Post Office: Standing Tall

post_officeThe 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon transformed America. No one who watched those events unfold will forget that day or the fear and sense of vulnerability that descended.

However, not everyone remembers the other attacks launched just a week later when someone mailed anthrax-laced letters to two U.S. Senators and members of the news media. The spores contaminated other letters in the mailbox in which they had been posted, sickening many and killing five people.

The world was out of kilter. Life as we knew it would never be the same. Even something as innocuous as the mail became suspect.

In December 2001 the U.S. Post Office ran a remarkable ad. It transformed the men and women who sorted and delivered the mail from ordinary people to heroic individuals who persevered no matter what. They had been delivering American mail for more than 200 years, and no one was was going to stop them.

That one-minute commercial made me feel part of a greater whole, and I stood a little taller. Do you remember it?

(Here’s the link if your browser does not display the embedded ad.)

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.


Troll Dolls and Aebleskiver

photo 1The unsent postcard.

How many of us have these little beauties at the end of a trip?

I found this one inside a pocket of my purse that I never use, except to lose things like this postcard from Solvang, which my daughter and I visited last month. What might I have told someone about the kitschy Danish transplant if I had mailed the card?

photo 2That every other shop is a bakery or chocolate seller or restaurant that includes aebleskiver on the menu.

A traditional Danish treat, aebleskiver are round, cake-like pancake balls served with raspberry syrup and powdered sugar. Eat them for breakfast, eat them for dessert, eat them from a cardboard box as a midday snack.

photo 3Or should I mention the zillions of souvenir shops that cover the spectrum of Scandinavian knick-knacks, from blue and white china figurines to clogs to troll dolls. Remember those?

I am definitely dating myself, but I played house with my troll doll as a child. I could make her new clothes by cutting arm holes in a square of felt and built multi-roomed homes with picture books.

So I guess writing “Having a great time in Solvang, eating aebleskiver and shopping for a new troll doll” should do the trick!


Lost and Found: Me

Crying babyI’m sorry.

There I was happily blogging away, and then I wasn’t.

For those who had grown accustomed to mail tales dropping into your box every few days, I wish I had a really good excuse to give you about why they stopped.

A really, really, REALLY good excuse.

Cult Like maybe I joined a cult.

A cult that paid homage to marshmallows.

And I couldn’t log in on my computer because our solemn Ceremony of the S’Mores made my fingers too sticky to touch the keyboard.

I like that explanation.

And I like marshmallows.

Or maybe I moved to the ultimate dead zone. The housing market in California is pricey so you need to be flexible about less expensive zip codes.

Poor coverage

Find a fixer upper.

Own a piece of the American dream.

Just don’t expect the same level of connectivity as you find in the city.

But I didn’t move.

And I didn’t develop an odd connection with marshmallows.

I don’t have a single good excuse why I fell off the grid. I just did.

But I’m back, and I hope you will join me again on my journey. Because we all love to curl up with a good letter.

kitty letter