Weekly Anamnesis #14

1980 something

I didn’t know what it was called, I still don’t; I just remember it was fun to play with. You inserted a narrow plastic tape of sorts, with a peel off backing so it would stick on something, and turn the dial to different letters. By squeezing the handle (or a button?) it would leave the imprint of the letter. We had black, blue, and red tapes and the letters would look white when they were embossed on them. I wrote a message to my mom one time and stuck it on her sewing machine. It said, “Mom, you are the best!” It is still there, though her sewing machine has changed since then.

1980 something else

We took a day trip over the border (we lived in Pennsylvania) to West Virginia to visit Coopers Rock Sate Park. It is an amazing place with mammoth boulders scattered through the woods. Pillars to squeeze between, caves to explore, and sloping boulders to hide under. If Robin Hood had been in the United States I am sure this would have been his hide out. The trails wound around and through them and hours were spent climbing. We went back on numerous occasions I believe. I spent a lot of time with my mom as the older kids went on longer hikes with my father. My mom and I would find a hiding place to camp out, and then leave hidden messages and clues on the paths to our location. We would make arrows out of sticks on the path pointing the way or place sticks in an “x” or an “o” for a hug and kiss. Sometimes mom would hide from me and I would follow her messages to be greeted with a heart when I found her.


When Paul and I were married we received a very simple gift which has been a favorite all these years. It was a small mirror with an oak frame and two hooks beneath it; nothing grand or spectacular. The giver had cut two hearts out of cardboard and labeled them with our names and hung one from each hook. The note attached to the mirror face said, “It is my hope that you will leave love messages and notes to each other on this mirror in the years to come.” We did, and we still do, though maybe not with quite the frequency as when we were first married. On many occasions I will enter the bedroom and as my eyes drift to the mirror hanging on the wall there will be a note or card tucked under the wood edge on my side. A message of love, caring, thoughtfulness and gratitude; a reminder of messages throughout the years.


Filed under Anamnesis, Farm Stories, Love and Marriage, Memory, Writing

7 responses to “Messages

  1. What a great idea for a gift that mirror was! And it’s amazing how some messages can stick around (like your sewing machine one), isn’t it?

    I like the way you wrote this, with love being the theme of all the anecdotes.

  2. Thank you for the warm fuzzies!

  3. what cute sweet little stories. The one with the trails and the caves reminded me of this playground area at the botanic garden. Its this area where everything is large, so then you feel like an ant. You get to walk inside a pumpkin, climb in a birds nest. The kids love to run around the little maze inside this area.

    I liked how your stories followed through showing love for someone else as well. Very sweet.

    That mirror is a great idea. When we were first married we would use dry erase markers to leave messages for each other on the bathroom mirror.

  4. I’m still working on my anamnesis and interestingly enough I’m using the same structure as yours (only without the theme … I’m struggling with it.)

    I love the message to your mother, and I’m sure it touched her more than you ever knew.

    I love love love the idea of passing love notes to your spouse. In my younger days I bombarded my husband’s scriptures (… I think we may still have been dating at that point …) with tiny pieces of paper that said “I love you” in as many languages as I could find.

  5. Lovely posting.

    The tape is still availible–I am drawing a blank on its actual name, but you can get it at Office Supply stores like Staples.

    People usually use it for more mundane things–like labeling stuff. I like your use. I am sure your Mom did, too.

  6. i’m smiling.

    i like the love theme also, but especially the simplicity of the messages. i mean… how you went about it.

    we don’t think to do that type of stuff often in life.

  7. Aww, you had me a little choked up reading this. I used to leave love notes for my parents everywhere, and sign them all, “Guess who?” Sometimes I’d get one in my lunch bag signed the same way.

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