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I wasn’t expecting any packages in the mail, but the mailman was honking so I trotted out to get whatever it was. Turned out to be a package for me from the UK. Now HERE was an unexpected surprise. At the time I knew only one person from the UK. It had to be from A Rare Bean. That’s the name she went by on the site where I’d met her some months ago. We had stumbled on each others blogs and quickly became fast friends.
pigbigIt was her screen name that intrigued me at first, then her avatar. In time I found out she lived in a horrible, rat-infested flat in London with several flatmates  At 30-years-old she’d been going to college, but with some serious health issues going on, she was getting ready to move to the country to live with her mom.

4121173_fb4994e8Before making that final decision, however, she’d spent some time with her family in their country home. While there she’d happened to visit Lincoln Cathedral where (on a day when the church was nearly empty) she had walked their labyrinth and had a very mystical experience. She’d written it all down and shared it with me. I was amazed at the wisdom she’d gained about her life from her time on the maze that day.

So she had moved off to Lincoln and decided to take what she felt was a much-needed sabbatical from the computer! I promised her we’d keep in touch the old-fashioned snail-mail way, but I didn’t have an address for her as yet. Now I did! Along with an unexpected surprise.

Inside the box was a little gift bag full of interesting things. It took me a few minutes to realize there was a bit of a theme to the little gifts:


I giggled as it dawned on me. She had been thinking about one of our last conversations about my having “too much muchness.” There was an Alice in Wonderland napkin, an AiW tin of tea, an AiW magnet that said:

Alice: This is impossible.
The Mad Hatter: Only if you believe it is.

There was a long, toothpick-like stick with a cardboard cut out of Alice on the top and a sign below it that said, “Eat me!” And in with those little gifts was a wallet-sized card that said, “Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle.”

To say I was TOUCHED by Bean’s thoughtfulness would be an understatement. I was plum TICKLED! There were a few other little gifts to round out the treasure trove. A little piglet tin (to remind me of her avatar, no doubt!); a Celtic bookmark; some English Breakfast tea; a candle, pen, and St. Anthony medal from the Lincoln Cathedral; and a little cone-shaped bag for holding treats. There was, of course, also a card with a letter enclosed.

So as of now we are actually PEN PALS! I’m getting ready to send a letter off to her. I’m still looking for the perfect little gift to stick in with it. Since first meeting Bean (her name is actually Fiona — so lovely!) I’ve been blessed to get to know many new friends from the UK. Anna Cottage, Jane Basil, Opher Goodwin, Ruth Lakes, Derek Lee, and I know I’m missing a few others. I just want you all to know you have TICKLED and TOUCHED my life in some amazing ways. I am most blessed among bloggers!


The Lincoln Cathedral
Minster Yard, Lincoln LN2 1PX,
United Kingdom



The Blogging A to Z Challenge — T

Picture Credits:
teacup pig — 1wallpaper.net
The Lincoln Cathedral Labyrinth — www.geograph.org.uk
Lincoln Cathedral — easterncathedrals.org.uk
The Lincoln Cathedral (full pix) — news.bbc.co.uk