$1 Day Brightener

Is it just me or is it thrilling to get a letter or a card in the mail?  Receiving a good, long email from a friend is thrilling, too.  *cough*Janie*cough*Jody*cough*  But there’s just something extra special about opening your mailbox and finding a handwritten note.  It was a thrill when I was a child and it’s a thrill now.  In the days of text messaging and email and countless other forms of social media, it hardly ever happens anymore, but when it does – instant day brightener.

I sent a card to a friend a couple of weeks ago.  In it, I mentioned that Sayid was turning six and thanked her for all the wisdom she passed along to me when he was a puppy and was just being trained.  He is smart and well trained in large part to the things she taught me.  I had completely forgotten I had sent her a card.  Yesterday I received a card in the mail from her, wishing Sayid a happy birthday.  Instant day brightener!

I love to send cards to friends for no reason other than I just feel like it sometimes.  When I go in Target, I’m drawn to their card section.  Not really their individual card section, but the boxed cards.  I love finding a cute box of cards.  If they have a box of cards with a charming little bicycle on them, I might as well just hand over my wallet.  Cards are charming; bicycles are charming.  Sold!  Boxed cards really are a bargain, because $4.99 isn’t so bad if you get 10 cards and envelopes.  For $1 you cover the cost of the cute card and the stamp and you get to brighten a friend’s day.  I’d say that’s a dollar well spent.

Today in Target, I bought a box of bicycle cards that are blank on the inside.  Perfect!  The photo is of a sky blue bike leaned up against a yellow building with big windows and there are books strapped down to the rear rack.  Books!  Books are charming, too.  Good grief, I may have to frame one of these cards and just have it in my house.  They are that cute.  I want to be friends with the owner of this bike.  I want to ride bikes together to the library.

Before I found these adorable bicycle cards, I found a box of cards called Polaroid Notes.  I looked through all of the photos on the cards – 20 random pictures – and thought some were great but some were a little weird.  Then I saw the price tag on the back – $14.95.  That’s a little steep for a frugal gal such as myself.  They only had one box, but I put them down in favor of the aforementioned bicycle cards.  After I left Target, the more I thought about that box of cards, the more I wanted them.  I thought about a particular friend who I like to send cards to and an inside joke we’ve had for the past fifteen years.  Then I wanted these cards even more – even the weird ones.  Especially the weird ones.  So I paid a little visit to amazon.com.  Got ‘em.  Got ‘em for a little less than I would have spent at Target.  They’re on the way.  Weird cards coming soon to a mailbox near you, friend.

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Charming bicycle cards coming to other mailboxes whose owners I know in the coming weeks.

So hey, maybe you should go brighten someone’s day, friends.  It’s easy.

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Blast From The Past – San Francisco, 2006!

I was just scrolling through some old pictures on iPhoto and decided I needed to do a little throwback vacation entry.  In fact, I may do several of these, because these trips were during the phase when I didn’t blog at all.  I have my scrapbooks from that time period, but I figure Jody and Jennifer may get some laughs out of this with me.  So let’s take a trip back to the summer of 2006.  Jody had been living in Nevada for a few months after moving there upon graduation from Louisiana Tech.  Jennifer and I flew out to visit her.  We flew into Reno and we all stayed the night at the home of one of Jody’s friends.  We were given the upstairs of their house for the night.  I remember the next morning when Jody’s friend told us how quiet we were and that we said we had never been called that before!

We loaded up in Jody’s car and drove to San Francisco.  We wanted to spend one night there and visit the city.  Jody lived in a very small town in Nevada, so this was our chance to see something other than wide open plains and dirt.  We roamed around Pier 39 and the Fisherman’s Wharf area that evening.  I remember getting severely lost as we drove around town, but I never budged out of the back seat.  Jennifer and Jody took turns driving, but I never made a move to get into the driver’s seat.  No ma’am.  We drove down “The Crookedest Street” and sang the Full House theme song.  We also found a great spot to take a photo in front of the Golden Gate Bridge!

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That night we went to the hotel that Jody had found for us on Expedia.  I must explain our method.  When Jody or I were given the task of booking a hotel, especially during and immediately following college, we would type in the town, sort by price, and pick the cheapest one.  While I have always been one to read reviews first, Jody doesn’t really bother herself with that task.  Is the hotel in the town we need?  Yes?  Great – book it!  Also, Jody told them there would only be one guest.  There were three of us.  The outside of our hotel and the area of town looked great.  In fact, here’s a photo I took the next morning.  So our first impression from the street was good.
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Then we went inside.  The front desk was scary.  The elevator was scary.  Then we got to our room. Good job, Jody.  Good choice.
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Fortunately, we all just started laughing, and then started fighting over who was getting stuck on the floor.  I can’t remember which one took the floor, but I shared the bed with somebody!  To make matters worse, with Jody’s claim of there being only one guest, we only got one towel.  One towel, three of us, and a shared bathroom down the hall.  Without being crass, let me just say we kept reminding each other to respect the other towel users when drying off.  Jody showered first.  I went second.  I remember being in the shower and thinking how San Francisco is famous for bad earthquakes and praying an earthquake wouldn’t hit while I was in the shared hall bathroom shower in all my glory!  I respected Jennifer’s upcoming use of the towel and then got back to the room to find out that Jennifer had gone down the scary elevator and asked for another towel.  Well.  That’s one way to handle the situation.

That day we visited Alcatraz, which was really cool.  Here we are on Alcatraz Island with the San Francisco skyline behind us.
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Before leaving town, we wanted to stick our toes in the Pacific Ocean.  It was another ordeal trying to find it, but we finally did.  I think we were in a town called Richmond when we finally found the ocean.  We are Louisiana girls.  We are used to the warm waters of the Gulf.  Warm waters these were not.  It was beautiful, but my word, it was cold.  It was frigid.  Jody was venturing much farther out – like actually above her ankles – whereas Jennifer and I turned and ran as soon as the icy waters touched our toes.  It was bizarre to me!Image

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On the drive back to Nevada, we stopped at Chipotle and ate supper.  Then, minutes later, we stopped to put some air in Jody’s tires and realized Jennifer had a big piece of cilantro stuck in her teeth.  This made us laugh so hard – dangerously hard after just stuffing ourselves!
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San Francisco with these two gals was definitely the highlight of that vacation, but here’s a pic of us at Lake Tahoe later in the week.  We were the only ones on that beach who were wearing something other than swimwear, but it was cold!  I don’t know how all these west coast folks can handle those cold temperatures!
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Speaking of Lake Tahoe, I’ll wrap this up with one last hilarious memory.  We went to Lake Tahoe on the Fourth of July with big plans to watch the fireworks.  It was extremely crowded that day, but we got the bright idea to return to this beach for the fireworks instead of fighting the traffic after we went out to eat that night.  So we made our way back to this beach.  We unloaded our lawn chairs and headed to the shore, celebrating and really patting ourselves on the back for how smart we were.  I mean, look at this.  All those idiots fought with each other for parking and here’s the three of us on our own private beach where we could sit anywhere we wanted.  We were geniuses, I tell you!  Then we started hearing cheering.  What were all those people cheering for?  Nothing was happening yet.  Then we started hearing the booms and cracks of fireworks.  More cheering.  We didn’t see anything; we just heard all the hoopla.  Suffice it to say, our big, proud talk ended abruptly!  Suddenly we were the idiots and we could not stop laughing.  Even now, nearly eight years later, I am laughing.

Good times, ladies.  Good times.