The weather that early July day the summer I was sixteen was likely sunny and humid as most Ohio July days are. But the weather is a miniscule detail long forgotten. The only thing that mattered that day was the letter. As my Mom slipped the envelope in my hand, the world stood still, as if some small piece of me understood that my world was about to forever change.
The surprise wasn’t that I had received a letter. I had about half a dozen pen pals across the U.S. and Canada, amassed from a weekly summer Christian convention my family had attended since I was five years old. The surprise about this letter was the return address. It wasn’t from someone I had traded addresses with, this being before the days of the internet where you could find an address at the snap of a finger.
My heart rate picked up and I excused myself to the privacy of my pink bedroom. I plopped onto my twin size bed and gently ran my finger under the flap of the envelope. The hand writing had a manly, yet artistic scrawl.
So how are things going? How is or was driver’s ed? Things going or went ok in the car? You didn’t hit any bridges or anything I hope!
I’m looking forward to seeing you perform at the Fellowship of Christian Magicians. You’ll still have to teach me how to pass clubs.
You have probably been getting rained on down in OHIO. You probably get the same thing we do.
How is your clown group going? Working things out?
Well the mail man is going to be coming soon so whatever.
You will write back won’t you?
P.S. A day without a smile is a day wasted!
I took a deep breath and read the letter again. And again. And again. Would I write back? Oh, would I ever! As surprised as I was, this letter full of seemingly trivial questions might as well have been from the President.