I am on my way to the Post Office with my last batch of outgoing mail for January. I am mailing some letters and a lot of home made post cards. There is more yet to come but it won't go out today! I hope everyone is having a good mail day!
I have always loved paper, smooth silky 100% rag, earthy recycled paper, wide lined children's writing paper made of newsprint, unlined stationery, kraft paper.... they have all got their own charms. Over the years I have collected (hoarded..?) stationery. It used to give me distress to use it all since I knew I probably wouldn't be able to get that particular type again, so I started saving the last piece of stationery and envelope.
The other day I was unpacking one of the remaining boxes that I packed up when we were moving to Costa Rica. Inside I found a stationery box with part of my "last sheet" collection in it. I thought I'd share them since I had them out.
We live a fair distance from the Mason Dixon line, at the bottom edge of North Carolina, near the South Carolina border. Since we live in the South, our weather in the winter isn't very interesting... dreary, cloudy, damp days in the 30's and 40's for the most part. If we get snow we almost always get it in mid January. I looked at my photos of past snow days where the accumulation was more than 4 inches and 3 out of 4 were on Jan. 11. The other snow day was January 10. Strange but true...Maybe there is some atmospheric condition that occurs then, who knows, but in future years I will be prepared with hot cocoa and extra socks on January 10, just in case!
This year my husband and I were taking a drive when we noticed that the brine trucks were out spraying the roads. It seemed odd since the sun was out and the day warm, but we figured there must be a call for sleet or something in the next day or so. We checked weather.com when we got home and saw that there was a storm coming up from the Gulf of Mexico. Oh goody!! No wonder the trucks were out, if we are going to get snow it always comes from a storm heading up to us from the deep South. Usually those storms dump a fair amount of snow so I was hopeful that it would do more than spit a few flakes, promise snow and then blow over.
I was like a kid hoping for a day off from school due to snow. I could hardly sleep. When I woke up in the morning I detected that special glow the morning light takes on when there is snow outside. My husband was already up sitting at the glass doors watching it snow...I must not be the only kid in the house.... It was lovely, the ground was blanketed with a thick layer that covered the grass and it was building by the minute as the heavy fat flakes hit the ground. I wolfed down a bagel and drank half a cup of coffee while I fitted myself out to "play" in the snow. I trunched through the pristine carpet of snow, stood in the yard listening to the barely audible hiss of falling flakes and reveled in the gift of a snow day.
Recently, my heart has been so heavy at the loss of my dad, and the fear for my husbands health often wears at my resolve not to worry. But not today! The utter brilliance of my snow clad garden out shown even the darkest of my sadness and fears. It was a balm to my aching heart and a chance for me to forget that I am a grown woman and play like a child.
After some time of just standing there absorbing the essence of the snow fall, I noticed that the birds were sitting on my clothesline forlornly looking at the snow covered ground. So I went to fill the various bird feeder in the yard and cast a fruit and nut mix out under the hollys for the Cardinals and Jays. It didn't take my feathered friends long to flock to the food I put out for them. I decided to go inside and get my camera for a photo op with the birds. It proved more difficult than I expected to get the birds to cooperate. I guess they were a little more cautious since they couldn't hear the cat with the muffling affect of the snow, so if they saw any movement they all took flight. After missing a really good shot of a Carolina Wren perched on a watering can heaped with snow, I decided I needed a new method... so I drug my wicker chair from the front porch out into the yard, got a white tablecloth and made a makeshift bird blind. I sat all afternoon shooting away hidden under the tablecloth with just the camea lens sticking out, as the snow mounded up on my head and lens shield of my camera. My feet were frozen and my eye kept fogging up my viewfinder, but I got some nice shots of the birds and snow covered yard and forgot my troubles for an afternoon.
As I went through the photos I decided that the best way to represent the day was to make a set of postcards. If you would like me to send you one leave your address in the comment block or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
During the month of December I had very little in my mailbox to knock off the Winter's chill. December is such a busy month. There are lots of activities and demands on time, so I am not surprised. I am really glad though that January is here and in it's frosty wake, a stack of letters from pen pals and mail art friends!