A year ago I was in a dark place.
(I may have mentioned it a few times before.)
One of the places I turned for a bit of sympathy (or at the very least similar dark places) was the interwebs. I somehow stumbled upon a wedding planning website. I was searching ‘life transition blogs’ and the wormhole that is the interwebs sent me to A Practical Wedding. I was done with the wedding stuff. So very done. But there seemed to be a bit of a kindred community there so I stuck around.
This virtual community led me to other smart women looking for a bit of non-partisan advice and banter, virtually. But funnily enough, some of those ‘virtual’ ladies became very real ladies and very dear friends. Friends that join you on a mid-week runaway to Bath. Send corny and fabulous postcards from the MidWest. Brave the Christmas Crazies to go ice skating. Send you good thoughts and baked goods when you go through one of the hardest moments of your life.
I have since moved on from the original website, but I stuck with the smart, sassy ladies. So when some of these virtual friends decided to organize an international gift exchange. I was on board. I was a bit nervous. No lie. I wasn’t familiar with everyone taking part but they seem good seeds so why not?
I was intimidated by my giftee. But I sallied forth to my local market and did some browsing and digging and amazingly enough found the perfect thing. Afterwards I realized that most of the lovely ladies were crafting their gifts and I felt like I cheated a bit. However, I decided to go with my skill set and that is not crafting. I do however have browsing my local market down to a science.
So I sent it off. Realizing after the fact that I didn’t actually wrap it and feeling like a real shit. As luck would have it, she loved it anyway. Phew!!
Now it was time to wait for my package. Again, the nerves. But not about the gift. About Royal Mail. No gift-giving occasion goes by without the Royal Mail and I butting heads. It has become a tradition. I don’t mean to criticize, but how is that a country that once ruled the globe cannot manage to deliver a package five blocks.
Wednesday, a very large package appeared at my door. I didn’t recognize the name and suddenly realized, THIS IS IT!!! Greedily, I dove into the green packing peanuts to find…..
Maps and Maples.
I got over my initial giddiness and on closer examination realized that the map coasters were personalized. They were places that were incredible meaningful to me. HOW COOL!!!!
And lovely lady that my gifter is, she also included a bit of herself. A map of her home state and the signature tree and accompanying syrup. What she couldn’t have known, but which makes it all the more cool, is the personal connection I have with maple leaves.
A maple leaf immediately takes me back to 687 Dunny Ave. My childhood home is fronted by two huge Silver Maples. They produced a maddening amount of leaves which in turn produced the highest and biggest leaf pile for blocks around. (Which, let’s face it, as a kid is pretty much your entire world.) Jumping in the leaf mountain until it was reduced to a mound of leaf bits (and the following chore of having to then rake the leaf bits back into a pile and transport to the compost heap) is a fairly prominent memory of that house.
Once again, the interwebs are proven wonderful and full of lovely ladies with not only sass, but good taste and great crafting skills.
As my virtual-recently-turned-real-friend Anna would say, ‘HUZZAH!’
...and a very Happy Holiday season.