Today’s letter is to my cousin Jonathan and his wife Aleks. They live in Tennessee so I don’t see them that often unfortunately. I wish we lived closer.
Both have served in the U.S. Army and I wanted to let them know that I appreciate their service – even if my letter comes nearly a decade late. I’ve heard from friends of mine who have served that it’s “awkward” when people thank them. “I was just doing my duty” or “I’m just doing my job” they’ll often respond. Maybe so, but I admire them and am grateful for their service.
Aleks & Jonathan,
You may know that I have embarked on a journey of writing a handwritten letter every day this year. I’m on Day 330…only 35 more days (and letters!) to go. As I sit here in Mechanicsburg with my Dad with lots of turkey leftovers, I took a moment to think of who I was thankful for. I thought of both of you.
I hope you know how much I appreciate your military service. I may not have ever told you this – not wanting to make you feel uncomfortable, but I wanted you to know.
Jonathan, something that I have always felt a bit bad about is that I never wrote when you were posted in Iraq. Having lived abroad, I know how nice it is to receive news from home. I hope that you know that while I failed to write, you were present in my thoughts. And the same remains true today. We can spend a long time without seeing each other or being in touch, but you both, and little Nickolas, are in my thoughts.
I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and a 2016 full of good health and happiness.
Love you guys,
A favorite quote of mine. I wrote to William Zinsser on Day 22. His wife replied to me saying that Mr. Zinsser was blind and unable to read or write. Sadly Zinsser died about two months after I wrote to him. He was 92.
Susan and Willie are both volunteers at the Street Sense Writers Group. I sat in on one of their workshops today and was blown away! If you are in DC on a Wednesday morning, swing by and check them out between 10:30 and noon.
Another handcrafted envelope – this time I used part of a Trader Joe’s bag.
Dear Susan & Willie,
Being with you and the members of the writing group today inspired me and filled my heart with rapture. Thank you for being so generous with your time and talent – you’re creating something beautiful that you should be extremely proud of.
I look forward to joining you again,
Just the other day I was sharpening some pencils in the office when a colleague said, “You still use pencils?” I was surprised by the question. I love using pencils and appreciate the way the graphite adheres to the paper and the strange but alluring smell of a freshly sharpened pencil.
I grew up chewing on Dixon Ticonderoga pencils, but recently I’ve gotten rid of the iconic yellow #2 pencil – and by the way, who is using anything but a #2? Anyway, as much as their eye-catching name and logo is an integral part of my schoolwork from yesterday, I’ve decided to give them up after learning that they no longer source their cedar from forests harvested by suppliers who comply with the standards established by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or use any post-consumer recycled product.
Maybe the information I found is out of date – I hope so. But until I hear otherwise, I’m no longer buying them…for now, I’ll be using Forest Choice, GreenLine Eco-Writer or Paper Mate Earth Write.
Dear Mr. Gomez,
Like many school children in the U.S., I grew up using Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencils. There’s something about the sweet cedar aroma from your pencils that still reminds me of the first day of a new school year.
The smell of that cedar led me to research your pencils and from what I could find, none of your pencils are made from post-consumer recycled product or wood from FSC certified supply chains. How come? It just seems like the right thing to do so that those young people holding your pencils will be able to grow up and enjoy our forests as you and I have.
I hope to hear that you will make this right,
P.S. This letter was written with a Paper Mate Earth Write #2 pencil made from 100% recycled content from reclaimed wood.
Posted in Just because, Request
Tagged Dixon Ticonderoga, environment, forest stewardship, graphite, handwritten letters, lead, letter-writing, logging, paper, pencils, writing, Year of Letters
Grammar is not my strong suit. Neither is spelling for that matter. I regularly receive emails from friends and followers pointing out blunders on my blogs. It doesn’t bother me that they point them out, in fact, I appreciate it. What bothers me is the fact that I commit the mistakes in the first place.
I recently saw a story by Steve Hartman about a man from San Jose, California who has spent the past four years eliminating more than 47,000 instances of “comprised of” on Wikipedia. I had to write this guy a letter. Coincidentally, I discovered he lives less than five miles away from the first house I lived in off of McLaughlin Avenue.
I recently learned about your four-year crusade to eradicate “comprised of” from Wikipedia. I have a handful of social projects that have corresponding blogs – I checked them and found that I had committed this error on YearOfGiving.org and AnthonyAndMe.com. Don’t worry though, I went back and changed every instance of “comprised of” to “composed of.” Thank you for your Wikipedia service and for drawing attention to this common mistake.
P.S. I half expect to get this letter back from you with corrections made in red pen!
Posted in Just because, Thank-yous
Tagged CBS, editing, embossing, English language, grammar, handwritten letters, internet, Paper Source, Steve Hartman, Wikipedia, writing, Year of Letters
I met María in 1998 when I was sent to Madrid on a business trip. Working for my company as a public relations manager, María was one of my favorite colleagues.
Now 17 years later we remain in touch. She occasionally goes to New York and we tried to meet up last year, but it didn’t work. And I’ve been talking to my Dad about traveling to Spain – a place that he says that he’d like to visit. But that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe this year will prove successful.
Today is her birthday – Feliz cumpleaños María!
(translated from Spanish)
Happy birthday! I hope that you have a wonderful day. If I’m not mistaken, we’ve been friends now for 17 year. I’m sorry that I’m so terrible at writing – that’s part of the reason I started the Year of Letters, to be better at maintaining contact with the people that are important in my life.
I hope that this year we are able to get together – either NYC or Madrid?
A big hug,
Posted in Birthdays
Tagged birthdays, embossed, handwritten letters, Madrid, Paper Source, Spain, Spanish, staying in touch, vriends, writing, Year of Letters