Tina Blackledge


kids playing jacks

A little girl sits upon
a concrete porch shaded
by a corrugated fiberglass roof.
The rain drops come in sheets
creating a delightful percussion performance.

The deluge served as a thrumming
white noise to help her concentrate on
her game of Jacks.

Legs spread she carefully spreads out all her metal
fashioned Jacks. Then the girl took out a
very colorful bouncing ball, which was key
to winning the game. The girl liked this game
especially because it can be played by
oneself or with a group of friends.

She was equally content to play
with her sisters or all by herself.

Onesies…bouncing the small round
rubber ball and then grabbing one jack and
catching the jack before it hit the ground a second
time. Easy peesy, lemon squeezy!

Twosies…again the ball begins its ascent
upwards and the girl snatches two jacks
then expertly catches the small ball.

She feels delight as she goes for threesies,
She bounces the ball a little harder
so it will go up further and hang
there before descending. With a
practiced hand she scoops up
three jacks and then catches
the ball. She allows herself a small smile
as she progresses.

all conquered with a
well practiced hand.
A broad smile now
graced her face.

Grabbing sevensies then all eight jacks before the ball
makes contact with the concrete is a
significant challenge.

A feeling of pride and euphoria
washes over her as she captures
7 jacks with one go.

Taking a deep breath and studying the
pattern of scattered jacks
devising the best way to
make the snatch.

She drops the ball watching
its ascent then quickly extending her hand
to make the grab. A huge bolt of lightening
lit up the yard and a very loud thunder
boom followed shaking the ground
beneath her.

The ball hit the ground, bounced a couple
more times then rolled off the patio and into
the grass. She jumps up grabs her ball then scoops
the remaining jacks and heads for the house
just as her mom was opening the door to call
her in out of the storm.

“Hey Mom, I made it to eightsies before
the lightening hit!”

“That is great hun. Go find
something to do, I am in the
middle of making supper”

Mom kind of missed the importance of
the girl’s achievement but it was okay. She
had bigger things to think about.

A game, a confidence builder,
a time eater.

29 thoughts on “Onesies…Twosies…threesies

    • Me too, Diane. I just loved challenging myself to see how far I could get. Sometimes we would put two sets of jacks together so we could go higher or use two balls to challenge ourselves. Every girl I knew carried around her little pouch of jacks and a ball so she would be ready when a game presented itself. It was a nice memory to write about. I am so happy you enjoyed it too.


  1. Before the kids in my neighborhood grew old enough to make the distinction that jacks was a “girl game”, both boys and girls liked playing jacks. I remember doing it until I realized I could get girl cooties doing it. LOL!

    Then, I switched my attention to marbles. Girls in my neighborhood played with those, too. To the best of my knowledge, no girls came down with boy cooties…!

    We seem to have been sort of pre-feminist before it became a general thing.

    Of course, the girls and boys played baseball together, too, because some of the equipment belonged to the girls, we needed extra people to make up decent teams, and some of the better players were girls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am very impressed! An entire neighborhood with such progressive boys, lol. It was a fun game that occupied lots of time and gave one a sense of accomplishment. I cannot boast the same about marbles, I never learned to play them. I had two sisters so the only boy stuff we learned came from our Dad and he was into hunting and dog breeding so that is where we put our energies. It is really cool that you played Jacks and were good at it too!


      • Games back then involved your favorite playmates, children in the neighborhood. I remember, my girl cousins used to play a lot of “step no, step yes” which we locally called Piko. Nowadays, all they do is sit in front of the computer or play on whatever gadgets they have, there is no interaction involved but solitary moments.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed, I think we are just now beginning to bear the cost of allowing our children to isolate but I think the future is going to be wrought with less humanity and no connection to nature. How sad that will be and how terrible for humanity’s collaboration of innovation.


  2. I enjoyed your post on jacks, Tina. My mother played it as a kid and even as an older adult she could play it well. You reminded me of a special image of watching her do this, thank you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing. At first, I felt the child-like play, then the ending hit me like a thunder ball. It is unfortunate that mothers miss the most interesting parts of their children’s lives. Great enlightenment. Blessings Tina.

    Liked by 1 person

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