Wordless Wednesday: The Biggest News in Town

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Letters from Yesterday, a Note for Tomorrow

In the recesses of my closet sits an old Birkenstock shoe box full of letters: updates from a best friend, love letters from my husband-to-be, simple notes from my dad–one note addressed to “OK Slave” that must have been sent during those years I attended the University of Oklahoma. (I dared to leave the state of Texas. It did not go unnoticed.)

These letters are precious, sometimes more so than photos, because they go beyond a snapshot in time. From handwritten script, a personality is revealed, an intimacy declared, a relationship honored in the time spent to find the paper, choose the pen, seal the envelope, and post the stamp.

I still write letters, though not half as often as I used to. I have fallen into the digital tailspin and gone lazy with text messages, emails, and Facebook posts. But certain situations call for old-fashioned correspondence. A new friend of an older generation doesn’t use email; a family member has gone off the digital grid for a time; a box of good stationary holds irresistible appeal. I sit down. I choose the pen. I start with the date. It is morning, I say, or afternoon. I am on break between work and kids. And I fill the page with nonsense or goodness or maybe too much. Give a writer a pen and she won’t stop talking. But Alena Hall (in “9 Reasons Not to Abandon the Art of the Handwritten Letter”) explains why such correspondence is critical:

Long after [letters] are written and sent (and even after their senders and receivers are gone), letters and postcards remain to be read, appreciated and preserved. Whether displayed on museum shelves honoring famous historical figures or saved in a scrapbook between two old friends, letters protect the memories of lives lived in a way that technological communication cannot.

Even the memories of daily minutiae become treasured down the line.

Those tiny notes from my Dad? They often ended with the same message:

Thanks for your card. It was perfect timing, a good note for a bad day.

Email is quickly lost in an inbox full of business and promos and calendar invites. A letter, though, when placed in a box on the top shelf of a closet is easily found. Instantly remembered. Read and re-read. And forever held dear.

Spread some love. #SendALetter.

 

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#CaringForCommunity: Inside & Outside

#CaringForCommunity is a blog series that spotlights the work of writers, artists, or your next-door neighbors who, without being asked and without pay, carry the light in simple but meaningful ways. These are people giving back in order to lift others up. Real life examples of compassion, concern, and inspiration.


Inside

The last time I posted on #CaringForCommunity, I mentioned Tricklebee Cafe in Milwaukee, a pay-what-you-can community restaurant that serves organic, locally-sourced food. My husband and I ate there recently, and let’s just say I felt good all around, belly and soul.

For this edition of the blog series, I want to spotlight Curt’s Cafe in Evanston, IL. Curt’s Cafe is a nonprofit organization that runs along a similar philosophy, opening their doors to young people in need of compassion, acceptance, and a place to connect.

“The mission of Curt’s Cafe is to offer job skill and life skill training to highly, highly at-risk young men and young women and help them with those skills, then help them get a job and keep a job. . . . And we don’t turn anyone away, no matter what they’ve done.” ~ Susan Trieschmann, Executive Director

Watch That’s My Child (above, from Small Forces on Vimeo) about Curt’s Cafe. Checkout their website. Better yet, when in Evanston, stop in for a cup of coffee and a dose of kindness.


Outside

After you sip that coffee cup of inspiration, head home, pop a Zyrtec, and get back outside to spread more love. This time in your garden. Rebecca Straus in “Grow These 50 Pollen-Rich Plants to Help Your Local Honeybees” (Organic Life) explains:

It’s no secret honeybee populations are hurting. Colony collapse disorder, which occurs when the majority of worker bees in a hive disappear, abandoning the queen, baby bees, nurse bees, and food, is decimating hives at an astounding rate. And a shortage of honeybees can have a very real impact on our food supply. Farmers who grow crops from strawberries to squash to almonds rely on hives of traveling honeybees to pollinate their fields. No bees means no food.

I like food. So does Tricklebee, so does Curt’s. And you. Consider it #CaringForCommunity in the round, beginning on one tiny city lot and reaching well beyond.

“…one of the easiest steps you can take is to grow more plants that honeybees like to feast on for nectar and pollen. Here are the flowers, shrubs, trees, herbs, and—yes—weeds that will give honeybees (and native pollinators!) a helping hand.”

A little hay fever for a happy beehive? I say, Yes. And I bet there’s a patch of yard within eyesight that could use a little color.

Think coneflower and crocus and pretty, flowering onions.

 

 

 

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