the generousity of strangers & friends around the world

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mail is the kind of thing where what you get out of it is an exact reflection of what you put in. so far this week, i’m three for three. every day, i turn at the top of the stairs and i can already see something sitting there outside my door. amid the flyers and bills, a pretty little package armed to brighten all the other moments of the day.

monday

i kicked off the week with a completely unexpected package. i hadn’t a clue that it would be coming, nor what could possibly be inside. i tore it open to discover not only the funky goods below, but a note from my friend lisa. she and her family have recently moved to north carolina and it’s grown tradition for her to send me a tee showing support for her new local team even though she crowned me an honourary hawkeye long ago. this treat represents the greensboro grasshoppers.

i met lisa and her husband when we were all on the same tour of normandy. at the end of a long day of touring, she invited me to join them for dinner. though i saw it a number of times, the sight of a sparkling eiffel tower will always remind me of her and trying to capture its beauty in a still photo after perhaps one glass too many of champagne.

it seems sightseeing wasn’t the only thing those two were up to in france. lisa gave birth to his first child, a son nine months after that trip and as she sadly pointed out in the communication that came with the t-shirt, owen is now five. ugh.

tuesday

sometimes, even though it wasn’t hand-picked for me and it wasn’t sent from the heart, even a wee promotional token can put a smile on my face. that was the case yesterday.

look at this! a little heart compact!

emerging thoughts was behind this delightful surprise. who couldn’t use a pocket mirror every now and then, am i right? and super cute! fitting considering how freaking adorable everything in their online boutique is.

wednesday

way back in the day, also paris trip related, i was introduced to my darling friend, sarah. while we have met and spent time together, our relationship has progressed mostly via…if you can even imagine…written letters. hand written letters. sarah, back home in south dakota, had spent a semester living in the city of lights and was offered up as a tip giver while i was planning my time there. she was and always has been super helpful and supportive and an amazing source of strength. she makes me laugh and she makes me cry and, though our correspondence is slow (we only very rarely email) our friendship just continues to grow. today i was thrilled to find the opportunity for a virtual tea with s. waiting there on my doorstep.

i composed an epic seven-pager for her last week and kevin just looked at me (and it!) like i was crazy. not everyone needs to understand it and most people don’t. that’s why we letter writers stick together.

*.*.*

sometimes i just sit in wonderment of life and how beautiful it truly is. not only do i have the endlessly amazing experiences that i do, but i have collected friends all over the globe while doing so. i met amy at a winery the first time i’d been to portland and stumbled upon (okay, with) evey at a wedding in seattle. years later, both are dear friends to me. sometimes at night, i look back upon my day and i think of what freaked me out and what made me stress and, oh my god, what does any of it even matter? i have a phenomenal network, fantastic memories and a whole new world unfolding with a gorgeous partner by my side. there’s so much to be thankful for, i refuse to waste even a fleeting thought on the rest of that stuff.

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