Friday, May 22, 2015

One Is Better Than None

A single letter is like a single lady. One is better than none. This one goes out in tomorrow's mail. JC is home for a long weekend. Translation: Time is limited.

I am no longer holding on to one of my favorite postcards. It's halfway home by now. What a couple. I am a Diego mural fan. Frieda? Not so much.

I still don't get the title. "Garden & Gun?" There's an article on shot guns in this issue, so perhaps it counts. I'm not so sure about gardens. So why include the magazine in a post about mail and such? Well, I proudly choose to tell you that I have pen friends from every state listed in the red box . . . Wait. Is it red because they're all red states? No matter. I have pen friends in all those states listed except TN. I have a dream. I dream that some day I will have a letter from someone who lives in every united state, and the District of Columbia. Maybe not. I'd really really really like all the states postcards! With their matching postage stamp. Wouldn't that be a marvel? We could sign up to participate. Put our names on a list and . . . Patty? Pamela? Somebody? Anybody? How to do it?

I know! Well, I thought I did. Anyway, here's a link to the state stamps.

Moving on . . . Here's the best reason for telling you about this issue of Garden & Gun. I discovered it on page 52.

Who knew? Are you a Eudora Welty fan? I have no idea who he is since I have not Googled his name yet, but the very idea sounds interesting, yes? 

Would you want your deeply private letters published after you've passed on? Is nothing sacred private? Wow. I hope none of mine survive. I'd spin in my urn if they were! I looked for the book today. The story is loosely biographical. I like the last sentence in this tease: ". . . the tale is accompanied by thirteen years' worth of letters between the authors--a rich back-and-forth that proves that while memories may fade, great writing never does."  CJ Lotz 

I have learned to be cautious about pre-ordering a book without reading excerpts first. Oh, wait. Link on.

Oh, goodness. Did you read the Kirkus Review? Oh, bless their hearts. I have to read it now. Sign me up Scotty!

Then there's this:

So many books. Thankfully.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Pathway to Mail . . .

... is paved with letters.

I have had a most unusual day. The scary parts started off with a trip to the mail box. I had two letters to mail. From there things went downhill. You've heard it said that the pathway to hell is paved with good intentions. Sometimes it is so.

It began with this guy. Isn't he beautiful?

Add a broken window and a woman's clothing hanging from the eaves, hedges and lawn. Factor in all the nights of door pounding, screams, shouts, fights, cursing, and you cannot help but wonder. The dog has been terrorizing people for two days. He had two neighbors "treed" next door while I was at the mail box. I called the police for a welfare check on the woman who lives here, and advice about how to handle the dog. Yes, I knew to call Animal Control but . . . The poor dog had gathered enough of the strewn clothes to make a bed. It was hungry. I gave it a bowl of water and three cans of cat food. The neighbor's son brought over a glass of dry food. 

The school bus dropped off a group of students on the corner; a deputy came--assured me he would shoot the dog if it charged any of the children. Why? The poor thing obeyed my commands to stay, sit, heel. The neighbor across the street had already called to report the circumstances and a dispatcher told him to shoot the dog. Does everyone in Texas own a gun? You heard about the shootout in Waco, right? The wild-wild west in action, y'all. Shoot first, lie later, seems to be the law of the land lately.

Fast forward to a woman raging and swearing to murder and kill her grandson and then me. Seems the phantom me called the police after I'd accused him of ringing door bells and running yesterday. He swore he had an alibi. He was playing video games and granny saw him. I had a lovely day yesterday. No one rang my doorbell, or if they did it was news to me. I hate it when children lie. Granny threatened the neighbor on the corner. She screamed, ranted, swore some more . . . Alex and his family came out to investigate.  It takes a village to soothe an idiot. It didn't work; she went down the street and around the corner for backup. You know, swearing in Spanish and English is quite a feat. Recognizing the word murder in two languages is "good on me."  

In the end, his mother came over after work to tell me her son would never do such a thing, etc.. "I'm sure every mother whose son has died in a mean way has said the same thing" fell on deaf ears. I called off the names of young black men whose deaths made national news recently. Senseless deaths. Still, she defended her mother's threats with, "My mother is very protective and she gets excited when it comes to her family." I asked how she'd feel if we'd reported the death threats and she'd been arrested? She was unfazed. There are none so blind as those who will not see. Not even after her son admitted being on the scene of the door bell incident. He gave up the names of his companions--but he wasn't ringing any bells. He tried to talk the others into not doing it.

Anyway . . . Fatima told me, "Well, if she kills you, at least you know where you'll wake up." Ha! I'm not so sure Fatima. And I'm not ready to risk finding out. Can you imagine Beaver's mom taking off her apron and pearls to fight Whitey's mom? Or to run to keep from being murdered? What would Ward do? 

Did you know mourning stationery bore black borders? And black seals? I always thought of my stationery with the black border as elegant. I often hoped no one else saw it as mourning stationery instead. If you care to learn more about it, here's a link. The bibliography is worth a look-see.

Anyway, again . . . In the great yesterday, I spent a day drawing instead of doing laundry and dusting, or vacuuming. I even cooked dinner. I ate an entire bunch of asparagus! I washed dishes and it was back to the drawing board. I wrote the two letters. I forgot to take a photo of the second. The Rockets just lost two in a row.

The un-photographed envelope sports two red clogs. Dear recipient, will you send me a copy of the envelope? I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

Indeed, the pathway to mail is paved with letters. My pathway to the mail box was fraught with danger. Fatima fell off a ladder. She's been at the emergency room for well over two hours now. She was helping her mom paint a bathroom. Having said all this, my plan for this post was meant to be all about "How to Write a Friendly Letter." Next time, I'll save the drama. Oh! Does it bother you if someone says "passed" instead of "died?" Do you send notes of condolence, letters, or sympathy cards? I ask because too often I don't know what to say, or how to say something appropriate. Sometimes Hallmark really says it best. Lately, death has touched the lives  of a number of people I care about, and I think I dropped the ball. Help?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It's a Wonderful Life

Simplicity is the new black.

There are no accidents. There is no such thing as coincidence, right? This envelope pretty much sums up our last several weeks or so. More dark clouds, an absence of sunlight until just before sundown, enough rain to make waves, and it's beautiful. I feel so much smaller--all lowercase--yet strong, but only because days like these remind me that I am. Without the rainy season . . . I cannot imagine our lives. 

Black and white contains every color in a rainbow. It makes sense that they should complement each other so well, yes? The white lines in the envelope bring to mind gentle waves. I'm talking about the waves traffic makes as it plows through flooded streets. Goodness. Perhaps it is a good thing I'm almost at the end of "The Book of Strange New Things." It's so humid here. Breathing outdoors feels the way I imagine Peter feels. Still and all, I almost wish the end of the story wasn't so near. (sigh) 

Black naturally reminds me of the dark void that is often left in the wake of Death. Anna's father passed last month. I write to her as often as I am able; I'm unsure of what to say in the face of Death. It and I are not on speaking terms. It makes no apologies, and I refuse to apologize for living, so we simply are. Anna is strong. I'm pretty sure a card or a note from us, her peers, will uplift her spirits when she least expects it though. You, and yours, are in our prayers, dear Anna.

Goodness comes from unexpected places. Do you remember the magical Disney campaign that included images of these two on a magic carpet? From Bon Appetite Magazine, of all places, I think. I guess Marc fell off that magic carpet, since they are no longer together, but they still make a lovely envelope. 

The back is just as much fun. Someone unstoppered the magic lamp and the genie granted three wishes? A girl, a boy, and a divorce? Sorry. Perhaps it was a girl, a boy, and a boy toy. Or "happiness ever after." Ever after what? I'm sorry. They've moved on, I barely know who they are, and I certainly am not an authority on their lives. I'm just making it up as I go along.

Oops! See? You thought it was me, when it's been the genie all along. It's a little late genie-girl! The whoops outta the bag.

(back--no special liner required)

I saved several pages because I'm unsure of which of the three to use and which I should lose. They're all lovely. 

Moving on . . .

Southern doodling is dandy. In fact, it comes in right handy when it rains all day, and it rains all night, 'cause the weather it was dry, and Susannah refused to cry. Oh! Susannah, oh, don't you cry for we! We're trying to get dry, girl!

. . . to be continued

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

There Can Be Only One

To quote the top dog Highlander, ". . . there can be only one." Unquote. "Today," said this limner. 

First there was Jackie. Then there was Randall. I'm sure I've overlooked one or two other "word artists," but this beauty came as a major surprise. Her talk of having to "learn origami or something" to add to her bag of Ahas! was merely a distraction. A clever fooled you! No-no-no. I get it. I see it before me like that lady with her dagger did. It's the white that makes it bright(er)! Her hand has always been delicate, packed with genteel flair and a certain savior faire. The white is as amazing as pulling doves from thin air. Gee, Mrs. Duffy . . . (What rhymes with Duffy?!?) Thank you, I do. 

Today, there can be only one. 

Write on Mrs. D.. Write on.

Monday, May 18, 2015


(Anatomy of a Friendship postcard)

(A repeater worth repeating.)

(A party all by itself.)

A dream come true. She often reads my mind.

A cure for insomnia? Doodled mail!

"Ally Oop!" I miss you. "Nancy and Sluggo" were zombies. "Terry" was too boring for a girl. I still don't know what "Prince Valiant" was/is all about. Who keeps the strip going? One more thing to Google!

I've used just two of these. Can't bring myself to use more than that. Not yet anyway. I owe a lot to comics. The old masters were my first loves, but Walt Disney and Stan Lee, and every comic strip artist who caught my eye filled my head with color and shapes, anatomy and animation, dreams and ambition. "Mary Worth?" Where are you?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Quoting Jane Austen

"It is a rule with me, that a person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill." (Caroline Bingley, Pride & Prejudice)

Really, Jane? Really, y'all?