Friday, May 22, 2009
Yesterday I received a flyer inthe mail about the Regional pageant coming to Portland on June 7th. At the lower right corner there is a picture of a BABY with a CROWN. OMG is all I have to say.
I'm sending it to my daughter for a little chuckle.
When we walked the Cancer Journey a few years ago we found the simpler the better:
We are thinking of you.
We send you love and good thoughts.
(image from Payapa Cards--buy them)
Friday, May 15, 2009
Be it ever so humble there's no place like home
Having a place to call home is at the foundation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. We need the security of a nest.
So, it is a happy occasion when friends and family relocate out of choice. In the last month my delightful brother and sister-in-law have moved into a new place in the city (of Bruckmuhl, Germany). And good friends have found their new home in Washington state.
I get to send 'happy home' cards and congratulate them all!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Yup. Obama wrote me back!
He thanked me for my kind words and acknowledged the outpouring of goodwill. He also encouraged me to 'reaffirm our enduring spirit and choose our better history. All right then!
I am going to write a letter back and compliment his expertise in this enormous change effort. He must have some extremely good organization development consultants working with him.
I think the signature might not be original. But, I understand. He's a busy man.
I ask you, 'Why not kick off a celebration for yourself?!"
So this week I am writing a few thank you notes. I am always touched when people take the time to shop and send a gift. Each time I am surprised and delighted.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
My siblings and I grew up in Salt Lake City. Our parents came from The Netherlands and fully embraced their new culture. Here we are on Halloween in 1963. I am the eldest, looking pretty serious. And then we stairstep down--four children in five years (!). The chap in the skeleton costume is the Birthday Boy and in this photo you can already see the impishness.
We were so lucky to have had a GREAT childhood. And today I am remembering the good times....from the old days, from more recent years and envisioning our visit this September.
Love you Ray.
Monday, April 6, 2009
For reasons she knows, she holds a very special place in my heart. When I remember B., I remember rare times. Times when I was a different Maggie for a few days. Times when I connected with wild women and ran with the wolves. I never did anything bad but it was fun to be on the verge of naughty. More than anything we laughed a LOT.
When I think of B. I also ache for sweet times that will never be again. It hurts but I'm glad for the memories at least.
Today I wrote to B. Thanks Honey.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
We live in a house built in 1890 and I like to imagine all the memories that were made from events and images here. Each occupant had some influence over the space that has been cumulatively created.
One family, in particular, invested a lot of love into this home and I recently got a letter from them. I have never met the former owners (we bought from the people they sold to) but I have learned a lot about them.
Today I am writing them a return letter.
I need to buy about 10 more for my friends! Meanwhile, one lucky girlfriend is in for a little chuckle from her mailbox.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
For a long time now I have been inspired by a woman who works in the world of creativity. And, I so wish that I were producing like she is.
Fortunately, I have been able to admit that I couldn't write what she wrote. I will be doing other things. And, meanwhile, I can learn from her. She is so talented and generous with her gifts. As I read what she has written I am touched. I chuckle. I absorb her wisdom.
So today I am writing her a card filled with my admiration and esteem. Thank you, Jill (Badonsky), for sharing your inspiration with us.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Sometimes, though, support is difficult to receive. You just want to curl up in a ball and be alone. You just don't have it enough....it's too hard to be with others.
But you're still getting your mail.
And there's something touching about a quiet letter or card to let you know that someone else cares about you.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I believe that the requirements for a love letter are simple: Sincerity, Specificity and Schmaltz. Write from your heart. Note specific reasons why this person is special to you. And don't hesitate to get sentimental. It is LOVE letter, after all.
Now maybe you're 'not that guy' or girl:
Don't despair. Just like Carrie Bradshaw's boyfriend, Big, in Sex and the City you can take inspiration from others. Love Letters of Great Men and Women: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present Day, by C H Charles contains excerpts of letter from Beethoven, Mozart and Churchill (!). Of course, not everyone is in a RELATIONSHIP with a sweetheart or spouse so your Love Letter could simply be a letter to someone you love.
Share the Love!
Her letters arrived in those onionskin-light fold-up packets. I LOVED getting her letters and I loved re-reading them. I can't remember what two 4th-graders had to write about but we each managed to fill our letters.
Last night I saw Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and Ann Patchett (Bel Canto) speak as part of the Portland Arts & Lecture Series.
They had met briefly at a book fair and began writing to one another. Their friendship developed through letters. How charming. How Victorian. This lecture allowed them to meet in person for the second time but they already knew one another quite well because of all the letters.
The way we reveal our thoughts in a four-page letter is fundamentally different than the way we communicate in an email or on the phone. Which is not to say I don't like my cell phone (what did we do without them?) or email. But as I listened I did envy Liz and Ann's friendship through letters.
I wonder how I'd find a pen pal today?
Monday, February 9, 2009
Coffee and the New York Times crossword puzzle--that's a solid way to begin a morning.
Most mornings the paper is sitting on the top step of our back door and I think that's pretty terrific. So I am writing a letter of thanks to the people who deliver our newspaper. I've never seen them but I think they are swell.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I thought of my best friend whom I have known for over 27 years as I read the article. Janet and I met when we were young mothers because our boys were in child care together. Our sons are grown men now and J. and I are in our fifties. Our bond is stronger than ever because we have such a body of shared experiences. We trash smoked at Key Largo and vented to one another in our thirties. She held me when my sister died and she brought me a pink bed jacket when I had surgery. Her friendship is one of my greatest treasures.
This morning I will send her this article with the words, 'I saw this and thought of you'.
I know we'll still be having a good time when we're in our nineties.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The letter for this week HAS to be a letter to our new President. Here's the outline for my letter:
- Congratulations. You won the election fair and square.
- I pray for your safety.
- I admire you as a leader. You are dedicated to social issues and you know how to build consensus. Please move some of those tax dollars to taking care of things....fund education, solve the health insurance dilemma, rebuild our infrastructure...all the things you highlighted in the campaign.
- We love our country...just like most people love their country. Please continue to work for mutual respect throughout the world. Be strong but not arrogant.
- After watching TV on Inauguration Day I am completely smitten with you and your family. I am excited that you and Michelle will be bringing some flair to the White House.
- Finally, good luck on the smoking cessation.
This man has so much on his shoulders. Let him know that we, too, want good things for our country. Here's the address:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Sunday, January 11, 2009
The Appreciative Inquiry model of change is useful because it acknowledges the power of the past in a positive way.
This is an early model that includes the CONTINUITY aspect of personal change. Too often we try to change by changing everything....which doesn't work for me. Better to build on what IS working. This week I am writing a letter to myself. This is the format:
- What did I value about 2008?
- What would I like to bring about in 2009?
- What will get my attention for transition?
Now, who deserves a letter more than you?
Have a good week.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
This is an ideal time to flex your writing muscles, so show some class, and write a THANK YOU NOTE.
If you don't know what to write here's a simple template from a helpful site:
Thank you very much for the _________, it really was just what I wanted! Every time I use / wear the _________ I will think of you and your thoughtfulness. I wanted to take the time to write my thanks and I will call you soon, to thank you in person .
Best Wishes or Love
or With Grateful Thanks etc.
Write a note of thanks.
Happy New Year!!!
A few weeks later I received this response on my Facebook wall:
Hey Tante Maggie ("Aunt" in Dutch), I got your letter. Wow, I think it has been years since I have received a hand written letter other than a christmas or birthday card. Thanks for thinking of us.
Her note got me wondering. And one morning I woke up with the idea for 52 Letters. Here's the Challenge:
Write one letter each week.
I'm going to start in January 2009. Meanwhile, I'm pondering ideas for how to how fun with this and involve lots of other letter writers.....