My friend Joonbeam opened a second Etsy shop called Flyinghousewife. One of her successful items is a package involving a recipe, postcard or handkerchief enclosed with a hand-written letter. What a wonderful idea! Everyone’s dying for hand-written letters, it’s such a dying art.
Does anyone else ever feel like the gift they’re giving might in actuality be a burden? I woke early with a Great Idea of destashing some stuff on poor Joonie, who’s not only a champion recycler, but is getting ready to move cross-country. What more selfless thing to do than give her more stuff?
My family and I had the adventure of a lifetime in 1995 and were sent off by my hub’s employer to live in India for two or three years. Unfortunately, that time was cut short and we were only there for six months, but I have enough short story material to last the rest of my life. Not to mention the therapy material I’m still working out.
A dear friend of mine recently gave me back all the letters I sent her from India (she’s de-stashing, too), and I thought I might turn them into a blog sideline. One day. In the meantime, I’ll share my Dear Joon letter:
I have a little cupboard at the head of my bed. For twelve years now, the contents of this cupboard have been haunting my dreams ’cause they represent my hording nature, which I really don’t like.
In 1995, my family had the adventure of a lifetime and lived in India for six months. We were meant to be there for 2-3 years while my husband, a consulting engineer, was employed by an Indian firm to oversee the building of a coal-fired power plant in Gujurat, north of Maharashra where Mumbai is located. We sold our cars and appliances, found good cat caretakers, rented our house and flew off.
As it turned out, the Indian company wasn’t acting in good faith and the apartment we were promised never materialized. We later found out that they weren’t paying the bills for the hotel where we lived for five months like a family of Eloises.
My girls were in sixth grade at the time and royally miffed that we would take them away from home and, especially, gymnastics. They were elite athletes and competed at the state level, so it was a big deal. But Hub and I are selfish creatures and dragged them away. They attended the American School of Bombay, where they were the only American girls in the sixth grade. The other girls (of course, boys were invisible in 6th grade, so we won’t count them) were from Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei and Manilla. Considering our kids were born in South Korea, this in itself was an adventure. (To not be the only non-white kids in class was a gift to them — another story.)
So . . . Philip would go off to work each morning, our driver Santosh (still another story) would take the girls to ASB, and I was a free woman. I’d set out after breakfast and walk ’til I got lost, then find a taxi and say, “Hotel President” and be safely delivered back to the turbaned doorman, who’d tut-tut at my overheated, dishelveled state. After a few weeks of this, my British friend Helen, a quilter, joined me on these jaunts. We played Rich White Women and shopped deplorably. When it comes to the contest of “whoever dies with the most fabric wins,” we win.
One of the shops within walking distance of the hotel was a stationer called Chimanlal’s, and our daughters were particularly enchanted with it. This was in the pre-instant messaging days in the history of the world and the power supply wasn’t steady enough to support an internet connection for more than four-five minutes anyway. (And that was in a four-star hotel — still another story.) Our girls became big letter-writers.
I’m de-stashing some of my spoils to you, Dear Joon, as someone who will understand our stationery obsession.