I decided not to put up a full-sized Christmas tree this year, but I did dig out some favorite ornaments and decorations. I bought a little wooden Santa Claus ages ago, and he has become a favorite. The old guy still has some child alive in his heart, apparently. Just so I could look at him more carefully, I decided to paint him in my sketchbook. Who knows, maybe he'll end up on a card some time.
I had a good surprise yesterday when the English pen pal I started writing to in 1961 and hadn't heard much from for several years wrote me an email. When I was about ten I sent fifty cents in to some magazine and got back an address for a pen pal. This boy and I wrote a couple times, but didn't have too much in common. However, his mother started writing to me, and to my mother. I met the family in 1972 for the first time in London. Then over the years we met several more times. Through weddings, divorces, deaths and births we kept writing, though not so often in the 1990s. Then five years ago both my mom and the woman who had written so faithfully died in the same week. I didn't hear from the son and his family except for a Christmas card with signatures until yesterday. Now the boy I wrote to so long ago is a grandfather, and he promises to catch me up on their family via email.
It's a wonderful world, eh?