Saturday, July 30, 2011

Address books

Today I got a new address book, and will hereby retire the time capsule Monet address book of 2005-2011.

Monet served me well. The Monet address book was a gift from Joan Harrigan, a dear friend of our family, upon my return from the Peace Corps in February 2005. If I recall correctly it also came with matching stationary, but I'd used that up a long time ago. Somewhere along the way (I believe it was in Wanaka, New Zealand) the address book acquired a White Stripes sticker on the cover ("Get Behind Me Satan" came out while I was in Wanaka for the winter in 2007).

As I transferred the names into my new address book, I was flooded with memories - people I hadn't heard from or thought much of in years, but all of whom I was in close enough contact with at one point for them to have become an entry in the book. Many addresses were no longer valid, and many entries didn't have addresses, so I unfortunately couldn't add many to my new one. Between those years, I traveled across the US (back and forth 3 times), lived in Idaho, and traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Japan, and Costa Rica, so there were names and addresses from literally around the world.

In addition to the names and addresses, there was a treasure trove of pictures, ticket stubs, and other memorabilia from my travels between 2005 to the present. This included:
  • a photo of Seyni Soumana and Hadiza, his 3rd wife, when they got married. Seyni passed away a few months ago.
  • a photo of me and Kelly Lynch in downtown Stanley, Idaho, summer 2006, getting ready to leave for a rafting trip
  • 4 ticket stubs from the Steelers 2005-2006 seasons
  • movie stubs from Australia and Japan
  • an international calling card from Japan
  • song lyrics I scrawled while riding on a bus in Australia ("late afternoon travel weary blues/my bones don't know which way to go/I'm sure they'll settle down soon./countyside glidin out before me/i think I've seen it all before/When each place starts to look like the last/makes me realize I'm movin too fast")
  • a note Alistair wrote once when I was taking a trip on my own ("Steph, this is a hug for when you are away and sad. Everything is going to be OK. Lots of love from Alistair." He was always a keeper :)
  • Passport photos (of myself) from both Australia (for my Japan visa) and Japan (for my Costa Rica visa)
  • lots of post-it notes and business cards with friends' addresses scrawled on them
Each scrap, each fragment tells a story, the scraps tracing my long and winding trail across the world during those years.

My new address book is nothing fancy - it's a black address book from CVS that was less than $5. I initially set out to buy a fun, fancy address book from one of the nice stationary and gift shops in Solana Beach. I rode my bike down, and was very disappointed by the selection - which consisted of exactly 2 address books, one of which was too small, the other of which was massive, and neither of which had a very functional design or cute exterior. Both were overpriced. I did come across lots of lovely stationary though, and while I didn't buy any today, I fully intend to treat myself to some in the very near future.

Then it was off to CVS, which had a surprisingly larger selection than the specialty stationary shops (I guess people don't really use address books anymore, with iPads and iPhones doing everything for us....but similarly to loving letters, I also love address books). I chose the simple yet functional black medium-sized address book, which I think will serve me well. I spent the evening filling it in. And it certainly has room on the outside for stickers.

If you'd like your address to be in it (so you can receive a letter, of course), be sure to send me a message! (Photos of address books and scraps to follow - camera battery just died!)

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