Monday, June 26, 2017

Oh, Wow. My Goodness. Why, I Never . . . & the Kindness of Pen Friends

While I like to think I'm fairly good at paying attention and noticing things, Mrs. Duffy brought me up short and schooled me on just how often I fail at both. Here's the truth:  I ordered the eclipse stamps because I've been a little desperate for simple black and white stamps. The eclipse stamps seemed to fill the bill almost as well as Abe Lincoln's did. So, I happily took possession of my order when it arrived, perfunctorily examined them, returned all unmolested, to the USPS envelope after sharing an image with y'all, never realizing their uniqueness . . . until today. And, oh my. Look at that!

At first glance I was unimpressed because they were copperish--not black at all. I just found them after misplacing, and they were black. Hmm. I accidentally touched one when I picked it up without doing it in a corner of the sheet. Well, what 'cha say! There's the Earth again! Then it came to me. I remembered seeing that happen before, when I wasn't paying attention! That Therochromic ink at work! Mrs. Duffy? Oh, Mrs. D. I do thank thee. Ye? I do thank ye? Comments can be such good things. Thanks to everyone who leaves one. Or two. 

World, you turned me upside down. Upside down you turned me. Upside down and round and round! Instinctively you give to me the awe that I need! (Ala Diana Ross!)

Try making your own solar-lunar-Earth-eclipse phases, and see what happens. *grin* It's actually fun. Simple. Fun. There's a storm working itself up right outside my window at the moment. We need the rain. The humidity and pressure affects me "jointly." Jointly. Get it? I wonder who came up with this idea for eclipse stamps. They deserve recognition and a raise. At the very least. I hope you're playing with your stamps too. And let me say this:  I noticed they changed on their own when I left them on my keyboard and the sun struck them . . . It's all coming back to me now.

And . . . As if that wasn't enough to twist my tee shirt in a tight wad, there was this . . .

Inside was this . . .

. . . and this . . .

And then, inside there are these. I stuttered. Because I could not find my coherent speech.

Scrabble tiles too??? Oh, oh, oh. Susan wrote,  "Christmas in July June." *grin*

Yep, that happened. Here's a quick little story to go with:  JC went into the postoffice to get lovely mail; we'd been to the Black Walnut, and Barnes & Noble, so I was flagging just a little. That's a long drive between the cafe and the post office. But when he came out with a big box I was so happy that he'd finally gotten something that I forgot about being tired. Perhaps Erin had sent him something? "No," he said,, "I just told you I canceled my box." And he had, less than ten minutes earlier, but Erin would have used my p.o.b. 

JC plopped the box on the back seat, got in the truck, handed me my letters, and drove off. I'm all in mouth-agape mode, wondering-asking, "So that's my box? Why did you put it in back? I want my box." He said, all tight lipped, "You can open it when we get home. The box is heavy." So I go, "Wait, that's my box. I have the right to hold it and shake it and wonder what's in it. You're not my daddy. You can't tell me what to do with my mail. This is America. My daddy fought in Vietnam for my right to . . . " I heard fifes fifing, and drums drumming, and cannons firing in the background as I spoke my piece, while JC's getting all red faced and starts to white knuckles the steering wheel.

Before we were a block away from the post office he wheeled into the parking lot of the convenience store, got out, opened the back door, grabbed my box, came around the truck, opened my door and gave me my box. I grinned, and stopped orating, 'cause one cannot orate and grin simultaneously, and I held my heavy assed box on my lap. I looked at every side, shook it, wondered what might be inside, and didn't put it down--even after my right thigh went numb. I learned that taking photos with an iPhone in a moving truck makes you look like you were in idiot mode while trying to work a camera's phone, but only when you see all the shaking that went on later. No matter. I sent Erin a text with one image and she texted back, "It's too blurred to tell much, but I am so happy for you."

I opened by box from Susan, at the kitchen table, with a butcher knife and much care. I paused for effect too before slowly lifting each flap; you cannot imagine how much my grin lit up our kitchen. I told anyone who'd listen how Susan had sent me a boat load of treasure. Photos were included. *still grinning*

Susan. I never could have imagined such a thing.

June 26, 2017

Dear Susan,

Thank you very much.

You are great-and-giving-and-so-generous. Or is that redundant?

Sincerely sincere,


P.S.  JC asked me why you gave me your stamps. I told him I didn't know. I'm humbled because you did. Thanks, one more time.

Well, just when I thought I'd stop being surprised . . . good fortune struck again. Today. 

I didn't know the box was waiting, since I didn't have the package notification app too. JC recommended getting it yesterday. This surprise was in our home mail box today. I collected it on my way to the post office because I had more mail in my p.o.b. today! Imagine that!

To prove my self-restraint, I did not open Dodson, D.'s package until I was in the post office parking lot. That was hard to do. I was tempted to open it at long stop lights but I don't text or talk and drive, so no way would I open mail at lights either. I read his long letter in the parking lot too. It was like having a conversation. He talked and I was there to listen. You know what I mean. That's what correspondence is.

The colors lit up the day! "Raw materials," I like that. The ESP thing is working again. Last night I wished for a portfolio just the right size to keep a series of drawings I'm working on, safe and neat. Then, lo! and behold! 

Night before last, my sister Elaine and I talked for two hours and forty-eight minutes. It was our first conversation this year, and I told her about how I wanted a fountain pen like our teachers had when we were young girls. I told her about how I feel like my cup runneth over sometimes with all the things I was deprived of when I was growing up; things like books and art supplies and yes, good fountain pens. Well, guess what.

Inside the perfect, dreamed of zippered pouch, was one of my favorite art journals. I bought one several years ago but never used it up. That's an annoying habit I have--saving good stuff because it's too good to use . . .

See? Here's mine. 

A drawing of an early Fat Chick, 2013 is on page two.

And, Dodson, D. included my favorite watercolors. I have . . . I forget how many of these I've gone through in my attempts to teach myself the fine art of watercoloring. 

Long after I'd examined my fortunes in-depth, in the privacy of home, and just as I was returning the gems to the pouch, I heard a little noise in the bag. When I looked inside, why what to my wondering eyes should appear but a clear J. Herbin fountain pen! I kn-o-o-ow. I couldn't believe it either. So I took it apart to make sure it was real. And guess what. It is.

Dear Dodson, 

I'd hug your neck really hard if I could. Thank-you will have to be an inferior substitute though, since I cannot reach that far. There's a song about how one's arms are too short to box with God. Well, mine are too short to hug your neck. So please accept my most sincerely sincere thanks. You too, are one in a million too. And thanks for the lovely conversation. 

The glare makes my eyes hurt now. I've been here talking for too-too long, so I must go, put drops in both eyes, lie in the dark a spell, and count my lucky stars.

Be well. And thank you.





  1. So glad I could brighten your day.. Be well Ms C.

    1. A lovely letter and such goodies took the brightness over the top.. I was up well past bed time playing around last night.

      Thank you, I do try my hardest. :)

  2. FYI - that last comment was for you. - Kaylee just got her first fountain pen and started drawing with it - SHE LOVES IT! Going to send you one of her pieces.

    1. I am touched. Thank you, Miss Kaylee.

      I'd be proud to be so honored. Which pen did she choose? What's her color preference? Blue or black?

    2. I got her a little Lamy Student pen (she already had the pencil version) and Lamy blue ink. Turned out to be her favorite drawing tool now.

    3. Didn't the student have a wooden body . . . It's body is wood with a red plastic cap . . . I think I speak of another pen. The more I learn the more I "misremember." :) I do like a Lamy though. I have a variety of colors and nibs. A very good choice. D. D.!

    4. That would be the pen (wood body/red cap or blue the only 2 choices) but she has the full set now pen/pencil.

    5. You would have been such a good daddy for me!

    6. I actually had to look that set up :) It's called a Lamy abc - Made for teaching kids how to hold the pen/pencil as well - has 3 sided grip forcing your hand into the correct position. Would highly recommend for kids first pen. Very light and short.

    7. Aha! Now I remember. I gave one to a young girl a few years back. No wonder Missy likes it. :) I'm thinking I should get one for Alex. He writes beautifully but doesn't take care of things.

  3. Boy you got happy mail and wow what a haul that is how I feel when I get mail like that too ....I love those my dear and they are awesome well and stay well .

    1. I know. I still marvel at both surprises. I do like a surprise, don't you? I knew what I'd do with the stamps almost immediately. Isn't that something? It'll take a bit of practice, but I found what might be the right paper before I went to bed last night. Time will tell.

      Be good while being well.

  4. Susan, your comment and my reply were rejected for some unexplained reason.

    ?Oh, I'm happy the box made it there in one piece! My hubby took it to the post office and I wasn't sure how it was all going to turn out. So, the reason I sent you a box full of stamps is that I am going through a minimize stage in my life and those stamps are ones that have been collecting dust for various reasons. Some of them I just used over and over, and others ones I acquired and never used for various reasons. You know how it is, I am sure! I hope there is something in there that strikes your fancy. The scrabble tiles ... well, those are always fun to make something with. So. Merry June to you! :-)"

    Neither exist anywhere. I thanked your mister for doing a fine job at the post office and I think he prints rather well. Mine was a lengthy response as usual, so I don't recall everything I said, but I knew what I'd do with all the lovely stamps the moment I saw them. I fell for some of the beautiful woods! And I promise to share. You inspired me to pass on some in my collection that have not seen the light of day in awhile too. Thanks, one more time. :)

  5. Dang it! Anna's comment just disappeared too! And it's my fault. I'm so sorry. I cannot get the comment or my response back. *sigh* Surely 'tis a sign to stop and leave this chair. TTYL. Thanks Anna.

  6. I was saying I couldn't wait to see what you created with your new stamps. I have a horde of stamps too, Susan has inspired me to share some of them out.

    1. Thanks for helping. I've been rummaging and amassing tools and materials for a stamp people campaign. Who knew we had so many creative peers? I've been inspired too. I've sent out a small stash of goodies amassed over the last six months. There's another stack waiting in the mail wings for Tuesday. Giving and sharing is still fun!

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