By Mona, Alyssa and Lea Fairbanks
And thus begins the next adventure of an Edmonds mom and her almost grown up daughters. What do you do when the younger sister goes off to college or to study abroad? As I learned quickly in college, one doesn’t get a whole lot of mail unless it’s a credit card advertisement or the very rare letter/care package from the parents. I personally like receiving mail, so I had to make sure my younger sister got enough when she went abroad to Austria last year.
We came up with a quotation puzzle to send her, which is a great project idea to send to anyone—whether it’s your sibling away at college, another relative or a friend. Here’s a step-by-step how-to for the project:
One: Pick your favorite quotation, inspiring or otherwise. We picked “Make your work your play and your play your work,” by Phil Jackson and “Where there is love there is life,” by Indira Gandhi.
Two: Divide the quotation into at least five or so sections and cut 5X7 or postcard-sized cards for each section. We also divided the sections between my mom and I, so we each had two or three.
Three: Write on and decorate the card. We used everything from paper cut-outs to watercolor, from ink to rhinestones. Be creative! The sky is the limit really, as long as it can be sent through the United States Postal Service.
Four: Mail the cards one at a time, spaced out by a week or so. This way, the recipient doesn’t really know what he or she is receiving until the very end. But they get a fun mystery in the mail to look forward to!
In an informal survey of friends, all of them loved getting personal mail. They all rated the idea an 8 to a 10 out of 10, with 10 being “can hardly wait to get to the mail box!” This is a fun surprise to keep in touch with college kids or others away from home, it takes little time and expense and creates lasting memories.
Mona Fairbanks is a wife, mother to two wonderful daughters and an artist. She has been teaching elementary school art in Edmonds and Shoreline for the last 15 years and exhibiting her art for the last two year at the Hanson/Scott Gallery in Seattle. She is passionate about local flora and fauna and preserving the environment.
Alyssa Fairbanks recently graduated from Whitman College with a degree in history. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in law and ultimately work promoting civil and women’s rights. In the meantime, she loves to read, cook, hike and hang out with her sister.
Lea Fairbanks is a junior at the University of Portland in Oregon majoring in psychology. She is working this summer as a barista for a local coffee catering company and loving it. Last year she spent the year going to school in Austria and traveling as much as time and money would allow.