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My Pen Pal

The pale pink envelope stuck out like a rose amongst the thorns of junk mail, magazines, and correspondence from Georgia Power, BellSouth and Direct TV who every month pester me for money, so I immediately knew that it was note from Vickie, my pen pal of over a year. Rescuing it from the pile, I sat it aside to enjoy after I’d finished dinner, tidied up the kitchen and could finally relax.

I’ve always wanted a pen pal. I often imagined having someone who wrote me elegant notes in perfectly, flowing penmanship about their life and adventures. I remember sharing this desire with my mom when I was about 10 years old. She told me to forget it. ‘If you want someone to talk to, to go talk to your sister,’ mother told me, after all she is right there, in the house, in your room (we shared a bedroom). Perhaps that is why the idea of having someone new and--- far away-- so appealing.  Alas, mother would have never understood Chat rooms of today. 

Vickie’s name stood out among several others in a Country Decorating magazine section entitled, ‘Pen Pals Wanted.’ From her short bio, she indicated that she loved doing crafts, loved receiving letters and loved cats. All of the things we had in common. That she also lived in Georgia, I found coincidental. From her name and location I suspected that she might be of a different race from me. As an old soldier, and Aquarius, having lived all over the world, I have always embraced other races and cultures. 

However, I thought that she needed to know that I was African American and mentioned that in my initial letter to her, in the event that she had a problem before we begin our friendship. I figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained. For sadly even in 2006, there still exist folks who do have problems with people of other races. How delighted I was when she responded, and I learned that she too embraced people of all cultures and was of the ‘I try to treat all people they way that I wish to be treated’ philosophy. I had found a kindred spirit and thus our friendship began.

Like me, Vickie shares what’s been happening in her life in her letters. She talks about her church ministry dedicated to helping others, her hopes and fears. Suffering some health challenges, she has good days and bad. Believe it or not, the same folks, who beg me for money every month I’ve discovered, also pester her. Who knew?  While reading her wonderful notes, time seems to stand still, and I grab a minute to exhale.

As a writer I am not adverse to technology. In fact a computer and keyboard are essential to my livelihood. I even have a cell phone. Still, in a world of text messaging, and emails, there is just something about receiving a handwritten note in a flowery envelope or one with brightly colored stickers added on, addressed to you by name--- as long as they are not begging you for money.



Publish America

 Carol Gee
P.O. Box  832004
Stone Mountain,  Ga.  30083
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