Tag Archives: happy birthday

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 99: Jami

Life is funny, isn’t it. For some reason I decided to write John Wilson yesterday. I had no idea that today was his wife’s birthday, but when I saw that this morning I knew I needed to drop her a letter today. After all, John gets plenty of attention, now it’s time to focus on Jami!

Day 99- Jami


Happy birthday Jami,

Day 99- Jami-2I woke up this morning and saw that it was your birthday and thought, today is Jami’s day. I thought it was incredibly coincidental that I decided to write John yesterday and then find out today was your birthday. It was meant to be. I miss you and Parker – OK, I miss John too. I enjoyed very much visiting with you when I was there in in 2012. I hope that we can all get together soon.

Have a great birthday.

P.S. I love the “attic lounge” – that space looks totally different!  

Day 89: Rachel

Sometimes all the planets are aligned and weird things happen – like March 14th (3.14.15) of this year being “Pi Day.” Today is no exception. I should check if there is a full moon.

Day 89-2

My “homemade” embossed card.


Happy birthday Rachel!

Day 89I think that it is only appropriate that someone born in ’89 receives my 89th handwritten letter on the 89th day of 2015 and drinks 89 shots of whiskey. I’m kidding about the whiskey – stick with beer.


P.S. I just learned you’re actually the middle sister – who knew? I always thought you were the oldest.

Day 80: Lupita


This map shows Guasave. Before going there in 1990, I asked my Spanish tutor where it was. I remember him pulling out a map of Mexico. We looked through the index of towns and didn’t see Guasave. He said something like, “Well, either I have a really bad map or that town is pretty small – probably a little bit of both.” He was right. That said, there were even smaller towns around Guasave like El Burrion, Palos Blancos, San Rafael, Las Brisas, etc.

I spent my junior year of high school as an exchange student in the small town of Guasave, Sinaloa on Mexico’s western coast. I lived with a family for the entire year and this Sunday is the birthday of my host mother Lupita.

One of the best year’s of my life – the experience without a doubt helped shape the person I am today. Lupita and her husband Ramiro were great parents for me while I was there. It’s been nearly 10 years since I’ve been there and I have not been good about staying in touch with them – except I would see their son Aurelio somewhat regularly as he was living in Miami and he would stay at my house in DC when he was here for work and I would stay at his place in Miami when work sent me there. Unfortunately for me – he recently moved to San Diego. I’ll have to find a reason to go there too!

Anyway, I owe a lot to Lupita and Ramiro – they took care of me as if I was their own son. I should be a better son and stay in touch more often.

Day 80

Here’s the translated version of my letter…


Happy birthday! Sorry that this letter didn’t arrive before the 22nd. I hope that you enjoyed the day.

It’s been too long since I have written. I’ve noticed that now with Facebook I don’t hardly write or call friends and family. And even though I see the Facebook updates, it’s just not the same. It’s sad that culturally we have lost the tradition of maintaining contact through letter-writing and calls – not texts.

Day 80-2I’m doing well – working a lot and doing various personal projects. I was in touch with Aurelio recently – I hope he’s enjoying living in San Diego. I’m going to miss him when I visit Miami – I enjoyed that I would always get to see him during my business trips there.

I think it’s been eight years or more since I’ve been to Guasave. I have to plan a trip there.

I hope everyone is well. I remember with great fondness my time living with you all – I’ll carry those memories with me forever. Big hugs to Ramiro, Katia and all the extended family.


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