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Archive for July, 2009

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Thank you, July, for being the force that turned a cool & rainy June into summer.  Thank you for the abundance of color and the presence of countless little buzzing, flying, flapping friends that dart in between the moments of our days.  Thank you for freckles and blueberries and popsicles on porch steps.  Thank you for hydrangeas the size of my face.  Thank you for lantern-filled nights and dinners al fresco.  And thank you, oh thank you, for the waves and sand and the salty skin of one who has  spent the entire glorious day by the sea.

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ode to the road

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There are so many incarnations of the road.  Scraps from mama’s paper drawer get taped and lined, trails are made in the dirt with small bulldozers, the patterned lines on a knit blanket become a busy intersection.  Roads get drawn in crayon and pencil and chalk.  Roads get uncovered in books and rugs and patio stones.  All to give these miniature vehicles the means to go somewhere.

What I find so marvelous and refreshing is that every new road, whether created or discovered, is met with the same crisp excitement.  “Mama, you’ve got to check out this road!…”

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I like to keep a little bit of sea with me when I’m not there.  I discovered and fell in love with the shape of this mussel shell piece.  It didn’t have a hole in it, but lucky for me I have a dad with a masonry drill.  He  drilled an itty bitty hole in the shell, and now I can wear the sea wherever I go.

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A recent trip to Maine brought about a flurry of letterboxing activity.  I have my sister Eliza to thank.  She discovered this wonderful treat of a pastime that combines hiking and treasure-hunting  with the artistry of hand-carved stamps.  We’ve found that it is the most fabulous way to hike with kids.  The allure of a hidden treasure is the best motivation…

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You need to scout the Letterboxing North America site first to pick out your particular destination before you can head out on your adventure.  Though we spend lots of time each year in Maine, through our letterboxing clues we found some new and really beautiful places.

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The finding is always the best part.

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The letterbox always contains a little book of some sort and a rubber stamp.  It is part of letterboxing culture to carve your own stamp, so it’s really fun to see what the stamp will look like.

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You also need to put your own  little letterboxing kit together.  This consists of a little book , a stamp pad and a personal stamp.  We forgot to bring Eli’s  kit from home, so we didn’t have his usual dump truck stamp and letterboxing book.  We fortunately had an eraser and an exacto knife on hand (doesn’t everyone go on vacation with an exacto knife?), and I carved up a pick-up truck real quick.  Eliza whipped up the little letterboxing book.

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You stamp your personal stamp in the book inside the found letterbox.  It’s common to put your letterboxing name, the date of your hike, and where you’re from. You can also write any notes for future finders.

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And in your own little book, you stamp the special stamp from this particular excursion.  It’s a little thrill to fill the pages with unique and beautiful stamps representing your letterboxing quests.

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