Do you write letters or e-mails?

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Let me ask you a question. Do people still write letters? While you’re scratching your head, allow me to remind you that letters involve paper and pens, envelopes and stamps and e-mail is just a computer. I know I’m being ridiculous but I saw a poll the other day that asked this question. The consensus was that people “of a certain age” easily wrote letters and  the younger generation liked email or Twitter. Both sides of this question have valid points. Here are some of the polled answers:

“Letters are a thing of the past”

“E-mails are faster and easier”

“You can send emails to friends and family around the world at the same time”

“Less paper in my mailbox”

“For a personal touch, nothing beats getting something in the postal mail”

“If a thank you is called for, a hand-written note shows good manners, professionalism, and thoughtless.”

“I have a lot of beautiful stationery and want to use it”

“If you don’t need a response right away, I write a letter”

So, my question remains, do you write letters?

 

~Sallie

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Arm Chair Travel

Dear Fellow Journalers,

“We travel not to escape life, but for life to escape us.”  unknown

Arm Chair traveling is basically transporting ourselves to a destination without leaving our office, kitchen or chair in front of the fire. There are many ways to discover say London, and the many ways are movies, books, pictures, audio-books. There are other ways too.

How many of you travel up a mountain slope in Switzerland or ride a train into a forest while biking on a treadmill? Books that bring out the local culture can transport us to distant lands. Richard Paul Evans, Debbie Macomber and Kristin Hannah have a way of drawing you into the surroundings of their characters. Two books that I read recently transported me not only to the place but to the time period as well.

I saw the movie “Conagher” and wanted to read the book by Louis L’Amour. The book brought me to places I’d only seen on TV westerns. The second book is “Magic Hour” by Kristin Hannah. I’ve been to forests before but never to the State of Washington’s Olympic National Forest.

One of the best ways to use your imagination is to engage another of your 5 senses – taste. I usually order the same thing in an Italian restaurant in my town but I tried something different awhile ago and was transported to a tiny fishing village where I ate and drank to my heart’s content.

The perfect ending to a perfect day of arm-chair traveling.

~Sallie

A look back ~ Why write a Travel Journal?

Dear Fellow Journalers,

“Every trip consists of two simultaneous journeys. The outer journey and the inner journey. The outer journey is everything external: what you’re seeing, hearing, smelling, doing etc. The inner journey is what’s happening in your mind. Great travel journals weave the two journeys together.”  David Fox

I was going to start this month’s blog posts with the simple “the journey begins with the first step” but after reading the above, I realized that this type of journal means so much more than a flippant “remark” everyone has heard before. We’ve all taken journeys, haven’t we? Some of us took journeys to other states for family vacations or to attend college. Some of us have traveled abroad for business or pleasure. How many of us have souvenirs of those trips? How many of us have written a diary of that trip?

I wish I’d kept notes from my first trip to view colleges in states far from my own. If pressed, I could recall the different sights and sounds of life being lived in Maine or Virginia. I can remember how cold it was one winter in Minnesota and walking above a sidewalk inside a mall!

Far too often, I feel, we grab a passport, pack a bag and  after checking off the hundreds of tiny details to close up a home (temporarily) leave without a thought to writing anything down while on our fabulous trip.

So, this summer I propose a challenge in writing our travel journal. I know you’re thinking why do I want to do this? Your future self will thank you. Next week I’ll share some thoughts on how to create the journal as you travel.

‘Til next time,

~Sallie

American Flag

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The following is a speech G gave to an elementary school today, Flag Day.

American Flag

Back in 1947, a man named Colby Dunn wrote a piece called ”  I am the American Flag.”  I reread it lately, and decided that it needed to be modernized. Have I done a good job? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

I am the American Flag, and I remind you that valor and honor override any feelings of compromise and capitulation.

I am the American Flag, here to tell you that it matters not to me what your race, color, creed, other national origin, or political beliefs are, only what you will do to respect and honor those things in others.

I am the American Flag, and the only places I fly are the places that sacrifice has earned for me.

I am the American Flag, here to tell you that you have a duty to honor and respect, and if necessary, protect all that I stand for.

I am the American Flag, and I tell you that the sacrifices of all past generations of Americans, that gave us freedom and democracy, must never be forgotten.

I am the American Flag, and you must preserve, protect, and defend both the Constitution and me.

I am the American Flag, and I fly over the schools and colleges where the greatest gift that can be bestowed is given, the gift of knowledge.

I am the American Flag, and I have accompanied my sons and daughters to far away battlefields, where they have defended not only our freedom, but the freedom of peoples around the world.

I am the American Flag, and I have been draped lovingly over the caskets of those who did not return from those battlefields, then tearfully presented to Mothers, Fathers, Spouses, Daughters and Sons to honor their sacrifice.

I am the American Flag, and I insist that the values, for which I stand, must be preserved daily.

I am the American Flag, and I stand for Truth and Justice, and tell you these things must never be denied to anyone.

I am the American Flag, the keeper of the sacrifice of blood that so many generations of Americans gave for freedom and liberty we all enjoy today.

I am the American Flag, a Flag that not only honors, but respects and encourages individualism, hard work and sustained efforts.

I am the American Flag, never allow me to be defaced or defamed.

I am the American Flag, a reminder to every Nation on earth that American values and ideals are ones they wish to copy, emulate, and honor.

I am the American Flag, a symbol that the sick, downtrodden, and oppressed will always find hope, comfort, and care under my broad stripes and bright stars.

I am the American Flag, not just any Flag, I am YOUR Flag. I am the American Flag, and during times of extreme danger and crisis, like Pearl Harbor Dec 7 th . 1941, and New York City, the Twin Towers, Sept 11 th 2001, when brave men and women looked upon me, I allowed them to know and experience their fears, but then, to allow them to know that doing their duty overcame any fear that they might experience, and they did it anyway.

I am the American Flag, and promise all future generations of Americans that during times of extreme danger and crisis, where ever and what ever they may be, just gaze upon me, and I will give you strength and courage. And you will do it anyway. I AM THE AMERICAN FLAG !

So my friends, I would respectfully and humbly request that every time you see our flag you use it as a starting point for a new beginning. A point where you form those beliefs that you will lead your life by. Some thing you can use to experience your fears, but regardless of your fears, to do things anyway. To experience and appreciate the beliefs of all those you know and respect, but not necessarily to take those beliefs for yourself, but to use them as a guide to form your own beliefs, and live your own life. Then when you look up at our Flag, you can look back at the boys and girls you were, and be proud of the men and women you’ve become.

 

 

Summer staycations

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The following is MaryBeth’s perspective on summer staycations:

What parent, at some time or other, has decided that a slow, awesome staycation summer is the ticket to a great adventure for their family? One summer, when our 5 kids were small, we planned a staycation. We’re all about exploring and crafting in our home so we decided that once a week we would do just that. Our only stipulation was that each one of our children would write about their adventures in a journal which we provided.

Some of our adventures were:

  1. We took a ride on a train to a nearby town. T.J. (our oldest) liked looking at the scenery as we whizzed by.
  2. Our girls like to play “dress-up”, so one day we put on a play for Dad, complete with rented costumes.
  3. We took the kids bowling- a sport they’d only seen on TV.
  4. One rainy day, we binged on TV movies and ate snacks all day . Nobody got sick, amazingly enough.
  5. We went to a local fair and sampled hot dogs and watched a relay race.
  6. We saved the trip to the dino museum for a rainy day and ate hamburgers at the original restaurant in New Haven CT – Louis’s Lunch.
  7. We broke open new tubs of Play Dough and spent the day making clay objects.
  8. My hubby found two “old-fashioned” board games at a thrift shop and we enjoyed “Twister” and “Monopoly” until the wee hours of the morning.
  9. We splurged on a two-hour drive to a town we had never been to and explored the many shops on their Main Street.
  10. The kids especially loved miniature golfing and ice cream treats.

Those were 10 of the memorable adventures that summer. Oh and I almost forgot, we went to our local library and participated in their summer reading contest. I started reading Mary Higgins Clark books!

Try Staycating (not sure if that’s a word!) it’s fun!

MaryBeth

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