Now, I know. I know. I did promise you a cute story about some postcards and a pirate ship. And here it is:
The story of the smile that travelled from Penza to Linn Valley, by way of Stockholm (including the pirate ship)
So one day not too long ago I was exceptionally good. Not only did I clean my bathroom drain, I also wrote on my book. And in one of those rare instances of instant karma, I immediately got my reward: an increadibly charming letter from a young woman in Russia. She had read my book, found my adress on my webpage, and decided to write a real letter, since far too few people do that nowadays. She wrote that she was convinced that my book could only have been written by a person who believes in miracles (very true), and that it had inspired her in her own creativity. She writes prose and poetry and makes beautiful postcard from her home town, Penza, and prints them at the local print shop. And she included with her letter three amazing photos of coffee, plums and a paris wheel over beautiful autumn trees, and she hoped they would be a reason for me to smile.
And while I was sitting there, grinning like an idiot over the postcards, I got a message on Facebook from a teacher in Kansas. She told me that every Monday she began the week by asking her young students what they had done during the weekend, and when the time came for her to tell them, she said that during the weekend she had travelled to Iowa and met a friend from Sweden, Sara. Sara was in Iowa to meet a pen pal, but unfortunately, when she got there, the pen pal had already died!
Being children, they immediately seized upon the most important thing: how did her friend die? They asked, and the teacher answer: Do you know, I don’t think the book ever told me that. I love that story because it so perfectly matches my own view on what books give you (what have I done this weekend, you ask? Helped miss Marple solve several murders), and since I had the beautiful postcards from a Russian town in front of me, I naturally offered to send some postcards and a little greeting from Sweden to her pupils. She answered: ”you can’t imagine how big my smile is right now!”
Which means that a smile has been sent all the way from Penza in Russia, via a short stopover in Stockholm, to Linn Valley, Kansas. I went a bit overboard with the postcards and the greeting (but I did TELL the pupils not to swim to Stockholm, since their parents might not like it), and the teacher told me afterwards that one pupil had decided to travel to Sweden by way of pirate ship.
People travel much too seldom by way of pirate ship, if you ask me.