additional lyrics for my song.

These are original pages where I developed my new lyrics. I added verses to expand my song that I wrote when I was 17.

These are original pages where I developed new lyrics for a song I wrote when I was 17.

Seashells notes 1 Jason pointing on the beach Jason on the beach

Jason, & mom at beach

© 2012 by Judy Unger, http://www.myjourneysinsight.com and 20 Lines A Day. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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A splash of color in New Haven, CT

I’ve visited this area last year after hurricane Irene hit it..the stone walls are patched, the lawns back in order and local residents are once again preparing for a storm, this time Sandy….. hopefully, it won’t repeat Irene’s damaging force.

Post Irene, Pre- Sandy





I have always related to stones, thought that somehow, in the kingdom of things, they speak a language. Listen. Listen hard. You’ll hear the water burble over them, the children’s laughter as they toss them here or there.

And look. See those colors, shapes, the veins? What stories might they tell? Where have they been and what might they have housed? How old are they?

Along the beach I pick up little stones, and big ones too, you know, those angular stones, gray usually, with holes and bumps, which I think are bruises from their journeys.

Kind of like us….we have holes in us, sometimes in our hearts, and bruises? Oh, for sure. Where are your bruises? I know where mine are. A stone is hard, yet water has given it a sheen, a coating, a shine on rainy days. When sun beams down upon a stone it seems to smile.

Me too. Hard. Yep, there are places that haven’t been softened yet, but I know that the “sun and water” of my life will touch and change them.

Pick up a stone. Imagine the conversation.

Tropical Storm Remnants Coming

Originally posted on Living and Lovin:

Atlantic Ocean

Rolling in

Not sure how many in the Northeast saw the sun rise today, as the remnants of Issac are about to leave us with

rain measured in inches.  Word is that somewhere between 2 to 5 inches could fall here.  Last year Irene,  another I

named storm.   We will only know when it is over if any roads succumbed to the weather.

My river was low so hopefully she stays with in her banks and I lose no more land to flooding , though they plan

on releasing water from a local lake as well,  to “Watch the Flow”.  I hope they use some common sense which seems to

be lacking in these parts of late.

I wish I could give all of you who have been in such horriffic droughts, my share of water.

The photo is mine, taken along the shore of Hampton Beach here in Hampton…

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Wrong! Just wrong….. Artist’s are never given credit for the work they do.


What could be the possible reason to place such pretty pieces of ART  and not block the

ugliness of the  electrical boxes and AC units for this building.


No matter how much I loved  VA Beach,  there is so much more people in charge could do with a little common sense.

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Can I Play


I take my pup to the shore very early each day.

We go to play with her favorite toy.

We go from one end to the other resting when needed .

My back and her thirst determine this.

It is almost time for me  to get her off the beach,(she is not allowed along the shore) she loves so much.

She is tired and happy so it will be no problem, well till these people

arrived.  She cried quietly wanting to play with them and their HUGE

Beach Ball.  It was bigger than she.  She watched and watched as  they kicked it about

but no one called for her to join them in the game.


She doesn’t understand that all toys are not hers. We spoil her too much I am told.

I tell her it is OK  and almost time for us to go home.  They were all getting ready to go down to the water and

they must have seen JT,  not taking her eyes off them.  They head to the water without the ball, JT  has other ideas



Like that made her forget,  Seagull wanted to play too or look for some goodies they left behind.

I stopped and got her  a big ball for her yard.  Yes I know I am bad but she loves me, and I her.

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Hidden Treasures


He was returning from his early morning beach walk rather disappointed. No sharks teeth again. He knew it sounded silly, sharks teeth being so important among all the shells, glimmering upon a palette only God could paint.

How many years had it been? Fifteen, twenty? She had seemed so fragile, so frail that day.
He remembered her smile as he placed the perfectly formed sharks tooth into her weathered palm.  It was to be the last time they walked in that placed together.

Somehow, he just needed that sign from her today, the one that said, “I’m still with you.”

As he sighed and started towards the cabin, he spotted an opened cockle shell. In his mind, it looked just like a heart. “You ARE here!” he exclaimed  as the wind gathered his words and scattered them into the waves.

He picked up the opened cockle shell carefully, hoping not to break the tenuous hinge that held it together. Overjoyed by the “sign”  of  the heart-shaped shell, he failed to notice what was hidden  underneath it-a perfect black sharks tooth.


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