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Day 73: Rich

RichCardOnce again my Year of Giving and Year of Letters lives have intersected. This past week I received a handwritten letter from Rich from Phoenixville, PA. We’d been in touch five years ago when I was unemployed and giving $10 away every day. He’s an interesting (his business card even confirms that!) and creative guy who has several well written blogs worth checking out: 1 Picture 217 Words, Rich’s House of Vinyl and The Dichotomy of the Dog. He also makes custom notebooks – check’em out.

Thanks for the letters this week everyone – keep them coming!

Day 73 Rich

Dear Rich,

What a pleasant surprise I had yesterday when I discovered your handwritten letter in my mailbox. Thank you! I do recall our exchange from when I was doing the Year of Giving – I was touched by the tribute you were doing with raising funds for the American Cancer Society in honor of your father.

Clearly we both place an immense amount of importance on family. I see it through your blog writings – from your complex (and humorous I might add) relationship with National Lampoons Christmas Vacation to donating proceeds from the Dirty Dancing notebooks to your great aunt Ellie’s shot glass!

Your blogs are well written and inspire creativity. I’m in awe of your passion and knowledge of music. I wish I had that kind of relationship with music but with the exception of a handful of artists I pretty much just go with the flow of whatever is playing whether it be Bach or the Beastie Boys – just no Justin Bieber please.

I was not familiar with Lincoln’s unsent letter to Gen. Meade – thank you for sharing, I will certainly look that up and I agree it would make an interesting post on the Year of Letters. Furthermore, your thought of doing a tour at Laurel Hill, or anywhere for that matter, and enriching the experience through the readings of letters and diaries is an excellent idea. I hope you pursue that.

Rich, I’m glad that possibly the Year of Letters has played a small role in igniting that spark inside you to return to letter-writing after decades of not writing. Keep it up, trust me, it’s rewarding.


P.S. I will let you know if I am in the Phoenixville area – I have friends who live in nearby Spring City. I recall Bridge Street – charming downtown area where I’ve eaten a decent Mexican meal at Hacienda La Michoacana as well as enjoyed a few tasty beers across the street at Iron Hill Brewery.

Day 72: Anne

One of the people that has been faithfully following my blog is Anne from Mentor, Ohio. I’ve never met Anne in person but you start to get to know the people who follow your blogs even if you’ve never met them face to face. Words to describe the relationship you have with people you follow or who follow you on social media escape me right now. If anyone has a good narrative to explain this unique relationship, send it my way.

I dropped Anne a note in the mail this morning. I thought I would make a liner for her envelope too so I took some wrapping paper that I have had in my apartment for a long time – I don’t use it because it is quite floral, probably leftover from something an ex-girlfriend bought. Anyway, I thought it might make an appropriate liner and it turned out quite nice if I don’t say so myself!

Happy Friday everyone!

Day 72

I made a few blunders in the letter which thankfully I caught before sealing it. I corrected them (after I snapped this photo) before mailing it.


Dear Anne,

You are one of the most devoted followers of my Year of Letters. I’m touched by your interest in the project and am happy to be on this journey with you. I believe we both share a love for baseball. I’m very excited for the 2015 season although the media are saying that 2015 is their (Nationals) year to win it all – no pressure on them now! I’ve been thinking about having a baseball theme for the letters in the month of April to celebrate the start of the season – what do you think about that? Thanks again for joining me on this adventure – take care and stay in touch.

Warm regards,

P.S. Do any of your students write cursive?


Day 59: Ms. Charlotte

charlotte-2On August 19th of 2010 I met 93-year-old Charlotte as she sat on a bench with her sister enjoying the parade of sailboats gliding through Annapolis’ gentle harbor. It was Day 248 of my Year of Giving and I was looking for someone to give my daily $10 t0. Sitting next to her sister Jewell, the New Olreans resident had been in the Baltimore-Washington area for less than 8 hours – having just arrived that morning.

Ms. Charlotte is full of life and has an inviting smile that makes anyone feel welcome. It wasn’t long before I was sitting next to her captivated by the stories of her 10 children and the travels she’s made around the world. My favorite story perhaps though was about her late husband. They went on their first date on a Saturday evening during the final years of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. On that date he asked her out for the remaining 51 Saturdays that year. Smart guy.

I visited with Ms. Charlotte in 2011. I was in New Orleans for business and wrote to her to see if she might want to get together. It wasn’t easy to schedule. She had plans to go to a baseball game on Monday night with one of her sons and Wednesdays were reserved for bridge – so we ended up meeting Tuesday evening. I picked her up and took her to a local restaurant that had fresh seafood and all the typical cajun delicacies.

Of all 365 people I met during my Year of Giving, Ms. Charlotte was one of my favorites and I wanted to send her a note today to wish her happiness on her 98th birthday.


Dear Ms. Charlotte,

Happy 98th birthday! I met you in the summer of 2010 when you were visiting your sister Jewell in Annapolis. I was unemployed and had made a commitment to give $10 to someone every day for a year. I met you and gave you my $10 on Day 248. I remember the day very well – you were wearing an elegant white outfit accented with a floral scarf.

I later enjoyed visiting with you when I was in New Orleans in 2011 and taking you to dinner. Your passion for life is contagious and I cherish the fact that our lives crossed paths.

charlotteI hope that your health is well and that you are still getting together with your bridge group on Wednesdays.

Have a wonderful birthday.

Warm wishes from Washington, DC.
Reed Sandridge


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!

Day 49: Lovely Handwritten Notes

So I found this site Lovely Handwritten Notes and thought that I should definitely write to them! Unfortunately, it looks like there hasn’t been new posts on the website for quite some time, but perhaps I will still get a response – and some tips!

Day 49

Dear friend,

I stumbled upon your project today and was surprised that I hadn’t heard of it until now. Even more of a surprise was that you live right here in Washington, DC. We might be neighbors!

We share a common passion for handwritten communication – it’s truly unique and has the power to transmit so much more thoughtfulness and compassion than electronic messages. Our penmanship conveys a higher level of communication than the words themselves.

I wanted to write to you and congratulate you on your Lovely Handwritten Notes project and also see if you had any advice for my Year of Letters project – perhaps we could meet for coffee sometime?

Warm regards,