Tuesday, September 13, 2011

coolest birthday gift EVER

my birthday started off with breakfast in bed & some early morning gifts from Lula & Cricket. my team at work joined me for lunch where i told them the story of my mom's recent renovation effort.

two weeks ago, she was replacing some door trim in the garage apartment of my childhood home in El Dorado, Arkansas. the house was built in the 1920s, and i moved into the dilapidated backyard apartment during my junior year of high school. during the repair effort, they decided to move a wall, which resulted in the ceiling crashing down. oops.

[the treasure hole]
luckily, no one was hurt, and they found some random treasures buried away in the garage's attic. my parents bought the house from the original owner in the early 80s, so nothing had really been touched. down came a vintage bicycle, dress forms, lots of love letters to the builder's daughter, and much more random stuff.

as part of my birthday care package, Mom sent along a few of those letters. the first one we opened stopped us in our tracks.

[postmark june 16, 1924. check out the 2-cent stamp]
postmarked june 16, 1924, the handwritten letter to Miss Minnie Lee Mahony was carefully wrapped around a stack of vintage postcards of Lake Rabun. LAKE RABUN!!! WHERE WE GOT MARRIED. the letter describes Mr. Arrendale's fishing trip on the newly formed lake, complete with a "gasoline powered boat," in which he got sunburned due to the reflection from the sun. on the back of one of the postcards he'd scribbled "largest artificial lake in the country."

[the letter to Miss Minnie Lee describing a Lake Rabun fishing trip, circa 1924]
[postcards of lakemont, ga]
[postcard of the lake, circa 1924]
after we gained our breath, we called my mom. she had zero clue as to what that letter enclosed--she hadn't even read it. she just tossed in a few of those letters at the last minute for fun. WHAT?!?!?!

how is it possible that i spent 2 years sleeping underneath a box of old letters, this one in particular? a 90-year-old letter which described a lake i never knew existed 500+ miles away. how is it possible i'd move to georgia a few years later, start dating a boy who'd take me camping near that lake, and that we'd return a few years later to exchange vows on its shores? how, a few years after that, would my mom narrowly escape injury from a ceiling collapse only to discover a long-lost love letter & haphazardly send it back to georgia...where it originated in 1924? HUH?

[me + cricket saying our vows on the shores of lake rabun in 2009]
if i ever doubted a decision i'd made, ever questioned a turn my life took, ever wondered how i got so damn lucky...well, the answers were all in that unopened letter to Miss Minnie Lee Mahoney. it was simply just meant to be. it was written in the stars, or in the dusty letter hidden in the garage's attic.


  1. holy crap micki that is incredible. like serious nicholas sparks the notebook ryan gosling worthy incredible. love it!

    and happy birthday :)

  2. crazy right? and i didn't even mention that her name was Minnie and mine is Micki. hah!

  3. This gave me big happy tears! What an amazing birthday for a fabulous girl! xoxo

  4. Hmmm...a book...a movie...? I must admit I cried.

  5. I love this post - gave me, chills!

    Happy birthday (belated)!

    Katy (aka Savvy in the City)

  6. Minnie Lee is my Grandmother. My sister told me about this post last night. I'm sitting here with the chills. I would love to see some of these letters and hear more about your discoveries, etc... bryanginther@gmail.com

    Thank you

  7. I remember going to visit my great grandmother, with my grandmother, Minnie Lee Mahoney. Some of the best food I ever ate, especially the rolls.... I am glad to know their lives touched yours in such a such a wild,fantastic, and meaningful way. God works his magic all the time, but few people actually experience it this way. God Bless and Merry Christmas, it was a real treat for me as well. nginther@consolidated.net