The Power Of The Pen *Weekend Open Thread*


Whew, it’s the weekend. It has been another helluva week with the great speech given by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu demonstrated for those willing to see how a true leader acts on behalf of his country. In fact, his speech was so good, many Arabs liked it as well. Now THAT tells you something.

We also have all the brouhaha around Hillary Clinton – again – and the admission by the DOJ that in fact, Officer Darren Wilson really isn’t a racist murdering yahoo, and killed the criminal, Michael Brown in self-defense. Oh, and that whole, “Hands up, Don’t Shoot” thing that sparked riots across the country spurred on by Master Race Baiter, Al Sharpton.

Just to name a few issues from this week alone. Again I say, whew.

That is why I found this story a friend told me about to be so timely, so refreshing, and such a breath of fresh air. That it took place in Bastrop, Texas, home of my Cuz’n CindyIndie, makes it that much more special. As the title indicates, this story is one of two pen pals, how they started writing to each other, and the meeting that was 18 years in the making. It is from (there is a good video of the story and the meeting at this link, too. Unfortunately, it is not on Youtube, so you’ll have to watch it here):

[…] Back in 1996, a Victoria Advocate editorial asking for pen pals for school children Rochester, New York caught his attention.

“I’m a writer. I like to write,” said Norman.

And so began an unlikely friendship between an 11 year-old-girl named Nicole from New York and Norman, a 61-year-old man from Texas.

Through holidays, high school graduation and the heartbreaking loss of Norman and Bobbie’s dog, the two have exchanged hundreds of cards, letters, pictures and poems.

“This is a calendar she sent in 2011. I refuse to hang it on the wall and mess it up,” Norman joked. […]

How cool is that? How wonderful for this girl living in New York to have a pen pal all the way in Texas, to learn about the life of someone she would come to think of as a grandfather? I know that when I was growing up, I had a pen pal in Puerto Rico, a boy about my age. It was so much fun to hear about his life there, receive little trinkets from him, and all of that. It was a great experience. I never got to meet him, but that was not the case for Nicole and Norman:

[…] “I’m so excited. I’m nervous,” said Norman.

He couldn’t stop checking his phone. Then Nicole and her family pulled up in their rental car.

“We made it,” she said with arms outstretched and tears running down her face. “How are you? Can you believe it?” The two hug.

Eighteen years and 1,600 miles no longer separate these two friends.

“I’ll quit crying after a while,” joked Norman.

“It’s such a rare experience to keep in touch with somebody for 18 years,” said Nicole.

“There are no words to describe it,” remarked Norman with tears in his eyes. “I’ve never had anybody go to this much trouble to see me before.”

How very sweet is that? They don’t write as much now, but it is not through a lack of interest:

[…] Nicole knew she couldn’t wait. A recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s keeps Norman from penning many letters these days.

“We don’t hardly write anymore, neither one of us, we just text,” said Norman. “It pretty much has to be by phone, because I can’t read what I write.”

What started as a school project to help students learn about different states carried a much greater lesson for both Norman and Nicole.

“The connections you make are way more important than anything you’re going to learn in a book,” said Nicole. […] (Click here to read the rest and see the television report about their meeting.)

After 18 long years, they finally got to meet face to face. It was a beautiful meeting to be sure, the reunion of a chosen grandfather with a chosen granddaughter (who is now a teacher, according to the article). Truly touching and heartwarming how the power of the pen brought these two together, once strangers, now family.

I want to share one more “Power of the Pen” story with you. This one will also grab your heartstrings, so don’t put away those Kleenex just yet. This one is the story of a 5 year old girl, and the Army soldier she started writing as a Kindergarten project:

What a moving story. Heck, even the newscaster was having a hard time holding it together at the end. I sure don’t blame her; I was sniffing away, too. What that little girl does for that soldier all the way over in Afghanistan is kindness beyond measure.

The Power of the Pen indeed, one that brings together people who might very well never know a thing about each other. But picking up that pen, or pencil, or computer, leads strangers to become friends, across all kinds of lines from age to locale. How beautiful is that? How wonderful that people can connect over the miles and over time.

After making that face to face connection, I can just imagine Nicole asking Norman, her adopted grandfather, some of the questions The Judds ask in the song below:

“Grandpa, tell me about the good ol’ days…” And I bet he did…

Feel free to discuss the news of the day, stories that touch your heart, or songs that move you. This is your Weekend Open Thread.

FINAL NOTE from the Therapy Horses of Gentle Carousel:

Spring Forward


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19 Responses to “The Power Of The Pen *Weekend Open Thread*”

  1. foxyladi14 Says:

    Happy Weekend friends. 😀

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    What beautiful stories!

    I can attest to the power of the pen (keyboard). As soon as I was released from the hospital I made a beeline for my computer to let all my friends here know I was all right and what had transpired. In the days and weeks that followed I wasn’t always well enough to participate but I always read what was written and read the comments as well. Because of this I still felt as if I was “connected” to the world.

    For this I bless you all. Because of this I am getting better and stronger every day. It will be a long way back but because I had somewhere to go when I felt strong enough, not when someone was around or when it was convenient the way back will be easier than it might have been.

    The power of the keyboard is a powerful tool and I hope all here know how wonderful it is. Bless you and bless the power of having a place to go and communicate. It is a powerful tool and one for which I can never express enough gratitude.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      So glad you like the stories, Marge. Both of them made me cry, I have to admit.

      And there is this one to add to it from The Blaze (via IJ Review):

      Bless Taylor Swift’s heart – she is a good one!

      And I am so glad that this community (and others) have provided such support for you as you continue to recover from your surgery. As you no doubt gathered, we love you and cherish your opinions, so I think I can speak for all of us when I say we all want you to get stronger every day!

      The keyboard (modern day pen) really is a gift in many ways, isn’t it? I never dreamed when my dear boarding school friend, Connie, insisted I start a blog over 7 yrs ago the amazing people who would come into my life as a result, like you and the other wonderful folks here. That I have been able to meet some in person, too, has been a wonderful gift.

      Anyway, so glad to have you comment when you can, and I continue to pray that you continue to get stronger with each passing day!

  3. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    mcnorman, in case you are around, this article highlights what you were saying abt this whole Clinton email mess:

    • mcnorman Says:

      I suspect that they knew much earlier as these people are always saving up for that rainy need a squirrel day. Sick, sick, sick.

      The post is beautiful. Just beautiful!

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Thanks so much, mcnorman!

        Yeah, you are likely right abt that. And now Obama is trotting out that tired old excuse that just makes him look ignorant and clueless. Sigh.

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    Good article about supporting Hillary from Derek Hunter

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Clinton Supporter

    Can you imagine the liberal “fauxrage” had this been a conservative? Hunter points out, as has been pointed out so many times before, that without double standards the left would be without any standards at all. How sad that is for a party that once meant something.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Very good piece and cartoon, Marge. Thank you!

      And Hunter has it absolutely right. This deflection by trying to claim Republicans did the same thing is absurd. They tried it with Rep. Chaffetz too since he has a personal email account listed on his business card. He said that it was like comparing “apples to a boat.” He gives it out to reporters, he has a gov’t account, too, AND he IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE FEDERAL ACT. But that doesn’t stop them from muddying the waters, blowing smoke, and playing GOTCHA, does it? Too many of their people are so misinformed, they don’t get that they are being hoodwinked. When their ignorance is exposed, they just dig in further, unable to admit they were wrong.


      On the good news front, UC-Irvine has reversed the No American Flag ban that the students had approved. It was banned because it wasn’t “inclusive” enough, and was a reminder of how imperialistic we are, as well as how colonizing. Yep. That’s what they are being taught. Here’s the link:

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

    The last paragraphs in Michael Goodwin’s column from yesterday. Aren’t they a hoot?

    Honestly shocking

    A poll the other day said a record low 43 percent consider President Obama honest.

    Surely, that must be a mistake.

    How could anyone still think he’s honest?

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Ahahahaha – honestly, I could not believe the numbers were that high for “honesty,” either! Wow, some people have a mighty low threshold, huh?

      Thanks for the laugh!

  6. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    BizPacReview had Judge Jeanine’s Opening from last night. In it, she took on Hillary Clinton:

  7. foxyladi14 Says:

    Spring is in the air. 🙂

  8. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    What a liar. And if this is true, add incompetent to that as well. I do know this is Obama’s usual claim – to be so ignorant of what is going on, even with his Sec. of State, that he is ALWAYS THE LAST TO KNOW:

  9. JustMe Says:

    You’re a pastor, right, Rabble Reverend Amy? I ask because I suggested this connection between Netanyah’s speech/timing and the Biblical story of Esther on a Lutheran blog, and all they could respond was that Glenn Beck was nuts. Whether he’s nuts or not, RRRA, what do you think about this, as a Biblical connection?

  10. JustMe Says:

    oops — sorry. s/b: Netanyahu

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Sorry – for some reason you got caught in moderation and I was at “The Sing Off” concert last night. I’ll take a look at the piece you posted (and yes, I am a minister. 🙂 ).

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