I love autumn, but there’s something about this season that feels bittersweet at times. It reminds me of some of my most anxious moments in life, but at the same time nature is so gorgeous, especially here in Vermont, and as the temperature drops, it makes me want to get cozy and snuggle under a blanket, and eat warm meals, and talk with my friends around the kitchen table for hours on end, and listen to moody music… and write very long sentences, apparently.
Letters, too. And postcards. And things I’m grateful for lists:
* Beautiful leaves in the trees, on the ground, in my hair…
* Walking to the post office every day to mail stationery orders, and sometimes stopping by our friend Thanh-Thuy’s place on the way back home.
* Finishing season 4 of Orange Is the New Black, then watching 2 episodes of Wentworth every night with Denise, and writing to my prison penpals, in the comfort of my home, that happens to not be a prison.
* Reading The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives by Theresa Brown, and admiring nurses even more.
* Last night’s delicious pot roast dinner cooked by my wife, that we shared with our friends Cindy and Tina for Tina’s birthday.
* Eating apple pie (warm, with vanilla ice cream, obviously) and not having diarrhea! That’s a major win, and way too much information to share here on the blog, but my life has a new meaning now.
* So many people wanting to keep me in the United States (thanks, friends) and donating to my immigration fund. So far we raised half of the money we need for this process, have hired a lawyer, and started doing paperwork. I’m trying to focus on the half of the glass that’s full instead of the one that’s empty.
* Receiving this pretty envelope in my PO Box. Sushi mail art! Emma in Maryland made Super Sushi super happy with her incredible talent.
* Some of our friends from the League of Extraordinary Penpals arriving for a 4 day weekend meetup at the Headquarters tomorrow! Four days of letter writing, eating, drinking, laughing, crafting and chatting at our house with like-minded people… Priceless! (Let’s not forget our night of Cards Against Humanity at the funeral home.)
* My sister getting her passport soon and being able to visit us in Vermont.
* My mom turning 70 years old in December and being healthier than ever, mentally and physically.
* Denise and I planning our first real vacation ever (not entirely sure if our 3 day honeymoon counts) and going to Georgia in November. My wife lived there for 15 years, and one of her friends is getting married and offering us the trip so that Denise can officiate! We’ll be on the road a lot, and will hopefully be able to meet a few LEP members along the way. Denise will actually turn 41 while we’re there. (November 6, for anyone who wants to send a birthday card!)
* Celebrating 2 years of wedded bliss on November 17. Some people were wondering if we’d still be head over heels in love after a little bit of time, and I can confirm that it only gets better and better for us! Being married to my best friend is something I treasure and feel grateful for every day.
* Receiving 6 boxes of writing sheets and 6 boxes of envelopes that I designed (no kidding, the UPS guy just left) and wanting to pinch myself every month, because I can’t believe I get to create stationery and fulfill stationery orders for a living.
* Finally taking the time to list new stationery in the Etsy shop, and getting a lot of positive feedback about the designs. Harry Potter! Halloween witch! Woodland Whimsy! All perfect for autumn, so I’ve been greedy and writing lots of letters on them lately.
* Dark chocolate toasted coconut cashews from Costco. Dark chocolate, sea salt and caramel pretzel treats from Costco. Vietnamese food, not from Costco.
This list could be endless, but I’ll stop for now, because I don’t want Cecilia to find me asleep and drooling on my keyboard tomorrow when she arrives for the LEP meetup!
Hopefully we’ll have stories and photos for you after the weekend, and maybe even a penpal ad!