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Monthly Archives: May 2014

★ Loyal and True ★

military cards

There is no one more loyal and true than a person who is dedicated to serving our country!

Earlier this year we released a series of three cards that honor those men and women who serve (or have served) in our military. We wanted to provide a way for you to say thank you, and to keep in touch with those who are serving far away. There is absolutely nothing sweeter, nothing better to raise the spirits, than a letter from home!

There are many reasons why I wanted to create these cards, but there is one story that has always fascinated me, and was the true driving force behind this series.  It happened early in my grandparents lives, during World War II.

jots

My Grandma grew up in a really tight-knit rural community, called Hatton, Missouri.  It’s the same community where my family still lives. It’s a community of farm families with strong work ethics. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone, and neighbors will do anything to help one another out. As in many communities like this one, when World War II broke out, all of the young men enlisted and went off to fight the war, and everyone at home banded together to do what they could to support the war effort.

My Grandma and her three friends were no exception. Verna (my grandma), Lola, Gladys, and Maxine formed the “Jot’s Club.” They were all school teachers, and they also all had a “sweetie-pie” and a brother far away from home serving in the military and fighting the war. The Jots had one purpose – to write to their boys. They met once a week, in the upstairs bedroom of my grandma’s house, where they wrote  a newsletter that they called the “Jot-it-Down.” Every week they compiled stories from the home front, as well as news about the goings-on of each of the boys, and they mailed it out to the “Joes” who were scattered all over the world.

helpthejotshelpthejoes

As time went on, the mailing list grew to several dozen Hatton boys.  According to the boys, receiving the “Jot-it-Down” was a highlight of every week, and some even read it aloud to fellow soldiers. It became a weekly source of information and entertainment for whole platoons. The letter usually included news from the community, poems written by the girls, and sometimes poems or stories sent in from one of the boys. Usually there were juicy pieces of gossip, maybe a complaint or two, a listing of the top songs playing on the radio, and always jokes and funny bits that were good for some laughs.

To fund the newsletter, and to pay for postage, the girls set up a stand near the general store on Saturday nights where they sold ice cream. They also charged a nickel to anyone who wanted to visit their meeting room. Visitors were treated to a large display of letters, souvenirs, and photos sent home from the boys.

letterhome

The boys were faithful in writing back in return with news of their whereabouts, and confirmation that all was well. The Jots had created a system of communication for the whole community. They kept the boys’ spirits high and kept them informed about what was going on at home, and it gave them a way for everyone to stay in touch with one another.

Miraculously, all of the boys eventually made it home alive and well.

I love hearing my grandma talk about this time in their lives. I know it was a difficult time, but the stories of how everyone came together to support one another and the war effort fascinate me. I love how those four girls, with their simple idea of writing letters, were able to provide such a needed line of communication and warmth from home to all of their friends and loved ones who were risking so much to help win the war.

Recently my grandma gave me a notebook full of all the original “Jot-it-Down” newsletters. Reading them is like opening a time capsule into their lives at that time. It is such a treasure.

I actually think the whole story would make a really great book… or a movie…

loyal and true

Our hope is that you would think about those people in your life who serve our country, and write them a note of thanks, and send them some words of encouragement. Especially if they are far away from home.

You can find all three of our military cards in our shop right here.

:: Carrie ::

 

 

Paper Plane

Every once in a while I run across something that totally captures me.

I found one of those things today.

Hand drawn illustrations by Felicita Sala, brought to life through stop-motion animation, for the song Paper Plane by Massimo Giangrande. It’s beautiful, and detailed, and extremely well done.

Just thinking about the time invested in creating something like this makes it even more impressive.

I’m in awe. I hope you like it too…

:: Carrie ::

People Who Make the World Go Round {Teachers!}

teacher

We all know that teachers make the world go round. That’s the truth!

Next week, May 5th through the 9th, is Teacher Appreciation Week.  There’s no better time than now to let all the teachers in your life know just how much they are appreciated!

We definitely have a soft spot in our hearts for teachers. Karen and I are both former teachers, and we know first hand that it is a job that requires a big heart and an enormous amount of time and effort. As a way of paying it forward, Karen is leading the teacher appreciation week effort at her daughter’s school this year. Kids and parents are encouraged to write a little note of thanks to their teachers, and they will be showered with treats all week long!

We all have our favorite teachers picked out to surprise with a card and a treat, and we would love if you would think about doing the same! Maybe you have a child (or two, or three!) with some dedicated teachers.  Or maybe you have a friend who spends countless hours outside of school preparing lessons and activities for her classroom. Or, you might want to go back and thank a teacher from your past and finally let them know just how much they impacted you.

You can download and print our teacher thank you card right here! Let us know how you used it by tagging your photos with #worldgoroundproject.

:: Carrie ::