My daughter is off at camp for a month. The camp is great about making sure campers are off the grid. No cell phones or connected devices are allowed. They can’t even make phone calls on the camp phone for the first week. They do, however, have good old-fashioned mail.
I love mail. Getting a personal letter or card is a small gift. I used to often write letters to many friends. I rarely do that now. We send out holiday cards and I occasionally send a postcard, but I have succumbed to convenience and speed. I use email, text, Facebook messenger, what have you. While my daughter is at camp, however, I mail her a postcard every day.
I have two rules for these postcards. First, I put one in the mail every day, even if it is Sunday or a holiday. If I do it right, as I did this year, I start mailing them a couple of days before she leaves. That way she gets one on day one. The second rule is that the postcards must be adulterated. Some of them are pretty good postcards. The one above is a painting I love, on display at Shelburne Museum, but it needs captions to fit within my rules.
My daughter comes home next week. That means I stop sending her postcards soon. That takes some pressure off, but it is pretty fun to do so will miss it. My son is talking about going to camp next summer. That will mean possible double duty–two postcards per day if the are away at the same time. It would take some mental wrangling to come up with interesting modifications but, after three summers of practice, I think I’m up for it.
Here you can see one of panels to my mock up of my upcoming film, “Frosty Versus Zorro.” I don’t have the full story developed yet. I haven’t decided whether the snowman goes to Mexico or the sword fighter goes to Vermont. Plus, I haven’t quite figured out out how to draw it out long enough. Our masked cape wearer has the upper hand with the steel, obviously. And Frosty lost his broom so he can hardly fight back. Ah well. Chalk one up for the man in black.
The children spent and hour or so before dinner creating this whole story line about a big storm coming and how all the people and animals needed to be saved and all the cars needed to be inside the wall and on and on. They got way creative and got along, as they typically do, as well as any parent could ask. The result, which my daughter came rushing to tell me “You have to check out!” was this:
They will all get saved, all right!
And here are a couple of details, to give you a sense of how detailed they were sure to be:
The forecast called for snow and we got it. It just came too late. It’s like this. I woke up at 5:30 and looked out the window. It was not snowing. “Oh well,” I said to myself. “No snow day today.” Then I suited up and strapped on my headlamp for an early morning run. By the time I got out there, about 5:50, it was snowing. At mile one it was snowing hard. At mile two it was snowing so hard I could see only about ten feet in front of me. After the turnaround point I was surprised to see, or not see, that my tracks had disappeared already. My thinking by the time I got home? It would be insanity not to have a snow day.
Alas, the decision had already been made. The school to which I was headed to day had decided by about 5:30. So instead of all of us staying home together–family time by the fire, baking cookies, playing outside, reading holiday stories–we all headed to four separate schools. Driving was iffy but we all made it to our respective centers of learning and back without any scratches. That works out better workwise–no work to make up–but a day at home, even if I were working at least part of it, would have been a gift with this head cold of mine.
We got a good deal of snow. Of course, it is now raining, but one can’t ask for too much now can one? On another note, check out these picks my daughter took this afternoon. Maybe you might say they look fuzzy or odd but I say she has a good eye.
The leaves are getting mighty bright around these parts. They are not quite at their peak yet, but they are close. Other parts of Vermont are in top form. I’m thinking next weekend for us, unless we have a big change of weather. Here is a bit of what we’ve got:
More Glowing Maples
And check this out. My kids decided to rake a bunch of leaves today, because “wouldn’t Daddy be so excited if he saw that he didn’t have so many leaves to rake?” Then they got distracted, as children should, by the leaves they were raking. They shaped them into a dragon. They even added stones at the tail to look like scales, but “big ones so we don’t forget and leave them out when you mow the lawn.” And it does look like a dragon, don’t you think?