Thursday, November 27, 2014

Too Much of a Good Thing

The caption on the front of this card reads "Winter in Southern California" and the only indication of "winter" is the snow in the far distance. The trees look like summer.

Kimberly, who now lives in Arkansas, grew up in southern California. Her high school had an orange grove beside it, as did a neighboring farm. Every spring, when the orange blossoms came out, the air would be filled with the scent of orange. Kimberly loves the orange groves, but she can't stand the scent of oranges. Too much of a good thing!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Sweetest Sound

Ferrara, in northern Italy, is listed as UNESCO World Heritage because it was an "intellectual and artistic centre that attracted the greatest minds of the Italian Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries." For the anonymous adopter of this postcard, it is also a place of culture, but not the Renaissance kind. This adopter, and beloved, traveled to Italy last year to see Sigur Ros, an Icelandic rock band.

Sadly, the day of the concert, the adopter fell sick and spent most of the day on the floor of the Ferrara train station is terrible pain, with their only comfort being the lullabies sung by their beloved. They did make it to the concert, and it was amazing, but I have a feeling the lullabies are the notes that still ring in the adopter's heart.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nothing Special

Rachel took a side trip to Hoover Dam while on a trip to nearby Las Vegas, Nevada. They didn't actually cross the dam, but went to a place where one can see the dam. Standing on the overlook, Rachel's sister pointed out a bit of graffiti on the cement ledge. It read "I was here, nothing special." It made them laugh. I suspect many people would dismiss the view as "nothing special." It is an impressive feat of engineering, but, with all the natural wonders surrounding it, hard to get excited over a dam. Although, the interior design is quite lovely with many Native American designs. Few people get to see the inside, though, because of "security concerns."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wondrous Memory

 This rather boring postcard is captioned on the back as;
"Fallen Giant: The most wondrous display of petrified wood, known in the world are included in Petrified Forest National Park, an area of 94,000 acres in northeastern Arizona."
The photo is not quite wondrous but this place was indeed wondrous for Karla when she was 9 years old, riding in the back of the family station wagon (a family car popular in mid-20th century), touring eleven western states. She still has the window decal bought to go on the car. Karla is glad her dad never got around to sticking it on the car.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Riding the Rails

This postcard came back with a great story! Philip lives in Germany, and wanted to visit Cornwall, England, by train. He specifically wanted to travel the area featured on this card, Dawlish Warren. The track runs right alongside the water and the view is lovely. Philip booked his trip for April 2014 in January 2014, just as soon as the tickets were available. In February 2014, this area was hit with back-to-back storms and the railway sustained serious damage.

Philip haunted railway websites daily, checking to see if the line would be open before his April holiday. The engineers worked very hard, and finished repairs two weeks ahead of projected schedule, but it was two days late for Philip's trip. He passed Dawlish in a bus on the way to Plymouth in Cornwall. However, he did get to ride the rails back, and enjoyed the lovely view. He is grateful to the people who put such hard work into getting the track back online.

I recently read Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett, which is a fantasy novel about the origins of the steam engine. It is a fun read, and though part of the larger Discworld series, could stand alone as an introduction to the stories. The steam engine train was invented in England, and England is understood to be the setting, though not so-named, for the Discworld novels.

The postage on this card features a clarinet and is too pretty not to show-off. I played a guitar as a teen, but never attempted any of the windwood instruments. Both my daughters were required to take a class with a recorder, a flute-like instrument. The class was not to train children for a career in professional music, but to help them understand how to read music and understand the science behind the sound. I think both my daughters disliked the class, though the younger one did take up saxophone, so perhaps she enjoyed the recorder class a bit.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

What Were You Doing 57 Years Ago Today?

This card came back with an astonishing message. The man is John F Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, and that is Jackie Kennedy and their children, Caroline and John Jr. Only Caroline is still alive.  Yonnie wrote a message on the back that could have been written by me. She was celebrating her 6th birthday the day Kennedy was assassinated. I was also celebrating my 6th birthday! I've met many people who share my birth date, but Yonnie is my first birthday twin. Happy Birthday, Yonnie!

Today is also the day I announce the winner of the Everything is Connected postcard book. I had lots of comment and postcard entries! I wrote each name on the same size slip of paper, with a comment getting one entry, just a postcard getting two and both comment and postcard getting three entries. The winner commented and sent a postcard ... and that person is John in California! His postcard entry is also pictured here. John takes pictures of toys enjoying nature and this is one of those photos. I love the tiger toy, crouching in wait, perhaps for a toy Calvin. Congratulations John!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Unplanned Delight

Milan begins his message on this postcard, "Nepal was totally unplanned and just like all unplanned things it turned out to be brilliant." He then detailed the wonderful experience that started with stopping in Katmandu on his way to India because that stop was most convenient for the trip. He writes that the people in Katmandu are beautiful, and upon learning his name, even more enthusiastic. "Milan" means "gathering" or "union" (in the Slavic language it means "beloved").

The trip to Chitwan National Park was the perfect respite. There was a jungle lodge and kayaking in the early morning. Regular companions were peacocks, elephants, deer, and most appealing for Milan, rhinos. He had just read the book The Soul of the Rhino by Hemanta Mishra, which is about the rhinos of Chitwan, and enjoyed it very much. How wonderful to get to visit the park after that!

This Serbian postage makes me smile. It looks like communication across continents, which is perfect for postage. Sometimes I think world leaders should just write letters to each other rather than meet face to face. I think more communication would happen that way!