Letters help you get away without having to get away

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Look who’s coming up my driveway.  It’s one of my favorite visitors.

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It’s my mail man.

Though this fellow is very nice it’s not his good looks and winning personality that make my heart sing.  It’s the letters he brings to me, letters from all over the world.  These letters offer friendship and not only that, they have the power to take me away to far off places without having to leave the comfort of my home.  Now that’s pretty special.

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Today’s letters carried me off to some pretty interesting places in the United States.  Kim wisked me off to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, then Amelia took me along on her trip to South Carolina. From there Nancy showed me a thing or two in Florida and because I was so comfy in my chair I could handle even more touring so  Greg carried me off to Missouri and I ended up in California with Carolyn.  It was the magic and art of letter writing that managed to share so much with me on a lazy Summer afternoon.

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden

If you have some time come along and see  some of the neat places that my pen friends shared. Sharing doubled their joy and it doubles mine too.  That’s why I’m sharing all this with you!

We’ll start our sightseeing at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden.  This is a complex of buildings and grounds set in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, U.S.A.  It is a historic landmark listed in the National Register of Historic places.

This complex was founded in 1893 by steel and real-estate magnate Henry Phipps and was given to the city as a gift.  Its purpose is to educate and entertain the people of Pittsburgh.  It contains formal gardens and various species of exotic plants.  The greenhouse, Victorian in style, was designed by Lord and Burnham.  It contains interesting glass and metal work and is one of the greatest buildings in the world because it is the “greenest”… or so I’m told by Kim.

Once my pen friends introduce me to a place I can google it and learn so much more about it if it appeals to me, but without the introduction I would never even know the place existed.  Are you into Botanical Gardens?  If you live near Pittsburgh you ought to check it out.

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The French Huguenot Church of Charleston, South Carolina

Have you ever been to Charleston?  It’s a charming place I’m always ready to return to and Amelia has made that possible for me and you today by sharing this picture with us.  Do you know this church is the third church to be constructed on this site? The first was built in 1687 and this third and last structure was built in 1845.  It was the first Gothic Revival building constructed in Charleston.  Today it is the only independent Huguenot Church in America.

Don’t you love the horse drawn buggy?  I’m a Romantic and anything old world appeals to me. Hearing all about Amelia’s vacation to South Carolina brought back lots of good memories.  If you’ve never been there you owe it to yourself to take a trip and visit this old and charming city.

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Bok Tower Gardens, Florida, U.S.A.

We’re zooming around from one state to another and I’m not even a little tired.   How ’bout you? Now we’re off to Florida and the Bok Tower Gardens.  My friend Nancy lives in the state of Washington, she’s an old high school friend, but she visits her daughter in Florida often and tours neat places while there. Nancy tells me this place boasts being one of the greatest works of famed landscape architect Frederick  Law Olmsted Jr.  It was designed to be a contemplative and informal woodland setting with breathtaking views of the Singing Tower.

What’s a singing tower?  I wondered too.  It’s a 205-foot Neo-gothic and Art Deco  Carillon.  Concerts from this 60 bell carillon fill the gardens with beautiful music at 1 and 3 pm daily.  Music and nature.  What a glorious combination.  I wish I could hear those bells now.

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Hannibal, Misouri

Zip. Zip. Zip.  Now we’re in Hannibal. Missouri. Letters do help one get around without having to do any actual moving around yourself. My pen friend Greg lives in Hannibal and he loves this town. It is the birthplace of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens.)  Twain was born back in 1835 and he spent his boyhood in the house pictured above.  From  experiences in his early years here he created the tales told in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, two of his best loved novels.

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Greg’s last letter to me

Greg writes very interesting letters and he loves the Mark Twain postage stamp. He uses it on most of his letters.  How generous it was of him to include a few of these stamps for me to use in my letters as well.  I may not have a chance to visit Hannibal any time soon, but I just might have to read some stories by Mark Twain.  Having pen friends in various towns and cities helps me care about these places and care about others, not just about me.

What a good mail day it was for me today.  How about for you?  How many letters did you find in your mail box?  If there weren’t enough perhaps you haven’t been writing enough letters yourself. But there’s one more letter I received today and one more place a pen friend is sharing with me and I’ll share with you.

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California

Have you been to Hayfork, California lately, or ever?  I’ve been to Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, but I’ve never been to Hayfork.  Maybe that’s because it’s wilderness country and I’m not much of a wilderness kind of girl.  My pen friend Carolynn is.  She’s retired army and she lives here and loves it.  Carolynn says she’s had enough people in her life and now she enjoys nature and animals for company.  She pointed out Chanchelulla Peak in the background of this picture.  Its elevation is 6401 feet.   It is the highest point in the Chanchelulla wilderness and is located 50 miles west of Red Bluff, California (wherever that is).

There are no trails, no lakes, but lots of wild life here. The Chanchelulla Peak ranks 102nd on the list of California prominent Peaks.  California has lots of Peaks.  Carolynn enjoys this rugged area and she enjoys roughing it.  She has no electricity.  Can you imagine?  And we may think we’re roughing it some days.  How different life can be for all of us, but as we share with each other we get to experience a little bit more than the one life we lead.

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My outgoing letter to Kathy

Well, it sure has been fun traveling around the country powered by the sharing of my delightful letter friends.   Now it’s time for me to do a little sharing of my own.  I’ll be writing to my long time letter friend Kathy in York, Pennsylvania.  It was fun to share with you too.  Maybe you’ve been to some of the places I visited today.  You can tell me about your fun there if you leave a comment.  Why?  You know.  Sharing doubles the joy.

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Carol Ann signing off

So till be meet again one way or the other I’ll be signing off, wishing you lots of happy times writing and receiving letters.  Love and best wishes to you!

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