Many of you know what I mean when I say that snail mail is like afternoon sunshine spilled over a grassy hillside after a gray, dreary morning. We all get so busy with everyday life--going to classes, going to work, chauffeuring the kids, doing sports, helping at AWANA, doing homework, etc.--but having a piece of mail in your mailbox causes you to pause. Your heart warms as you see the return address of a loved one on an envelope, or a slip of paper that lets you know that you have a package.
I have been blessed with a lot of snail mail lately. Yes, a lot of packages I've received are books that need to be reviewed--but they're a treat nonetheless! It doesn't matter that you know it's coming. The sun starts to peek through the clouds, and you look for that inevitable splash of sun that will warm the earth and brighten the path.
This week I received copies of Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander and Emily's Chance by Sharon Gillenwater to review. I'm really looking forward to diving into those! I know I have a couple of books for fun coming, too, including a three-in-one hardcover copy of Tamera Alexander's "Fountain Creek Chronicles" series, which I got for a great price at Christianbook.com!
I recently received a letter from my grandparents, which is such a wonderful gift. I love corresponding with my grandparents, and I am so thankful that we can stay close even while I'm gone at school. "I'll be home for Christmas" takes on special meaning for the college student. =)
I also received a package from my sweet mother. Not only did she send me some different helps for my cold (medicine, Vitamin D, nose strips for nighttime breathing, etc.), but she also sent me some fall decorations! It feels a little more festive in my dorm room, and it makes such a difference to have those little connections with my mom, who decorates often for various holidays! And that wasn't all. There were other little things, like a copy of Country magazine and some candy for me and my roommate.
But there was also something very unique in this package. My mom sent me a copy of a book my aunt put together about my great-uncle Robert, who died in WWII and whose funeral I went to this past summer in Washington D.C. There were copies of letters, information about Robert, and pictures of him along with pictures of this past summer. Here's what the cover says:
Robert Lloyd Crane
He Gave His Life for His Country
On May 23, 1944
While Flying Needed Supplies
To Merrill's Marauders in Burma
Buried With Honors at Arlington National Cemetery
66 years later in Washington D.C.
July 15, 2010
In A Funeral Fit For Our Nation's Heroes
I simply looked through it when it came, and I couldn't help but cry . . . for the beautiful tribute to my great-uncle . . . for the beautiful family that I am a part of . . . for the beautiful sacrifice my great-uncle made for the people and the country he loved. This summer was unforgettable.
And it is with this aunt and some of the other members of my dad's side of the family that I get to spend Thanksgiving this year--in Texas! I am overwhelmed by the love of family, from welcoming arms to timely and meaningful packages in the mail.
Before I move on to the blog award I received from a dear blogging friend of mine (Casey), I want to let you know that I also received a package from this same friend a couple of days ago! Why am I telling you this? Because the package I received contained the jewelry I had ordered from Casey's blog Bug's Beads.
See the necklace pictured at left? I indulged and bought a piece of jewelry for myself, and isn't it lovely? Casey is a joy to do business with, and I can't wait to wear this necklace! Plus, her jewelry makes great gifts, so now might be a good time to do some birthday, early Christmas, or surprise gift shopping! (And she has a great earring sale going on RIGHT NOW!)
With that, I am so touched to say that Casey also passed on a blog award to me recently! Thank you so much, Casey! I'm so glad we can be friends! Take a look at this sweet award:
I could pass this on to so many people, because I have been blessed by all of you and your friendship! Here's a few of those people whose friendship brings sunshine into my life:
Ashley at After All, Tomorrow Is Another Day
Hannah at Project Journal
Bluerose at Bluerose's Heart
Cerella at The Cerella Life
Kav at Best Reads (2010)
. . . and Amanda, who as of now does not have her own blog, but whose encouraging, uplifting comments to everyone inspire me and brighten my life!
Thank you to all of you for your friendship! Be sure to check out the great blogs mentioned above.
And if any of you, my dear followers, would like some snail mail, e-mail me at stokes[dot]a[at]suddenlink[dot]net with your snail mail address and I will try my best to get a letter out to you, because I want to share a bit of the sunshine you have brought into my days! Maybe we could become pen pals!