Spring

This time of year smells wonderful. The fragrance of blossoming trees hits my face as I walk outside to check my small city garden. We get a few days of sunshine that allow the hostas to unfurl and the magnolias to show off. In another month the peonies, my favorite flower, will be blooming. I always pray that the rains will hold off long enough for the peonies to bask in the light.

crab apple tree

crab apple tree

magnolia buds against a blue sky

magnolia buds against a blue sky

my 'Elizabeth' magnolia with its pale yellow flowers

my ‘Elizabeth’ magnolia with its pale yellow flowers

'Great Expectations': what a great name for a hosta

‘Great Expectations’: what a great name for a hosta

I love the sound of trickling water in the garden. I have 3 fountains.

I love the sound of trickling water in the garden. I have 3 fountains.

It’s also time to start something new and not just new plants. When I was a teen I started collecting paper, wax stamps and pens. I loved to write to friends and to receive letters in return. But with the invention of computers, texting, email and twitter hardly anyone writes their words on paper. After my Mom died I searched my desk drawers for any card or letter she had written because looking at her perfect penmanship brought memories of her back to life. The other day my husband and I were in downtown Portland visiting my favorite paper shop, Oblation, where they still operate letter press machines. I can’t help but walk up and down the rows of paper,  wax stamps, and greeting cards, but  best of all, stopping at the glass case and staring at the gorgeous fountain pens. To my surprise, my husband bought me a pen….no reason…just because he knew I loved it. And yes, he brings me flowers for no reason too, after 36 years of marriage.

my new tortoise fountain pen

my new tortoise fountain pen

paper, pen and old typewriter keys

paper, pen and old typewriter keys

sealing the envelope with wax

sealing the envelope with wax

So I have vowed to go back to the old way and write more words on paper. It kind of goes hand in hand with me using my old film cameras more often than I use my digital cameras. I like how they make me slow down, enjoy the experience just as much, if not more, than the result.

my old Underwood typewriter

my old Underwood typewriter

'hello': it stands at the ready

‘hello’: it stands at the ready

I am going to urge you to write, on paper, one letter to a friend. I think you will find that they will cherish receiving something in the mail that you spent the time making just for them. My first letter is going to my friend, Barbara, in San Mateo because, like me, she loves paper and also began collecting the wax stamps and stationary in her teens.

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About gretchen

I love living in the Pacific Northwest being close to the mountains and the ocean. My hobbies include photography, travel, reading, biking, walking and gardening. I am an Anglophile at heart and try to visit the UK often. My camera goes everywhere with me.
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