Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Sunday, September 15, 2013

On Travel...and Hope

Traveling Postcards is a humanitarian organization founded on the premise that art has the ability to heal, feed and transform our lives.
Since I was a girl, curling up on the garden bench under the shade of a walnut tree in Grandma Gertie's backyard in Ontario, CA, I've been thumbing through Woman's Day. I particularly revere this magazine because it was the first national periodical to publish something I'd written, a paragraph about my family's "rabbit habit" in its "Neighbors" column back in 1967.

This past July I took a lemonade break and leafed through my latest issue, dogearing pages with inviting recipes to try. Then I came to a new feature, "Embrace Community." When I read this paragraph, it grabbed me:

While you're on vacation, pick up an extra postcard and fill it out with an empowering or comforting message. When you send it to the nonprofit Traveling Postcards, they will distribute it to a woman somewhere in the world who is struggling to overcome violence and oppression. Visit travelingpostcards for the full details.

Timely indeed, since I'd been packing to trot off to England to attend the University of Oxford, Christ Church, and then to spend some time with my friend Heather Bird in Weston-super-Mare. Heather loves to frequent charity shops, second-hand stores where all profits go to benefit certain worthy efforts. So while Heather tried on blouses, I plowed through shoeboxes of postcards, winnowing out some real winners.

I sought only the beautiful, the adventurous, the discarded anything that would not be empowering. I had a project in mind.

A couple of years ago, the Colville Branch, American Association of University Women, tried a new theme. For years we've enjoyed a January BookShare, where we all get together and recommend the best books we've read the previous year. We debuted TravelShare, at my house, and most attending loved playing "Two Truths and a Lie," an icebreaker I'd learned in Peace Corps while volunteering in the Dominican Republic.

This year for TravelShare, I'm going to display my new own Not Your Mother's Book: On Travel, and briefly relate what traveling the world has shown me about the strength and resilience of women. I'm asking the members to bring postcards they've found, and to think of some powerful words of wisdom to write on them.

Though the initial project calls for crafting homemade postcards, Woman's Day had given me an idea for an evening event that would not be so time-consuming as undertaking an art project. Words are art, too, and I'll ask the women to inscribe these cards with words from the heart, woman to woman, affirmations, yes, and additionally, admiration for survivors, women in shelters to escape domestic violence.

A quick tribute to my favorite magazine...thanks for the reminder that every day should be a WOMAN'S DAY!

Some gorgeous examples of comforting affirmations, for those who would like to work on a similar female gathering, can be found  here:

For more information on Traveling Postcards, visit the website: http://www.travelingpostcards
All postcards sent to Traveling Postcards will be sent to women who are currently living in shelters or who are survivors of sexual assault.

Send Cards with Affirmations to:

Traveling Postcards
8 Via San Inigo
Orinda, CA 94563 USA

**IMPORTANT** Please, do not directly mail or stamp your Traveling Postcard — it must be mailed in an envelope or box. 



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