Monthly Archives: August 2014

“Dear Sweetheart”–A Love Letter found in an Old Textbook

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“Dear Sweetheart”–A Love Letter found in an Old Textbook

In today’s world of texting, tweeting, instant messaging and email has love-letter writing become a lost art, or has it morphed into something entirely, and unrecognizably, different?

Two days ago I was in our backyard warehouse with Ed, and while he was moving stuff around I came across a white laundry basket full of books that had been in a storage unit Ed recently won at an auction. It was obvious that someone had packed the books in haste, as most them were just thrown into a jumbled pile, pages bent and bindings twisting out of shape. Being the book lover I am I was mortified! I needed to rescue these poor abused books ASAP. I began to stack them when Ed called me away to help him move a table. When he saw what I was doing he said “if you don’t want them they’re going in the trash.” Ed doesn’t share in my appreciation of books–they take up too much space.

Yesterday morning Ed came through the kitchen door and deposited the basket of books on the floor with a thud, followed by “go through these or I’m throwing them out.” I hate being pressured like that, but I knew he was serious, so I began thumbing through the books one by one, making a “keep” pile and a “give away” pile. Many of the books were of no interest to me, or in really poor shape, so by the time I got to a 1971 Sociology textbook I was losing interest and only half-heartedly thumbing through them. Then, something fell from the pages onto the floor.

It was a yellowing, legal-sized envelope with two 8-cent Eisenhower stamps postmarked April 7, 1972. The sender was a sailor and the address read “USS BORDELON (DD-881) and sent from New York, NY. The recipient was a woman here in Charleston, SC. I was immediately intrigued and even said “Oh! Cool!” out-loud to myself. Inside the envelope were two folded pieces of darkening, yellow-lined paper. What struck me first when unfolding the paper was the legibility of the dark-black, neat, script hand. There was no date, just “Tuesday” written on the top line, right side. It started out with “Dear Sweetheart” and right then and there I knew I was about to read something special, written from the heart.

The last names of the sender and recipient were different, so I assumed these two were lovers, and not a married couple. He starts off by saying how the ship finally left Charleston at six o’clock that morning, and then he lamented over having to cut their night together short to be back on the ship on time. His yearning was palpable. The writing spanned a time period of two days because, as he explained, he had to write a little bit here and there whenever he could find the time. The total length of the letter was two and a half pages, with only one word crossed out–“It seems awfully sad to finally be together (together crossed out) in love and not be allowed to be together.” This was the tone of the entire letter–how in love he was with her and how he hated being apart from her. It was lovely. It was respectful. It was from the heart. There was nothing sexually explicit, no condescending tone, no “you’re my bitch” declarations like you see so many “males” (not men IMHO) of our current generation tweeting to their girlfriends. This letter was well-written, grammatically correct, and had no spelling errors. It was like a breath of fresh air, and I felt privileged to read it. It also made me a bit sad because it made it so obvious that nobody seems to write this way anymore. I found myself thinking “what’s happened to our society in the last 42 years since this letter was written?” Seriously. What HAPPENED to respect and romance? Are true ladies and gentlemen really that rare a thing anymore?

Where is this couple now? They’d most likely be in their mid-sixties now, since she was a college student in 1972. I’m going to try to find them, and if I do find him or her I’ll have to see how comfortable I feel about approaching them to return this letter. They may not even be a couple anymore. They may be dead. They may not be interested in having the letter returned to them. Who knows?

I’ll post my progress. Wish me luck.

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Sketchbook: Yes, You Can Draw! at The Ink Pad

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This is a reblog.  I’m not the original author.   I just wanted to share:

I taught my Sketchbook class at The Ink Pad in NYC a week or two ago to a sold out crowd and had a really great time.  So many of the students introduced themselves with the announcement: I can’t draw.  And so I spent the next several hours proving them all wrong!

http://balzerdesigns.typepad.com/balzer_designs/2014/08/sketchbook-yes-you-can-draw-at-the-ink-pad.html

Drawing and Painting from Memory? I WISH!

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I’ve always admired people who can draw/sketch/paint from memory or imagination, and I love watching YouTube videos of artists drawing in real time.  I’m able to draw fairly well when I have an image or object to look at for reference, but just from a picture in my mind?  Nope.  Also, perspective seems to be troublesome for me.  I’d love to improve upon these artistic shortcomings, and this article gives me hope that I can:

Why Are Some People Better at Drawing Than Others?

 

Organized Techno-Nerd or Organized Old Fart? I can be BOTH with FiloFax!

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Organized Techno-Nerd or Organized Old Fart?  I can be BOTH with FiloFax!

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Organized people have always impressed me.  I love to observe them and their habits while secretly hoping that some of it will rub off on me.  Sometimes it does, but while I LOVE having my life/home organized it often seems like too much time-consuming work.  I’m good at organization, really good at it, and I love being organized, but in recent years it’s taken a back seat to other, more pressing, life matters.  I’m starting to feel the negative effects of my disorganization, and I now feel the need to create organization in my life wherever I can, no matter how small the effort.  I’m hoping that once I start reorganizing my life it will have a snowball effect.

Years ago I used to keep a large organizer-wallet crammed with photos, stamps, money, cards, keys, notepad, calendar, etc., but since embracing the technology of my iPhone and iPad a lot of that stuff no longer needs to be a physical presence in my wallet and has been replaced with apps such as Evernote, Key Ring, and CalenGoo.  While this techno-approach to organization has worked out really well for me, I find myself missing the fun of having an organizer.  My conundrum has been how to justify owning one when all this great technology exists (but, should I really NEED to justify it?  Can’t I just have one because I WANT one?).  I ask myself if I am really that concerned about being perceived by others as being an old fart, stuck in the past and not being able to let go of my old, cluttered-wallet ways?  My answer is, shamefully, “yes”.  I’ve always been a techo-nerd and it’s kind of what I’m known for, and I want my young grandkids to grow up thinking of me as the “cool” grandma — I admit it.  

I’ve finally found the answer to my conundrum thanks to my good friend, Gabi. She showed me that I can have my organized clutter AND be creative…FILOFAX!  I can be a COOL old-fart!  This is a match made in heaven.  With a Filofax big enough to fit my iPad or Kindle in I can have it all! 

There is a whole new generation of Filofax organizer users who have taken this old-fashioned way of being organized and made it their own.  They are crafty, artistic, AND organized.  They decorate the pages, scrapbook in them, make art journal pages in them — there is no end to their craftiness.  They are fashionable and imaginative, and know a good-quality product when they see one.  Just do a Facebook search for “Filofax” and see how many groups pop up.  Do a YouTube search for “Filofax” and you will find tons of videos of people showing off their organizers, and how they use them.  I can get lost watching for hours.

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I have yet to actually purchase a Filofax, but once I make my decision about which style and size to get I will be ordering it on Amazon.com.  They have great prices and I’m a Prime member.  I found this out via a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Xenia, who is re-discovering the joys of Filofax.

So, have I inspired you to check out Filofax?  Get organized?  Get crafty?  I hope so, because I don’t want to be the only old-fashioned old-fart out there!

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FaceTime + Grandkids = The Best Use of Technology EVER

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FaceTime.  The single greatest technology ever invented for grandparents and their grandchildren.  I get to watch my grandsons play, they show me their drawings and toys, tell me what’s new, and “carry” me all around the house.  Much of the time I’m looking at ceiling fans or the underside of the bed, and sometimes they shut me inside a closet, but it’s all good.  They’re including me in their day for an hour or so and they get my undivided attention.  We wave, laugh, make silly faces and blow kisses.  It’s a win-win.

Eddy entertains me by hanging upside-down off his bed, while I have my morning tea:

Eddy facetime