Have you ever had a pen pal? A real pen pal? I have a few times. In French class ( back when we walked to school up hill both ways LOL) I had a pen pal in France. Once the class was over, so was the pen pal.

My mom somehow joined a program where she had pen pals who were incarcerated. My mom was a pacifist, hopelessly forgiving and always looking for the good in each person she encountered. She was an amazing women. She spent hours on end taking on different missions.

In fact when she was 13 yrs old she got a pen pal in Germany. They wrote for their entire lives , and when my mom was in her 70s, she actually went to Germany and met her pen pal. This woman wrote us after my mom had died, she said she felt like she was a mom to all of us, as she knew us from afar.

Well I have a new pen pal. We will meet one another  in the middle of June at a picnic at the school he goes to.  There are about 15 of us at work on the pen pal program and it is only 2 letters into it, and I can not wait for the next. My little pen pal is seven. his birthday is March 10th and he says he wants jewelry for his birthday, he says a cross or dollar bill sign necklace.

We are not allowed to give the kids gifts, so I make stationery with photos of stuff around here. Well today was my receipt of my second letter. And with it was this gift…

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Toaster tongs. Are they not the cutest toaster tongs you ever saw? And they work better than the real ones I have! All the kids made a set for their pen pal. A note came with it saying if they fall apart- just re-glue them! it is decorated tongue-depressors glued on a clothes pin. And he drew me  a picture.

I made him stationery with photos of the toaster tongs on my toast , a picture of the squirrel rubbing his belly , and a picture of  the snow banks here. I wish I could give him a birthday gift, but that is not allowed. It feels neat to do this. I was not sure how I would feel about it, but I am so glad I did it.

I am not quite sure I will take it to the level my mom did. But through her pen relationships, she met prisoners and saw their good side. Some had incredible life stories, some were poets, some were just at the wrong place , at the wrong time, with people they wished they had not known.

She also had a life long friend from miles and oceans away….

There is a saying I heard once…. “I want to be the end of  your rainbow…” well I truly believe volunteer work gives the opportunity to ride on rainbows, share something special with someone you do not know, and give a little of your inner self to someone else.

Peace to all, Love , Mrs Justa alias Cindy.. gotta go write to my little pen pal….

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