The Simple Joys

Today I got a package from Jay in the mail. There’s something really exciting about getting mail, especially if it’s an unexpected box filled with surprise gifts! I knew a few things that Jay was sending because I got too many Christmas gifts from his family and wasn’t able to fit them all in my suitcase to bring home. But the box was much bigger than I was expecting….I love the little flutter of excitement I get when opening a package. The mystery of what’s inside makes it all the more fun!

Inside the box was a card, sealed in silver with Jay’s wax stamp. I bought him the stamp a couple of years ago when he really got into Game of Thrones and ever since then each piece of mail I get has at least one stamp on it. Next I found all the gifts I’d left behind including a poncho, 3-D hippo cookie cutters, and stroopwafel bag clips. Jay also through in some small maps and trinkets from our trip together, some extra gifts, and goodies. But there was one thing in there that I find much cooler than the rest.

Jay sent me a Donald Duck book, filled with short comic stories written in Dutch. He thought it would be a good way to help me learn reading, pronouncing, and understanding Dutch. This has become a bigger goal for me this year and I’m glad that Jay has noticed my progress. I read a few pages to him on Skype and he could understand most of what I was saying (which is a big improvement from where I started).


This was the perfect mid-week present to open. It’s something so simple to Jay, a book he’s had on his shelf for years, but it’s such a thoughtful gift for me. This might be the best present I’ve gotten from him (and he’s gotten me some great presents over the years). I can’t wait to try reading more of the comic strips and hopefully learning more Dutch!

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