Monthly Archives: January 2013

Snail-Mail Letters

I have been penpalling and writing letters since I was in kindergarten. My grandma wrote letters, my mother wrote letters, and when I was old enough to write a few sentences, I started to penpal too.

I have been richly rewarded over the years with my handwritten efforts. I have met beautiful people–some of them have been in my life since I was a child! Not only that, but penpalling got me through some exceedingly awkward teenage years too.

The best reward I can share though is not with those childhood friends, but when I got back into penpalling full-time two years ago and signed up with ChemoAngels. I chose a senior angel instead of a cancer patient in honor of my special grandma who got me into penpalling, and even in her last days loved more than anything for me to read letters to her from her Cuban relatives and friends.

I met my senior angel in 2011. I hope I have made as much of a positive impact in my senior’s life as she has in mine. Not all seniors write back…some are incapacitated…some just delight in letters, cards and gifts, but don’t reply much if at all. Mine actually writes me back and we have built a strong sisterhood over the past two years!

The organization, Chemo Angels is first rate. They match you up with someone they feel is compatible. My senior is a younger senior…I hope we remain good friends for the next twenty years or more! The signup is painless. You visit their site, look over their requirements, and decide whether or not you can commit to a once weekly letter, card or gift. (*Admittedly, I have fallen short some weeks, but I am as prompt as possible, and if I need to be late, I have a contact to explain why…)

Even if you do not have the time or money to commit to weekly correspondence, please check with the local nursing homes in your area for volunteering opportunities. There are always elders who need our love and appreciation. You can send gifts, cards, letters, etc., or you can visit them in person too to play board games, read stories or just visit with and develop a wonderful friendship.


Posted by on January 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Fresh Starts

I’ve been contemplating a WordPress account for ages. AGES. Why I never bothered to get one before is a bit beyond my grasp. It has something to do with a fierce inner critic (you’ll get to meet her eventually), a lack of time and a lack of direction.

I am a writer. I’ve always had a career, but in the background I have always written. For a paycheck and insurance benefits, I am a legal assistant for a small firm in central Illinois that specializes in corporate law. My husband is a lawyer. We are empty nesters, and therefore we have some freedom to explore new places to call home. We visited Costa Rica last year and fell head-over-heels in love with the country, the people, the climate…

We first considered moving out of the cold Midwest a little over two years ago. We decided that a Spanish-speaking island would suit us best since I speak Spanish fairly fluently (my grandma was from Cuba) and at least one of us could correspond with the natives! We visited Puerto Rico, and although I was ready to move there, husband wasn’t quite as sold.

Costa Rica Dreamin’

We are about to visit Costa Rica for a second time, and I have to say that I am more than ready for a fresh start. I’d move there tomorrow if I had my druthers. We’ll  not be so impulsive in our decision though. We need to find out if I have what it takes to be a freelance writer and hubs can find a way to consult in a legal capacity from a remote location. We need to learn the ins and outs of running a bed and breakfast. We need to sell off all of our worldly possessions.

We aren’t planners, per se. But, moving out-of-country and not being within driving distance of our daughter will take a great deal of speculation and a healthy dose of decision-making time. Meanwhile, I need to build up a portfolio, hold on to a job I am only mildly interested in and get rid of all of our excess junk. Couples tend to accumulate a lot of stuff after fifteen years of marriage! Hubs needs to wrap up his affairs with his legal practice. We own a house. Automobiles. Four pets (though daughter has already told us that she wants to adopt one of the kitties if we move). The pups would definitely be beach doggies, but the boa constrictors are so huge in Costa Rica that I can’t justify taking either of the cats. So, so many things to think about!

So, so may opportunities in front of us! How exciting. Scary. Thrilling. Lovely. Cheers to fresh starts!



Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

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