Tag Archives: Aubergine

Day 229: Ryan

An embossed card and custom made envelope for my brother.

An embossed card and custom-made envelope for my brother.

Today is my brother’s 44th birthday. He’s the best and I love him more than I could ever express in a birthday card, but I reckon he still deserves a card.

Day 229


We do not choose our family. As luck would have it, you got the perfect little buddy as your brother. You’re welcome! What’s more remarkable is that after 41 years (make no mistake, I know you’re turning 44) you choose to be my friend. I wanted you to know that I also choose you as my friend, my best friend.

I love you and wish you all the happiness in the world today and every day after.


Day 92: Mrs. Wunderlich

You may recall on Day 59 I sent my letter to a woman named Charlotte who was celebrating her 98th birthday. Unfortunately my letter was returned to me today with a dull yellow sticker on it stating:


That made me sad, I was very excited for Ms. Charlotte to get my letter as she was one of my favorite $10 recipients of my Year of Giving. Thankfully, I remembered that she had a sister that lived in Annapolis. After a little sleuth work I found her contact information and sat down today to write her a letter.

Day 92

You can see a glimpse of the lining I created for the envelope.


Mrs. Wunderlich, 

In August of 2010 I met you, your husband and your sister Charlotte in Annapolis – I’ve included a few photographs from that day. You may recall I was giving a stranger $10 every day for a year while I was out of work and on Day 248 I gave my $10 to Charlotte. It was a lot of fun.

charlotte todd and jewell-2

Ms. Charlotte, Mrs. Wunderlich, Mr. Wunderlich

reed charlotte and jewell-2


I’ve embarked on a new adventure this year were I write someone a handwritten letter every day for a year and I thought about Charlotte and remembered her birthday was Feb. 28th. I mailed her a card for her 98th birthday to the Metairie address where she used to live but it was returned to me – it said it was “undeliverable as addressed.” Do you have a current address for her? I hope that she is well – she was one of my favorite people I gave my $10 to. I also very much enjoyed meeting you and Mr. Wunderlich and hope that you are well. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Reed Sandridge

Day 64: Josh Levin, West End Cinema

When I first moved to Dupont I was very excited that there were a couple of theaters with character. There was the one just south of the circle that had a column or two and sprinklers that obstructed the view – I think it’s now a CVS. And there was another one on Florida Avenue that showed independent films – that closed the day I moved in I think.

Anyway, when the West End Cinema opened up in the lower level of an office building on the corner of 23rd and M, I was stoked. I met the owner the week before it opened – he wouldn’t remember me, but I remember that day and how excited I was that it was opening. I’ve seen lots of great films there – Josh gets a lot of independent films and has also managed to attract some of the big Oscar winning flicks.

The theater landscape in DC is shifting though – new screens are opening up off of U Street and over in NoMA. There’s even a pop-up theater at Union Market.

If you have a great independent theater near you – go out and support them. You never know when they may be gone.





YearOfLetters-3I was sad to learn this week that the West End Cinema will be closing at the end of this month. Living and working next to the theater, I’ve enjoyed seeing wonderful films in your cozy and welcoming space. The last one I saw there was Citizenfour which was phenomenal – very deserving of the Oscar it won. I will pay my tributes by seeing at least one more film there in the remaining days.

Thank you for bringing quality films to our neighborhood for the past 5 years. Best of luck to you in all of your future endeavors.


Day 61: Myra

Myra personalized my card with a stamp and artwork.

Myra personalized my card with a stamp and artwork.

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of receiving a letter from someone that I have never met. Myra found me online – she’s trying to do 52 new things this year and she just checked off “write a stranger.”

I did a bit of Googling and found that Myra, who didn’t list her last name which made it a bit trickier to find her, had a wonderful blog. And stop your stalker thinking right there. I’m not a stalker but I’m pretty good at the Google.

Seriously, definitely check out her blog – she’s makes beautiful handmade cards, posts all kinds of photos and even tells you how to make zucchini bread! Hopefully Myra’s commitment to explore new experiences in 2015 will also inspire you. I’m going to try to bake some of that zucchini bread!


Dear Myra,

What a wonderful surprise to receive your letter last week – thank you! I found your blog and was very impressed with your creativity and commitment to trying new things – and you are so thoughtful toward others. We need more Myras! I liked your personalized stamp/art work on the card you sent me. I’ve just started to stamp/emboss a little – so I tried some on this one for you! Keep on creating awesomeness in your world and stay in touch!


Day 58: Michelle

When I started the Year of Letters I thought that I might just get random handwritten letters from people. My address is listed on here and people know how much I like sending and receiving handwritten correspondence, so you never know. It turns out that I’ve received my 2nd and 3rd handwritten letter this week from people who I haven’t sent a letter.

Note from Michelle

Note from Michelle

One was from Michelle – a generous young woman from Charlotte who I have been in touch with since my Year of Giving project. Back in 2010 she provided clothes for Phillip from Day 75 of that project as well as bought an electric blanket for Bill on Day 330 who was sleeping outdoors but near an electric outlet. That was so kind of her.

Today I took a moment and wrote Michelle back.


Dear Michelle,

Thank you so much for your letter – it made my day to receive a note handwritten to me. I appreciate you connecting me with Kacy – her projects are interesting and inspiring. Speaking of inspiring, your 40 in 40 commitment is very cool. I also love that you are going to make a quilt out of the t-shirts – that is certain to be a meaningful keepsake to remind you of your extraordinary achievement.

I did some embossing on the outside of the card.

I did some embossing on the outside of the card.

I don’t get to Charlotte often – in fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever been out of the airport (nice rocking chairs!), but if I go some day I will definitely let you know. And please do the same if you are ever in DC.

All the best and I look forward to following your 40 in 40 journey!