Stuck In The Onesies

“I found myself laughing and crying, often simultaneously!”  What an incredible story! I found myself thinking about the characters long after finishing this book.  Highly Recommended! – Shelley Cummings, distributor sales development manager for Ecolab Inc.

Barb and Ellie feel as if they’re “stuck in the onesies,” like in the game of jacks. Well, they might be playing catch-up, but at least they’re having fun.


Barb and Ellie are best friends despite their very different life philosophies. As the 1960s swirl around them, Barb tries to hold on to traditional southern values while Ellie is happy to go with the flow and take change as it comes. The two hatch crazy schemes and egg each other on, but they also support each other through phenomenally difficult times.

Both women struggle with their image of the ideal woman—a Donna Reed–style housewife who always has dinner, a martini, and a smile ready for her husband. As their lives fall apart and come back together again, both Barb and Ellie reevaluate this paradigm of feminine virtue.

Along the way, they get involved with John F. Kennedy’s campaign, meet the First Lady, and get stuck in Washington, DC, during a full-scale riot—and that’s not the end of their adventures. Deadly serious events will shake them and their friendship. They can’t stop the changes of the sixties from affecting them, so they both need to decide if that image of the ideal woman is worth hanging on to—or if it’s just holding them back, keeping them stuck in the onesies.

Getting stuck in onesies is lethal to a jacks player. It’s considered the easiest step, and if you don’t sail right through it the first time, you play catch-up for the rest of the game.

“Stuck in the onesies, huh?” Ellie asked.

“Yeah, kinda like getting behind in the laundry. You go one day without hanging something on the line, and you’re forever playing catch-up.” I scooped up the rest of the jacks and handed them to Ellie.

“Yeah, I know what you mean. The last time I caught up on laundry, I think Truman was still president.”

Ellie uncrossed her legs and knelt down on the floor. She sailed through the onesies and got all the way to fivesies before she goofed. In no time, she’d whooped us all. I was determined to learn to be as coordinated as her, but it was apparent that it was going to take some practice.

“You’re the champ for now,” I said. “But just wait until Karen and I get some practice under our belts.” I tossed the jacks to take a practice turn.

It had been a long time since Karen and I had sat on the kitchen floor to play. I made a private promise to myself to spend more time just playing with her. Since Roy had come along, there just never seemed to be enough time. Not that I’d been all that good about getting down on her level before that. I promised myself I’d do better.