Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Seasoned Mail

There is something about a new season that activates an uncontrolled impulse to clean, tidy up, rearrange our lives and homes, and we either shed our lethargy in spring and summer, or hunker down for a quiet time in the fall and winter. I tend to put on a little body fat in case there's a blizzard or a winter emergency that might prevent me from driving to the grocery store. for a week.  Extra body fat is my sure signal that fall is around the corner, unlike the signals Erin notices. This is her photo, by the way. She always sends me seasoned photos. We loved watching the aspens turn when we lived in Colorado. We'd hustle to the park at the first sign of snow because we wanted to make the first snow angels! 

My daughter knows how much I miss the seasons. She grew up listening to my stories of winters in my home town, in Oklahoma, Killeen . . . We used to fly home to Dallas just because it snowed! There was no snow in Houston. There was rarely snow in Jasper too. My grandma had gas heaters but she chose to have the wood heater put up each year at the first sign of summer fading. It stood in the living room like a great big giant steel pig, silently waiting for the first sign of frost before it would be fed the wood it hungered for. Cords of fire wood and pine knots were stacked window high and four feet long, on the porch three hurried steps away from the front door, making it easy enough for a fire-feeder to grab more without being chilled to the bone. I hated getting wood! There were spiders and monsters lurking in the hidey spaces.

Although I learned how to lay a proper fire, I was never allowed to.  Aunt Pauline was the fire starter. No one laid a fire so well. Aunt Annie swore that she refused to share her secret out of spite. Although I disagreed, children were seen and not heard so I've kept my opinion to myself until now. Aunt Annie does not have access to this blog. No matter. It wasn't until years later that I got my chance to start my own fire--in a mountain fire place--and it wan't easy. There were those egg carton fire starters but nary a pine knot to be had! 

But anyway, it's as hot as summer here. The few subtle nods to a new season come coded in thinner air, with leaves falling off fig trees, hard crepe myrtle buds turning to little black pods, and afternoon light shining as gold as spun sugar. Sound carries farther and clearer, reminiscent of the sounds from the hollow my grandma lived in--a clear wood pecker's hammering, dead tree limbs falling and sounding too-too close,  the "hell-o-o-o!" Aunt Pauline yodeled echoing like magic. Leon, I always imagined it was Leon who yodeled "Hello-o-o!" back, just for show. 

Okay, I digress again, but I miss the smell of wood smoke, a fall chill, and a fall palette of leaves. All this green is unnatural. Well, maybe not, since it's almost always been this way. I cannot change it. But, seasoned mail is doable! It's a start. 

I found an eleven year old bee stamp! I almost stepped on a bee this afternoon! There were two of them harvesting from the little grass daisies. A sure sign that I'm on the right track? It reeks of rubber. It's been in the garage for eleven years. Sorry.

    Red is a fall color! Waxed impressions are always fun mood lifters. Oops! Sorry. I made a mail tube and sealed both ends with lovely red wax. Red really pops on brown craft paper.

    I got to use some of the hoarded goodies from my paper stuff hoard. Walt Whitman is from a post-it note. P.T. Mail is always good mail, 'cause it's silly fun.

    Three letters and a fat Copic. Such fall colors, yes?

    The little bee got quite a workout. It still smells of rubber. Maybe it just needs using? I've never lost a stamp, so I hope the smell isn't a sign of things to come. *sign* There's a tiny little ant too. Another clear sign of fall in Katy is the hyped up ant activity. They've dug a hill above a little hole through a gap in the silicone that protects the wood of the brace for the back door. I'm sure brace is not the proper word but the piece of wood is an actual brace. The hole is the size of a pencil lead, and today is the third time they've invaded by way of the unsealed space. They do it in the hottest days of summer, and when they're hunkering down for the coming winter. I undo it. I kill all the workers. They keep coming back. 'Tis only fitting that fall mail include an ant or three.

    And shame on me. I found this gem in the bottom of a plastic storage tub that has been in the garage for eleven years. It was inside a Baggie, so I wasn't uncaring, although entire short cartridge worth of ink had to be soaked and cleaned away, before I could try it. And, guess what.  It still works. It writes beautifully. Its heft is ideal. So, why was it abandoned and forgotten for over a decade? I don't know. 

    Flashes of memory might explain it, but who can rely on glimpses? There was damage to the nib. Slight and easily repaired, but the pen is in great condition otherwise. Google research shows how it might be an Asian pen with claims of an iridium nib to boost its value. Are you familiar with any pens without a name or logo? Are you familiar with the Genius brand? Help? 

    I wish you great mail. I wish you seasoned mail! Season liberally on your own behalf.

    Be well.


    1. I will try and investigate the pen info for you . and I will get back with you and I wish you seasoned mail and good mail ...and my oh my how you make the winter and fall sound so nice and yes my granny also had a big pot belly stove that she filled full of wood and I do remember her yelling at the lil ones don't get near that thing you will burn your tushies ...LOL oh what a card she was . take care

      1. Thanks, but it's okay. It's a lovely pen but I used it when I wrote to you last night. You'll see why I forgot all about it for eleven years.

        Erin tripped my fall-o-meter with her photo! Then someone else sent me a beautiful oak leaf that's all orange and yellow and red!

        Your granny sound like all women who used wood heaters. We were constantly warned not to stand with out back to the heaters lest our dress tails caught fire, or we burned our calves. We have a fireplace. It's never been used! Who wants a fake gas heater with a chimney? LOL

    2. Genius brand is Sepia Products International. I hope this helps and sorry this is all I can find .

      1. Thank you! I discovered more info and it jogged my memory. The pen reminded me why I neglected it as well. I believe the company is/was in Taiwan. They have a somewhat shady past. I appreciate your help.