Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yes! -- Card Report #11

The "yes!" is in reference to this image:



My original vision for this project involved Dad at our dining room table with a mountain of cards from all over. And here it is in reality! I just love it! 


That original idea was inspired in part by the scene from Miracle on 34th Street in which mail is piled high in front of the judge as proof that Santa exists. Here's the scene in which that plot is hatched in the movie. To me, this pile of mail is proof of something even cooler-- that people are willing to go out of their way in the name of joy and love and levity in the world. Awesome! More on that here. 




Do you spy a familiar card in there? A cheerful one? One that makes you curious? It truly is a treasure hunt.



Days 11 & 12 Totals

Card Count: 785
Country Count: 18
Anticipated: 41+

Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland,Italy, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, US Virgin Islands

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dear Bobby-- Card Report #10

Remember the story of Sue & Arthur? Well Sue and Arthur have indeed sent a card to the Bubble. They must be about 102, but they're apparently still alive and kickin'. Here's what they had to say:


Bobby,
Vacationing in Florida. When are you 
coming to see the grandchildren? 
Everything okay in Old Greenwich? 

Sue & Arthur



Love it! One other piece of the project that I love is a giant photo puzzle organized by my friend, T. She got 22 people (well, 18 people, 3 cats and one photoshopped picture of my Dad) together for a series of photos that, when put together will form a message. Each postcard has a note on the back and the front is a picture of a person with a playing card on their head and a letter on that card. Hmmmm... What could the message be? I can't tell until Mom and Dad figure it out, but in the meantime, here's a peek at a few of the cards.












And the puzzle mastermind (who looks nothing like a chipmunk, of you ask me!):






The rest of the pictures and the solution are forthcoming. We're just waiting on the Bubble to find the last few pieces and solve it. Many, many thanks to Tracy, Seema, DeeAnn, Dave et al. You guys crack me up.

Day 10 Totals

Card Count: 769
Country Count: 17
Anticipated: 41+

Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, US Virgin Islands

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dear Frank-- Card Report #9

Cards are still rolling in from here, there and everywhere, but today's mail was dominated by cards from the little city of Spokane, Washington. So a big shout-out to the folks from Spokane who really brought it today!


_______________________


Have I mentioned that my parents' live in a town of ~1,000? This kind of mail volume has been a phenomenon in such a tiny town. The folks at the post office said that they've never seen this much mail for anyone's birthday before. Frank, the postmaster, said that he almost felt like he should send Dad a card, just to get in on it.


I've been giggling about this from afar, but thought nothing more of it. Not so for my friend, K, who took it upon herself to write Frank. She wanted to thank him for his part in the project (i.e. sorting and delivering all that mail) so she sent the following:





Awwww.... Thanks K!


Day 9 Totals

Card Count: 751
Country Count: 16
Anticipated: 41+
Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, US Virgin Islands

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Gift for a Bubble-- Card Report #8

Before our regularly scheduled programming, I'd like to send a shout-out and great big thank you to fabulous ski blogger Kim Kircher for featuring our crazy project on her blog! It was so great to see that in print. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm and generosity, Kim.



---------------------------------------


You'll recall that when I asked Dad what he wanted for his birthday, he said that all he wanted was a card. Goodness knows we delivered and are delivering on that. (Truly, still are. Feel free to keep spreading the word throughout the month!) I said early on that I would only send one card. I sent him a Thank You card for being such a great dad. It seemed only fitting. I also said that I was committed to send a gift only if one connected to the project hit me. 






And hit me it did.








What do you get for a man who is getting thousands of cards for his birthday?








One might suggest a larger mailbox, as one clever second grader did, but Mom and Dad get their mail at the post office.






Hmmmm...








So again, what do you get for a man who is getting thousands of cards for his birthday?














A letter opener! (In this case a somewhat tacky brass letter opener.) Sure, he's been using it and that's great, but my favorite part is that it'll sit on his desk as a reminder of the year that he was inundated with cards. I just love it!




Here's how it was wrapped up:






Even the packaging held a nice surprise. I bought my mailer at the post office and chose the first red one I saw, since red's his favorite color. One might even say that the circles look like bubbles, another nice touch. Or you could say that's a stretch. Either way, there's no denying the cool coincidence of this:



Day 8 Totals

Card Count: 717
Country Count: 16
Anticipated: 42+
Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, US Virgin Islands

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Big Day-- Card Report #7

From a friend's first grade class yesterday:‎


1st grader: Do you know what tomorrow is, Mrs. Hood?
Teacher: What?
1st grader: It's Bubbles' birthday!
Me: And it's Valentines day
1st grader: Oh, yeah! Cool!




It is indeed Bubbles' birthday and Valentine's Day!


So from my family to yours, here's to you and the love that y'all are spreading in your lives, through the mail or otherwise.










Oh, and by the way, I revealed the blog to the old man today, so this is now a creation from all three of us.




Day 7 Totals

Card Count: 607
Country Count: 14
Anticipated: 42+
Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, US Virgin Islands

Monday, February 13, 2012

Not the First Jokester in the Family-- Card Report #6

It's fun how these chats about cards have contributed to our family dynamic. I'm getting to hear about some of the familiar senders, and am sharing with Bubbles how me might be linked to others, and of course there's speculation on everyone's part about how big this thing really is or will be.


Another neat piece is that a few family stories have come out. Today Dad told me about his sister's 50th Birthday, when her dear friend made a giant sign out of an old rolling shade that said, "Honk to wish Bea a Happy Birthday!" and put it in her front yard. Apparently that street in Northbrook, Illinois wasn't so quiet that day!


There's another an old family story that relates to this project. It's a story that comes from one Christmas when my father was young. The depression hadn't been over long and my grandfather was a frugal man. When he saw that the family's Christmas Card list had 74 people on it and they had 75 cards, he could to stand to waste that last card.


So he more than solved the problem. He addressed it to another couple (my grandparents' best friends) and signed it "Sue & Arthur". Well, my grandparents' first names weren't Sue and Arthur; They were Julie and Wilfred. So naturally the other couple was confused. 


That may be joke enough for some, but my grandfather (like my father, like me, and like my Anutie Bea's friend, apparently) liked to take a joke to the next level. So the following year he again sent them a card from Sue and Arthur. This time he included a brief note that said, "You haven't come to see the new house yet." And when my grandparents were at their friends' house, they saw all the Christmas cards out on display. My grandfather took the opportunity to  ask them about this card and that card, finally honing in on the card from Sue and Arthur. "We're so embarrassed, but we don't know who they are," gushed the other couple. They had concern about these folks not being on their Christmas cards list, and the fact that they simply couldn't remember a couple with those names.


Some would give themselves away and have a good laugh at this point. Not my grandfather.


The next Christmas he sent another card. This year the note read, "You haven't met the new baby yet. Love, Sue and Arthur".  


Sue and Arthur lived on for at least a decade, having new babies and raising a family. I'm not sure how their identity was eventually revealed, but I do know that a reveal did eventually happen.


So you can be sure that we found someone in Old Greenwich, CT (where my dad grew up) to send a card to Daddy signed from Sue and Arthur with a note about how the grandkids are doing.


So there you go, love and laughter in the world and in my silly family. My you have a Valentine's Day filled with love tomorrow.




Day 6 Totals

Card Count: 457
Country Count: 12
Anticipated: 42+
Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, US Virgin Islands

Be It Known-- Card Report #5

Eeeeevven thought I'm posting this on Monday, it's Saturday's card report. What can I say, I had a great weekend!


And Saturday brought lots of great surprises. There were cards from people Dad sailed with as a kid, and folks he knew from sailing and church and work as an adult. And, as he's now becoming accustomed to, lots from kind strangers. A few highlights:



  • A friend of mine sent an envelope with a whopping 44 cards. There were birthday cards, sure, but also sympathy cards, get well cards, thank you cards and Christmas cards, each edited to fit the occasion. L, you're amazing!
  • A friend of Mom and Dad's sent a package with a card, two dime rolls, a picture of a cribbage board, and a note saying that he fully intended to win eat of those dimes back playing cribbage.
  • There were lots of cards from elementary school kids, which he loved. He said, "I think I should start making a list of classes to send thank you notes to." Cute man!
  • Someone in New Zealand sent a $5 bill (in NZ dollars) and a note that says he'll have to buy the first drink when he comes to visit. Ten points for creativity to that person!



One of my favorite pieces of mail so far is this:


Yup, that's the largest piece of mail we've seen yet. It's a citation from the Governor of the state of Maryland. I never knew that one could get such things and it's lovely. It reads as follows:



Governor of the State of Maryland, to

ROBERT "BUBBLES" SHATTUCK, Greetings:

Be it known that on behalf of the citizens of this State, in recognition of your life's extraordinary journey, loving devotion to your family and the success, wisdom and life experience you have achieved along the way ... with congratulations and best wishes as you celebrate your 75th birthday and may your future be filled with good health and happiness as you find yourself surrounded by those who love, admire and respect you for your caring nature and strength of character; and as the people of Maryland join in honoring a beloved Marylander, we are pleased to confer on you this

GOVERNOR'S CITATION.

Given under my hand and the great seal of the State of Maryland, etc

Martin O'Malley, Governor

Anthony Brown, Lt. Governor

John Mc D , Secretary of State


So that's that. Another great mix of cards, and the first day on which card opening required a lunch break. 



Day 5 Totals

Card Count: 309
Country Count: 9
Anticipated: 42+
Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, US Virgin Islands

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Who's Having Fun?


Best conversation with Bubbles yesterday. Here's how it went down.

Bubbles: Sarah, do you know who's having fun with this?
Sarah: You?
Bubbles: Yes.
Sarah: Me?
Bubbles: Yes, but you know what I was thinking? Everyone who's involved is having fun with it. Every one of those senders is having fun. I can tell; It shows in their cards.



Awesome.  That's all I've got. A big old high five and an "awesome". 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

It Took Over an Hour-- Card Report #4


So Dad sent me an e-mail with the subject line, “It took over an hour”.

And Mom sent me an e-mail with her favorite quote of the day.  Dad, to himself,as he struggled with sturdy envelopes using a broken letter opener: "What did you find most difficult on your birthday?   Opening the cards."


 Both got lots of chuckles over here. 108 cards rolled in on Day 4, leaving our total at 175. I'm thinking day 4 (Saturday) or Day 5 (Monday) of mail delivery will bring a tidal wave of cards-- we shall see.


Here's a shot with two stacks of cards. On the left are the cards from Days 1-3, and on the right are cards from Day 4. 








And a picture of Dad enjoying his cards at the kitchen table:




And a shot of the cards he got before today. Do you recognize one in the bunch?





p.s. We got one card with an illegible postmark from somewhere in the EU.  I'll get more info on it, so we can try to track down the country of origin.



Day 4 Totals

Card Count: 175
Country Count: 9
Anticipated: 42+
Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, US Virgin Islands

Friday, February 10, 2012

Puzzles pieces are appearing!--- Card Report #3

So the Bubble is fascinated by the envelopes that have appeared with these in 'em:



This picture if courtesy of the sender, who divided up the pieces of several puzzles between a number of envelopes. My parental units are fascinated by the custom puzzles as much as they are the mystery of the puzzles-- but mostly they're excited that they got the corner pieces first! Corner pieces and letters from friends old and new-- It's the simple things really. 




Here's a selection from today's haul. There were lots of smiles in Oxford, I promise you that!



Day 3 Totals

Card Count: 67
Country Count: 8
Anticipated: 42+
Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, US Virgin Islands

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mission Accomplished-- Card Report #2

I have to say I didn't see this coming: Bubbles is absolutely convinced that there are 75 cards headed his way. Logical of course, but not something I'd thought of. We discussed how many he'd have to get per day to make that happen, and what would happen if he only got 74. "That's easy," said the ever-practical Bubble. "I'd just send myself one."




Rest assured that he is enjoying each and every card. He made a list and has numbered each card and envelope-- This from a man with no inclination to organize much of anything.  




And, he started opening cards! "I figured if the idea is to enjoy them, I should start enjoying them now." LOVE IT! He read me many cards on the phone, and D.K., I have to tell you, I think yours takes the cake. (D.K., who doesn't know us directly, by the way.)


"Happy 75th Birthday," the card reads. "That would make you approximately 27,365 days old. Wow! I hope you are enjoying every one of them. Best to you and the family. We all miss you here in Japan.  Dave  p.s. Come visit us soon."


Oh man, we got giggling! There was something about someone he doesn't know writing to him as if he did that struck Dad as incredibly funny. We got laughing about how embarrassing it is that we forgot Dave's birthday this year. And about how long it's been since we saw Dave. Then some of the other cards came into play. We said that we were so sorry to have missed Katie from Texas' Christmas party this year, and how we would love to go see Deb in Vancouver in the spring. It was fabulous. If this project is about producing joy and laughter (and it is!), mission accomplished. Truly, in a we could stop right now kind of way. I sure don't plan to (and hope you are still spreading the word), but indeed, mission accomplished.


Dad even suggested that they put the cards on the dining room table so Mom could photograph them for me. Yay for no more secret photographs!


"Sarah, I think you'd really enjoy these," he said. "Maybe when I've have a chance to enjoy them for a while, I'll put them all in an envelope and send them to you." 


Awwwwww... so sweet.




That's Mom and Dad in the "Happy Birthday Bubbles" photo card, by the way. Dad's in blue all the way on the left, and Mom's on the right, wearing white.

Day 2 Totals

Card Count: 31*

Country Count: 5
Anticipated: 37+
Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, US Virgin Islands

*Counting the one from his insurance agent, who always sends him one, and the hand-delivered card that arrived about a week ago. More on that one in a future post.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Twinkle in His Voice-- Card Report #1

“I want to talk to Sarah,” I could hear Dad say when I called the house tonight.

“Did you know that I have friends all over?” he said with a twinkle in his voice. (I would say a twinkle in his eye, but I couldn’t see his eye and I could definitely hear it in his voice.) “Arizona, California, Washington, Spain, Puerto Rico, and Maryland. You told some people it’s my birthday, didn’t you?”

“I might have told a few,” I replied.

“Well whatever you’ve done, you’ve really had fun with it haven’t you?”

“Still am, Daddy. I’m enjoying this conversation.”

“I guess I did ask for a card, didn’t I?”

“You did indeed.”

It was a simple exchange really, but a fun one. He went on to tell me that he’s saving his cards to open on his birthday because he doesn’t “have anything better to do that day”. Grumpy man!

I’m thinking that by the time weekend rolls around, he’ll figure out that he’ll have more than enough cards to keep him amused for the day. Now he was 9 cards... soon hundreds, then thousands!

Wanna see the baby-sized card pile? 



Day 1 Totals

Card Count: 9

Country Count: 3
Anticipated: 37+
Australia, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Kingdom, United States, US Virgin Islands