The envelope, please

This post was first published seven years ago today, along with a re-posting of the very first message that ever appeared here. Those of you who remember that first anniversary may find yourself mentioned below! I was happy to see that several of you who won those first prizes are still with us today.

The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. Thatโ€™s just the way WordPress does things.

OK, the results are in!

I had intended to video the entire drawing and post it here, but this is all I came up with:

Jeff and Matt had agreed to cooperate with helping me film the drawing, and since it’s a beautiful fall day here in York County, we thought it would be fun to film it outside in our back yard, where the bloom-again azaleas were in full celebration mode and our camellias were beginning to sneak out for a peep, too.

Jeff coached me to Be Sure My Camera Battery Is Charged (a frequent oversight of mine, but in this case it was, and I had backups too). I even checked the SD card to make sure it had plenty of space. Half empty; looked good to me. What I should have realized, but didn’t, is that videos eat up the megabytes VERY quickly. At least on a camera they do, and I don’t have a smart phone.

SO, when Jeff said “OK, that’s all!” just when we started to film, I couldn’t believe it. I was sure he must be reading it wrong. But no, the camera said “card full.” Since Jeff and Matt had other plans awaiting, and in any case have only so much patience with this computer nonsense, they wanted me to go with what I had. It then occurred to me that we have a S-L-O-W internet connection here in York County, so I reluctantly agreed to go on with the drawing OFF camera.

Which turned out to be a good thing, because even with a 37-second video, it took almost an hour to load, and longer than that for me to figure out how to get it posted correctly here, and it still looks a bit distorted to me, as if it didn’t download very well. During all that time, my computer was totally unavailable for anything else such as getting email, reading comments, etc., so I apologize if I kept anyone waiting!

I decided to go ahead and post the abbreviated video for comic value, since it cracked me up that Matt could NOT resist looking into the bin before he drew a name out, even though all the slips with names on them were folded over twice so he couldn’t possibly have seen whose he was picking. I am still wondering whether he has x-ray vision, because one of the second place winners is a definite favorite of his.

In any case, here are the winners, none of whom have asked to remain anonymous. If anyone listed here wants to change their minds on that, let me know and I’ll gladly edit you out! You still get the prizes.

Matt drew the names in reverse order, starting with the third prize winners:

Judy Walton
Pat Eastin
John Slingerland

And the second prize winners:

Carla Hutto
Ann Weldon


Jenelle Maloy!

Longtime readers with good memories may notice a coincidence here; in the only other time I awarded any prizes on this website, in an unannounced contest to send a $10 Amazon gift card to whoever could “find the mystery couple” in that day’s photo, Jenelle was the winner in that one too. Jenelle, if I ever announce a contest to give away a Jaguar or $10,000 here, I highly recommend you plan to show up for it!

OK, now for the Defeat Despair Community Activism Award:

For those who read the comments, it will come as no surprise that Sheila, Boomdeeadda, Eric, Michael, Amy Hill and Mary Ann were the six contestants (based on the statistics on the day the contest was announced, as described in that announcement). The WINNER is: BOOMDEADDA! I must say I am happy to have at least one international winner among the prizes I will send out.

Boomdee and Jenelle will need to let me know ASAP what kind of gift card they want (sorry, Boomdee, I could not find a gift card to Auntie’s Aqua Extravaganza Emporium).

Judy, Pat and John will need to let me know what kind of chocolate they like, or if they don’t like chocolate, let me arrange for psychotherapy to find out what is wrong with them tell me what kind of alternative treat they want. Carla, Ann, Sheila, Eric, Michael, Amy and Mary Ann will need to figure out how to use Amazon, or else figure out whom to give a $10 gift card to that won’t get insulted (maybe the mail carrier or paper delivery person?)

Everybody else, your party favors will be on the way to you within the week (I hope!) THANKS AGAIN for coming to my party! It was so much fun, and you wouldn’t believe how low the catering bill was.


  1. mike c. B

    Thanks for the gift card.

    • Are you referring to the one that you won seven years ago? I hope so, because I haven’t sent you one lately. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Good morning, Julia!
    You could not have run out of camera memory at a funnier time if you had planned it! That was perfect. I chuckled and am still grinning, and I love the story as you told it!

    • Thanks Susan. Occasionally I’ll go back and watch it, and it always makes me smile too, remembering how happy I was that day.

  3. mike c.

    I think so. I may have left it in Seattle. 35 degrees this AM in Woodstock. A little chilly. I plan to send a copy of “Gift from the Sea” to my DIL Rachel for Xmas. A spiritual classic. My son and Rachel and kids are having a tough time in their little apartment in NYC where they are in a way imprisoned with a small building courtyard as their man outlet- kind of like a “prison yard”. We have not been able to visit for a time. Very sad. One of the reasons we moved out East was to visit the kids more often. I am sure you know what i mean as you probably don’t get to see your grands much now..This is a sad time for so many grand parents and i think i have Covid Fatigue.
    Gibbs garden closes in two weeks so i better get my little self moving. They have some beautiful fall color Maples on their site i hope you can peruse.
    Oh BTW -you may enjoy the Netlix Docu- “My Octopus teacher.” An enchanting look at an under-water Kelp forest in South Africa.

    • Hi Mike, I’m so sorry you are unable to see your grandchildren. I always thought it would be great to live in NYC but I certainly wouldn’t want to be there now. I think you have a lot of company re: “Covid fatigue.” I’m still not sure how a disease with such a low fatality rate has turned the entire world into a sort of prison. Perhaps it’s one more sign of the collective neurosis that has caused other problems in our society. I don’t get Netflix and don’t ever plan to get it, so I’ll have to look for that title elsewhere — probably through the library. Does your local library have Kanopy or Hoopla? There are some great independent films and documentaries there that are free to stream. BTW as you know, “Gift from the Sea” is one of my personal favorites (quotes from it appear on this blog) and it’s one of those books I try to keep more than one copy on hand, so I can give it to others who visit. All of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s books are worth reading. She was gifted in many ways (a mother of seven and a talented, record-setting aviator in her own right) but writing may have been her greatest legacy.

  4. mike c.

    It is a spiritual classic. I am keeping my copy. I am reading Pema Chodron “Living beautifully with uncertainty.”

    • At your suggestion I read one of her books a couple of years ago– can’t remember the title but I think it was her most famous one.

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