Tag Archives: dogs

Day 185: Thom, Tressa, Tegan and Tate

Manassas fireworks from the side mirror.

Manassas fireworks from the side mirror.

Happy Independence Day!

I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday. Mine was awesome! I spent it with some amazing friends out in Manassas, VA. And while I had a terrific day, I’m not sure my friend Reuben would say the same. Reuben is my friends Chris and Karrin’s dog. I’ve been taking care of him while they traveled up to New England for the weekend.

My best friend for the weekend.

My best friend for the weekend.

Reuben is one of the best dogs I’ve ever known, maybe the best. My ex-girlfriend even offered to buy him for $1,000. I know, that sounds crazy – but if you met Reuben you’d want him all to yourself too. Reuben likes to lounge around the house, take walks, chase and retrieve things you throw, have his belly rubbed, eat grass, sniff telephone polls and occasionally let out a long howl. He likes a lot of things. One thing he does not like I discovered: fireworks.

I thought it would be fun to join my friends and watch the fireworks that they set off in Manassas – which is quite a show I might add. I pictured us sitting in those collapsible chairs or on a blanket, Reuben next to me sitting on his back legs watching the aerial display with the wonder of a two-year old. Nope. It was nothing like that. #DogSitterFail

Day 185

Tom, Tressa, Tegan & Tate, 

It was great to see you guys today. Dinner was delicious – the quinoa salad, fish, shrimp, veggies were all amazing! Sorry I had to leave abruptly – note to self: dogs do NOT like fireworks, they will freak out. We got stuck in some traffic heading out of Manassas but had a great view of fireworks from all over on the ride home. Sorry about all the water issues (the house and the car!) – you know what they say, when it rains it pours. Sorry…I couldn’t help myself.

Love you guys – your friendship means a tremendous amount to me.

I recycled a bag from Paper Source to make this envelope.

I recycled a bag from Paper Source to make this envelope.

Day 176: Aunt Sue

I’ve written Aunt Sue a few times this year. She has lived at an assisted living center for nearly 18 months. She’s sad and bitter that her freedom has been stripped away. She no longer drives, cooks or calls people. I try to call her regularly, write her notes and make the eight-hour journey to visit her whenever I can.

Day 176-2

Aunt Sue,

I thought I would drop you a note to say hello. I talked to Ryan today and he said that he bought his airfare to come visit. I don’t think Jacqueline will be going with him in the end. I know you were looking forward to seeing her. I am checking with my work commitments to see if I might be able to join him for part or all of the time.
I love you and think about you often.
Looking forward to seeing you soon,
(short for You Know Who – that’s how she used to sign her letters to me.)

Day 86: Murray

Still no word from anyone from Penn State – I thought for sure someone would find my letter, look up the blog and leave us a message. But nothing so far. As my former boss Mikael used to say, it’s been “radio silence.”

Today, you get a letter to Murray – the likable owner of Hunting Creek Outfitters. I met Murray through Story Distillery – we were working on his social media strategy.

Day 86

Yes, she’s just as soft as she looks.

His store focuses on fly fishing, although Murray admits some visitors come for an entirely different reason. They come to see one of the most beautiful dogs you’ve ever seen: Maizey. This English Spaniel is arguably photographed more than anything else on Market Street. She’s even been on the front page of the paper!

Anyway, Murray is looking to build his Facebook presence – please consider following Hunting Creek Outfitters.

Day 8586

Dear Murray,

I enjoyed meeting you last week and discussing your social media strategy. Your desire to see clear results from your investments in social media is something that I can definitely relate to. It’s often difficult to see how your time and money spent on online media translate into your bottom line.

I hope I was able to help answer some questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance.

All the best to you (and Maizey!)
Reed Sandridge

Murray uses some old school social media outside his store - this is is one of my favorite messages he's posted.

Murray uses some old school social media outside his store – this is is one of my favorite messages he’s posted. Photo: Hunting Creek Outfitters

Day 10: Aunt Sue

Teaism, Dupont Circle

Teaism, Dupont Circle

This morning I did some letter-writing over at Teaism in Dupont – I shared this on social media and invited folks to come out and write some letters with me. None of you showed up, but that’s ok. I wrote some letters over a delicious pot of assam tea. If you want to join me on a future date, stay tuned to the Meet Ups section of the blog.

Today’s letter is for my Aunt Sue. She turns 81 on Wednesday.

She is one of five siblings my mother had. Originally from Richlands, VA, she now lives in an assisted living residence in Tennessee. Even though she has her own apartment there, it’s sad as she just doesn’t have the freedom she used to have. She can’t drive, so spontaneous trips to visit friends and family or even just quick jaunts to the grocery store are now distant memories.

day 10 aunt sueI love to see her, although she’s different now. After losing her husband, her only son, two siblings (one of them my mother), her best friend and many others, the quick wit and vibrance the former head of operating room nurse once had is now gone. Her health has diminished as well. “Don’t ever get old,” she tells me every time we speak. “Don’t do it.” She has this birthday card on her fridge that says something like, “The more you bitch and complain about getting old, the longer you live.” She smiles and says, “Isn’t that the truth” every time she reads it.

I love her very much and hope that she is smiling this Wednesday.



day 10 aunt sue-2

Dear Aunt Sue,

My aunt loves Akitas.

My aunt loved Akitas.

Happy birthday! I went out looking for a birthday card for you – but I got to be honest, there was nothing there that I thought you’d like as much as this card with the drawing of this gorgeous Akita. I love you very much and will call you on your birthday!


I sign my letters to my aunt “Y.K.W.” (You Know Who). She would always sign her letters to me that way, so I’ve started signing my letters to her in the same manner.