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Thursday, 06 January 2011

Joy of Friendship Through Postcards

By Johna Ferguson

Dear Sir:
I often see you looking out into the courtyard after lunch. I wonder if you are just enjoying the view or what. The window I sit and look out of is directly across from yours. I thought maybe we could become like “pen pals” to introduce ourselves to each other. My address is the same as yours only Building A, not B. I will address this card to Mr. John Doe and hope you get it. Mail is left at the desk on each floor, so hopefully you will find my postcard at yours. If you answer, address my card to Suzy Peters. Looking forward to hearing from you. Your hopeful pen pal.

Dear Suzy:
Yes I got your post card and after getting it, I spied you sitting at the opposite window for a short time after lunch. You are lucky, for you get the noon sun in your face. In fact it partially obliterates what you look like but I have a good imagination. I think you must be about 40 in years for your hair doesn’t look like it has any gray in it. My name is Otto Anderson and I’m not from around the Denver area, just the same state. Actually I’m 51 years old and divorced. How about you? Looking forward to your reply. Otto

Dear Otto:
You are rather generous in your estimate of my age, for actually I’m 49 years old. Maybe I look a little younger because I am a little bit plump. I was raised in Denver and have lived here all my life, worked as a middle school teacher for 25 years, but am now retired. I also am divorced but never had any children, just have my pet dog. Please tell me a little about your work and background. Suzy

Dear Suzy:
How enjoyable to receive your postcards. I am an electrician by trade, but then changed to managing building sites. I travel around the state making appraisals about them. I have two children, both boys who have graduated and are working on their own in other states. How about if some day we meet down at the front entrance right after lunch and talked face to face? Let me know if this is suitable to you. Otto

Dear Otto:
I think we should acquaint ourselves a little more before meeting, so I’ll begin. I live a little outside of Denver in an old converted barn. I don’t farm or have livestock, just my German Shepard Kip to keep me company. I don’t drive anymore so have my groceries delivered weekly. I love cooking but making grocery lists is trying at times. I’m temporarily in town for a few months, but plan on going back to my home soon.

Dear Suzy:
I’m from Boulder so we both are used to Colorado weather. I used to ski, but have been retired from that sport for quite awhile. What I really like, as most men do, is to look at women. But I’m hoping I can find one who is a wonderful cook and would also make me happy. Now I buy frozen dinners and put them in the micro nightly in my condo kitchen; not very tasty or interesting. Tell me what you like to do in your free time. Otto

Dear Otto:
I guess you might call me lazy for other than my love of cooking, I like to take pictures or listen to the hundreds of CD’s in my library. I don’t have TV or a computer so I spend a lot of time reading. I used to ski, but gave up outdoor sports a while ago. Now I only take Kip out when the weather is good, and then just for very short walks while I take photos of the wildlife that come into my yard. How about you? Suzy

Dear Suzy:
I know all about winter weather around here. I must have a four-wheel drive van for my work and if you ever are in a jam, I can always do grocery shopping for you or take you to the store. Traveling as much as I do, I know practically every grocery store around the state. I can’t have a dog in the condo, but I’d enjoy taking Kip along also for a ride if he’s interested. I also listen to CDs in my van and sometimes books on tape. And how about our meeting, is the time ripe yet? Otto

Dear Otto:
Just give me a little more time before we meet, but I promise we will eventually. I like classical music and try to play some of it on my piano but I’m not very successful. How about you, what kind of music do you like? And have you ever played an instrument of any kind? Or maybe you have a good voice and can sing. I really can’t carry a tune. Suzy

Dear Suzy:
I feel I actually know you, and it’s a nice feeling. I play the guitar some and sing, if that’s what you call it. I like what I call casual music, none of this rock stuff, but some jazz is nice. Perhaps you could accompany me sometime on the piano or maybe to a concert? And how about a face-to-face meeting? I’m really getting anxious to meet you. Otto

Dear Otto:
I think it would be very nice to meet you but I’m a little shy since I don’t get out and around much. But I think the time is as ripe as it will get, so how about next Wednesday in the main lobby right after lunch? I’ll wear a red sweater so you can recognize me. Suzy

Dear Suzy:
Wednesday sounds great. I haven’t dated since my divorce four years ago, so it will be nice to meet and talk to a woman for a change. You see in my job, it is 99 percent men I work with. I’ll wear a brown tweed sport coat and a brown and black striped tie, so I’m sure we’ll find each other. Let’s hope we can make an enjoyable friendship from our meeting. Your pen pal, Otto

Dear Otto:
What a tall, handsome and full of strength man you are. I was pleasantly surprised on meeting you. I hope my wheelchair condition did not bother you too much. Actually with therapy I soon will be able to walk again. I think our weekly planned lunches are a good idea. A way to learn more about each other and hopefully to make our friendship a longer lasting one. As always, your friend, Suzy

Dear Suzy:
The past three luncheon dates have opened my eyes to what a wonderful person you are. Without your first bold postcard, we might never have met. We are indeed lucky. I just heard I will get released from this rehab center in a week. I hope to be able to walk out without crutches on my one new leg. Then when you are released I hope to be the one to pick you up in my van. Perhaps our first stop might be the judge’s chamber so we can say our marriage vows, both standing in front of him. Your loving pen pal, Otto

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


What a great story--loved it!


I was impressed with your narratives. It reminded me in a way of Charing Cross Road in the exchange of letters that formed their friendship.

It also made me think of how remiss I was in my life by not keeping up and corresponding with friends through the years. With email it would be so easy. I retired before computer days so it is just a empty regret.

See your story made me put myself in your work. That's good for you and your story.

Johna - Nicely written story!

I was anticipating the horror of another "Rear Window", but I was relieved when I reached the end! - Sandy

How romantic. It makes me regret that I never reached out to someone.

I loved the fact that they were in rehab; for awhile I was puzzled about the living arrangements. Good suspense.

Terrific as your stories always are..I love reading diaries & monologues, so this was perfect..a life long friend and I always teased each other over the friendship of now 55 years about whether we would date someone in a wheelchair, handicapped, etc..two chickens, at least, without a real person to consider,just loved this story..

I really enjoyed reading your post cards.

Reminded me of O. Henry's short story - The Gift of the Magi.

Always read your stories -

Bravo! Wonderfully written and so enjoyable!


Fabulous storytelling! I enjoyed the suspense and the build-up to the meeting.

I love happy endings and you certainly provided that....

Thanks for a wonderful story.

Delightful story. I loved it. Thanks for sharing.

Really tender and touching.

Delightful story, very well written.

A sweet story, and a reminder not to judge people by the outside or a first glance.

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