Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The lost art of the Thank You Note... and furniture shopping

While I love the convenience of the quick text or email, there is something still so precious and sadly increasingly rare about a hand written letter, note or especially a thank you note. 
My Grandma Ruth was a queen of sending handwritten notes in my book and I still have several of my favorites from over the years.  She wrote me a letter the day I was born and almost every recital or event growing up came with a note of love and encouragement.  Some of favorites though came in later years as I went off to college, was gone working at camps and internships in the summers and then moved to DC after college.  She wrote often even if she had no "news" to speak of,  I was sure to get an update on the weather, my parents and of course the dog.  My fellow camp staff came to love Grandma Ruth letters, and my day was always brightened by that "real" mail in the mail box!
I loved these letters then and I love them even more now, tangible reminders of our relationship.
Over the last year I had made it my goal to send one person a hand written note every week.  I put cards, stamps and pens in a basket and in plain sight.  While I can't say I have been 100% successful, I have written many many more notes and letters and have loved the process.

Thank you notes have an even more vital yet often lost role in my mind, you are not just writing someone to update them on your life but to recognize the nice, good or special thing they have done in yours.  Growing up this was a skill my parents and grandmothers all helped instill in me.  Many of us can remember those days...being told to "make sure you say thank you" or the template thank you note parents would write after a holiday or birthday.  Dear _____, thank you so much for the ______, I have really enjoyed using it for ______.  You remember the drill...right???

So...what does this have to do with furniture shopping you might be wondering? Well, last week I ended up calling a regional chain furniture store to order a dining room table for Ruth's Retreat.  I could have done it online - it was all there right in front of me, but I had a simple question so I decided to call the local store near the cottage instead.  I was able to get a my question answered, the table ordered at a great price and pick up arranged for when I would be in town next month.  I also had the chance to chat with a genuinely nice and helpful person on the other end of the phone, something else that sadly seems to be more rare these days.  Good customer service I thought as I hung up the phone.  Good went to great this week when I received my printed order confirmation in the mail along with this:
Maybe the art isn't quite as lost as I had thought...a good reminder to us all!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A love of Grand Haven that began almost 30 years ago...
First trip to Grand Haven -1983

I was first introduced to Grand Haven as a toddler.  Growing up we would road trip from Colorado to spend at least a week in Grand Haven almost every summer to visit family and many of Grandma Ruth's friends.

Some of my favorite childhood memories of summer time in Grand Haven included falling asleep to the musical fountain that you could seem to hear from blocks away, learning to roller blade on the boardwalk, endless sandcastle building at the beach and the not so healthy foods of summer like Pronto Pups and shaved ice.

As I have gotten older all of these loves have remained and Grand Haven is still one of my favorite places, a place I feel myself exhale and feel at home. I still have to get a Pronto Pup on the first day I am in town (for those of you wondering what the heck a Pronto Pup is... look for a post on them soon - for now just know it is a corn dog...a really amazing corn dog!), I have to take a walk down the boardwalk to the lighthouse to stick my toes in the sand, and catch the musical fountain at dark. 

Boardwalk fun in the fall with the parents and cousins
 So for those of you wondering why this mountain loving girl from Colorado who lives in Virginia wanted to own a house in Michigan I hope that you are starting to get a better understanding.  That maybe just maybe... Grand Haven will even become one of your favorite places too!