Letters: How I Began Writing

June 18, 2020




A rainbow of delight.

Grade school is when I began writing. Mom required an obligatory thank you to be sent to anyone who gave me a gift. I had to say how I might use the money or why the item was special to me. My first descriptive essays were written in those notes.

Summer kids camp began in fourth grade and mail call was a highlight. At least once, sometimes twice, during the week, I received a letter from my parents. Grandma wrote too. I exchanged my adress with friends and by middle school, I could spin an eight page letter easily. Phone calls were not an option, so Melody received lengthy letters regularly.  It was a form of therapy, I suppose, as I was an only child pondering life. Letters gave me time to think and wonder and smile at memories while I wrote.



I received letters in return that I cherish.

When I lived in the Dominican Republic for two years, teaching second graders, my Grandma Kessler wrote me weekly. She talked about the weather and the crops and shared her insights. I still have those letters tucked away in a special place. I recieved my own special gift each time.

During the Stay At Home Order, letter writing to my students became a daily enjoyment. I asked questions and had a short conversation with the student, sending hugs as best as I could. Virtually!



Stamps. Stickers. Doodles. Hugs.

Decorating the envelope is something new I just began. Stickers, doodles, and some design added created to the envelope. Colorful stamps added pizzaz from sprakling Celebrate to Hot Wheel mania. It’s a giftwrapped envelope.

Now I’m trying to continue to send cheer. My daughter’s friends even wanted in the loop, so I wrote them. Elizabeth says they’ve all posted the notecard somewhere special. Today, I received a thoughtful note in return.

Our words are powerful.


A letter creates a personalized message for the person to cherish, encourgement rekindled each time it’s read. Maybe you are thinking of that someone you could send a note to today. I guarantee it will make their day special!


Stickers are an added bonus.



I wrote my daughter, who still lives with us, with her specialized stamp.

My Summer Home

June 11, 2020

Melody, the one who knows me best.   Nieces joining in the fun.

My cousin, Melody, is my best friend and sister at heart. Laughter would be one adjective to describe us. It began in a small town, population 750, and the home farm. Stewardson, IL was home base for me for four weeks each summer, and the best days of growing up. Priceless!

When asked which season was my favorite, summer was number one, not because of the weather but rather the comforts of belonging.

Being an only child was lonely at times. I was reserved, and home wasn’t exactly full of peace. My parents were good to me and I am thankful for their support and provisions. But Grandma’s house meant cousins (lots of them!), events, and no fights. Mom was one of ten children who grew up on the farm. Her four brothers own farms around the home-place and Grandma’s house was the meeting spot. I wasn’t an “only” anymore; cousins became siblings. I was embraced into the big family and loved learning about the country. The immense love still floods my soul each time I reflect on those summer days.


Grandma Kessler’s home place

My cousins were my life. The Four Musketeers they called us: Melody, her sister Tamara, Pam and me. We had 4H and attended VBS, went to the fair and the beach, had sleepovers and giggled. We laughed and laughed and laughed until our sides hurt. It just took one of us to get the


Melody’s daughter, Morgan. 

laughter ripple started. Even today at family reunions, we congregate together with daughters and nieces and, inevitably, the sound of joyfulness reverberates to the sky. The elderly aunts and uncles look up, shake their heads, and say, “They’re at it again.”

At Melody’s daughter’s wedding Sunday, laughter rang out at the reception. Daughters and nieces joined in too with the men-folk smiling, shrugging, and joining in. “It’s the Kessler clan again” I heard, smiling from my heart to others. A moment to remember.

A moment to savor.