I still love snail mail

Maybe it’s a by-product of being an AF brat and moving around a lot, but I’ve always loved getting mail. I can remember receiving letters from my grandparents as we transferred from base to base, and once I was old enough, writing letters back to them to tell them what was going on in my life.  One time my Grandpop sent us kids a letter from his home in NJ to our home in GA with bits of string taped to the envelope, noting inside that he had asked his friends, the birds, to bring it to us when they flew south for the winter.  My dad was not very talkative nor demonstrative but he would write us letters when he was on TDY and it made us feel a little closer to him. He was in Maine for the winter one year and I remember him telling us that the snow was above the roof and they had to tunnel out. Who knows if that’s true!  He also said he was passing the time by doing “paint by numbers” pieces for us.  I think my sister and I got pictures of clowns for our bedroom.  🙂  As I got older, I enjoyed exchanging letters with various friends when one or both of us got transferred yet again. Even into adulthood and early parenthood, I still wrote letters to friends and relatives when long distance calls were expensive and we couldn’t just pick up the phone for a chat any time we wanted.

With the introduction of the internet, email, and nationwide cell phone plans, snail mail has certainly lost favor with most of us.  These days all we usually get in the mail is junk or the occasional bill (most are online now, right?), catalog or package.  I used to send cards to everyone I knew for birthdays and special occasions but I have pretty much stopped doing that too.  I still check my box expectantly each day but I don’t really know what I am expecting any more! Once in awhile, a fun surprise arrives, like a few days ago when several of my orders converged and showed up at the same time: a yard sign for Beto O’Rourke, running for Congress against the awful Ted Cruz, some cute pop-up cards I found and decided I needed, two “Chatbooks” (my Instagram photos), and a set of new checks with our correct address on them after two years…yes, I still write the occasional check–call me old!  🙂

Don’t get me wrong; I really like email and Facebook messaging and texting and calling anyone anywhere for cheap.  But I do kinda like a good mail day, too.



You are Welcome Here

Saturday we marched and rallied for immigrants and refugees.  It was a beautiful warm and sunny day in Dallas as we made our way from City Hall to the JFK Memorial Plaza with a couple thousand like-minded folks.

When I lived in Alaska, I taught English to immigrants from many countries for a couple of years. This experience opened my eyes as I got to know my students ; I quickly came to love them and to respect their motivation and dedication.  They were such hard workers and such kindhearted human beings.  Recently I’ve been volunteering with a refugee agency here in Dallas and I’ve been so troubled by the hatred toward immigrants and refugees as well as the Trump administration’s harsh policies and actions. Can you imagine how tough it is to come to a new country where you don’t speak the language well (if at all), where you’re unfamiliar with the customs and expectations of other people, and find yourself feeling unwelcome or unwanted after years in a refugee camp holding onto your hopes and dreams of a better life in the USA?  I worry about the people arriving in Dallas each week and I hope they do feel welcome here.  Our small action last weekend was a statement and we hope it was heard.

Mentioning my students made me want to go back and look at all of my pictures from our classes, gatherings, and celebrations.  I sure do miss these beautiful people!




All That We Leave Behind

My grandmother as a young woman, my grandfather’s 1923 graduation announcement, a teacup from my grandparents’ house, and an 1892 copy of The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott.

Rich and I bought our son-in-law Miles’ parents’ home in Dallas a couple of years ago. His parents were building a new home and a jokingly-made suggestion ended up a reality when we decided to take the plunge.  Since we were still in Alaska at the time, we rented the house out with the intention to move into it once we eventually came to Texas.  Our original plan was to retire to Dallas this summer, but we went slightly crazy and moved last October instead!  Meanwhile, our tenants still have a lease till June 30 so we’ve been renting a nice little apartment just a couple of minutes away from daughter Sarah and her family.

Continue reading “All That We Leave Behind”