Try Something New-April

As soon as I read the first paragraph of the letter, my eyes filled with tears.  Continuing my quest to try something new for 30 days, I had decided to mail out handwritten notes, cards, and letters in April.  My aunt had included the address of a close friend of my parents, whom I had lost touch with over the years, in her Christmas card.  As part of my plan to send out more letters in April, I had written to Sharon.

I filled the letter with updates about our family and my sister and brother’s families. Before long, I was thrilled to find a letter from Sharon in my mailbox.  Having this letter was especially poignant because she and her husband had been great friends of our parents.  My parents passed away within a year of each other more than 20 years ago. As a result, they have not been here to share in many of the events of our lives.

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Momentous occasions such as weddings and graduations, as well as the day to day challenges and joys of our lives have occurred without an opportunity to share these moments with them. Sharon’s statement that “I can’t help but think how proud your Mom and Dad would be of their ‘brood'” sent a pang of longing as well as happiness through me.  Sharon went on to update us on her children whom we had played with as kids, as well as her grand- and great-grandchildren.  The stories she added about the old times with my parents were a welcome glimpse into that part of their lives-a time that we now have few opportunities to hear about.

Perhaps I can’t count sending handwritten notes as something completely newI have been a fan of handwritten notes that are sent through the mail.  A few years ago, after receiving an age-group medal in the mail from the Best Damn Race, I jotted a quick note of gratitude and sent it off.  I was floored to see my note posted on their Face Book page a few days later!

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However, more often than not, I mentally compose a message and perhaps even select a note card…and then neglect to actually write it.  So in April, my goal was to put these notes into the mailbox.

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Some of the notes were just cards.

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Some included photos I had meant to send out for months.

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One note accompanied a package.

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A few were actual birthday cards that I mailed instead of relying on my new easy-way-out-Face-Book post.

I even mailed a card to Mike just before Hannah and I went out of town.  I thought it would be a fun surprise when he picked up the mail.

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This endeavor gave me the opportunity to use some of the quirky note cards I’d collected for some future, nebulous correspondence.

When our bill at The Friendly Toast arrived with a post card, I actually wrote a quick note on it and popped it into the mailbox.

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Since I sent my first letter to Sharon I have received  two additional letters that included a photo and one of my mom’s recipes that, unbeknownst to me, had become a family favorite of theirs. I have also received several written replies to my notes which certainly perked up the contents of my mailbox!

Although  I didn’t put a note in the mail every day in April, I truly made a concerted effort to amp up my written correspondence. I loved it!  As with the other months’ “something new” endeavors, I found that this addition added another dimension to my daily life and it has flowed beyond it’s designated month.

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I won’t be posting a letter everyday but I anticipate that I will happily be raising the flag on my mailbox a bit more often.

 

Mission Possible-Maryland

We traveled to Maryland in May 2012 to attend our nephew’s graduation from the Naval Academy.  As you would expect, the ceremony was dignified and filled with tradition and pomp.

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The Blue Angels flew over the stadium in breath-taking formation.

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The ceremony included the traditional tossing of the caps.

We were able to fit in a race during the weekend festivities. After perusing several options, we settled on the Mission Possible 5K in Reisterstown, MD.  The timing, location, and cause (which supported mission work) were perfect.

Mike and I traveled to the race early on a hot and humid morning.

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Our early arrival allowed us to take a few photos before the race started.

The course was an out and back route that traveled along a quiet, shady country road. The first portion of the course was a lovely down hill which was (of course) followed by a wicked up hill climb.

We finished the race and enjoyed the awards ceremony that followed.

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We were surprised when they announced that we were the people who had traveled the farthest for the race. The fact that we had traveled the farthest was not a surprise to us.  The fact that they announced it was.  When they called us up to receive a prize, we mentioned our quest and the fact that we had chosen their race for our Maryland race.  Little did we realize that we would become mini-celebrities.

Almost immediately people approached us to talk to us about our adventure of trying to run a race in every state.  We were overwhelmed by the kindness and interest that people were paying us.  After quite a few enthusiastic conversations we walked to our car to head out, as we happily exclaimed to each other about how amazing the reception had been.  Even as we were literally driving out of the parking lot people continued to approach us to wish us good luck and to congratulate us on our quest.

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The kindness and support that was offered to us at this race was truly phenomenal.  We were honored to have such interest in our quest and we were so pleased that we had chosen this race and cause for our Maryland race.

Date Run: May 28, 2012

Quest Race #: 8

State: Maryland

The Bottom Line: The Mission Possible 5K was a well organized race that offered an exceptionally welcoming atmosphere.  The race website indicates that this year’s race, held on Memorial Day, will also feature a 1 mile color fun run!