Random Act of Kindness: Postcard from Glasgow #1
Settled into our high-top table, we giggled as we waited for our whipped creamed drinks in cups with the green lady logo. We’d met at the coffee shop close to Ashley’s home before, but this visit was special. She was heading out for two glorious summer weeks in Scotland and England with her grandmother, to celebrate her16thbirthday.
Having kids of my own was not my life’s path. But I’d found such joy in being “Auntie” to my “chosen” niece Ashley, the daughter of a life-long friend.
We sipped our drinks and she opened the gift I’d brought.
“Cool, a notebook. I love it!” Ashley said.
“Yep, it’s a journal. Be sure to write down your travel experiences each day,” I said.
Random Act of Kindness: Postcard from Glasgow #2
A slight stab of envy settled in my stomach with the whipped cream. I had never been to the U.K., and England and Scotland were numbers three and four destinations on my bucket list. Another lady at the table wearing green.
“Why are you crying?” Ashley asked.
“I’m just so excited for you. I know you’re going to have an amazing time. This is a trip of a lifetime. Will you be sure to send me a postcard?” I asked.
“Okay, I will for sure.” She smiled and flipped through the empty journal.
Weeks later a postcard arrived. Under my address sat an orange postage stamp encircled with “Glasgow post office” and the date in black ink. I read the back of the card first.
“Dear Auntie Christie, I miss you. I can’t wait to see you again and tell you all about my trip! I’ve been writing in my notebook you gave me every day. Scotland is very pretty and I’m about to go on a train to London!! I’m so excited, see you soon. Love Ash”
I teared up and turned the card over. The front lured me in with glossy snapshots of historical landmarks: Glasgow Cathedral, the Duke of Wellington Statue and Doulton Fountain.
I held it close to my heart and then propped it on my desk where I could see it every day.
Random Act of Kindness: Postcard from Glasgow #3
A few weeks after Ashley’s return, I opened the mailbox to find a nondescript, white envelope with an orange postage stamp. Another postcard. The card looked like it had been bent in half, creating a large crease mark across the images of University of Glasgow and Glasgow Cathedral. The back had some words crossed out. A first draft, maybe?
Tucked inside was a typed note on a small slip of paper, along with the postcard.
“Hi. I found this postcard that was addressed to you from Ash today. Sadly, she must have dropped it in Glasgow Central Rail Station in Glasgow Scotland on Monday, 24thof July 2017. The good news is I was at that location and found your postcard. I thought I’d send it on to you as Ash wasn’t able to send it herself. I hope this wee post gets to you. Take care John”
I placed John’s postcard next to Ashley’s on my desk. One random act of kindness and two postcards from Glasgow. Was it a sign? I believed it was. The U.K. moved to the top of my travel list.
BIO: Christie Munson Muller is working on a travel essay about meeting her French husband in Paris. Her essays have appeared in Chaleur Magazine and elsewhere.
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