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.