Hi Flourish Friends!

Fall in Florida is … the same – 90 degrees every day! But it is still my favorite time of year. As many of you are aware, the start to this year’s Autumn has been quite adventurous. My family made an abrupt and arduous evacuation to escape Hurricane Irma. It was terrifying, exhausting, and overwhelming at times. But all was well for us with minor damage and a safe end to an 11-day ordeal. We are forever grateful for our good fortune but so saddened for all of the people who have suffered due to the recent storms, fires, and earthquakes.

When you are faced with the possible loss of all of your possessions, and have to decide in a matter of hours what you can take with you, you are forced to quickly decide what are your most treasured items. Luckily, the majority of my family’s photographs and video tapes are on SD cards, digital thumb drives, and DVDs which fit in one small hatbox and photo file box. My extensive library of calligraphic books would take up too much room and could mostly be replaced. Sadly, all of the gorgeous envelopes and work people have sent me over the years could not. I lingered over those for longer than I should have but had to settle with placing them as high up as I could and pray the house didn’t flood and still stood upon our return.

I decided my small collection of custom made pen holders was worthy of the space in the van (which had to be shared with two of my kids, my mom, their stuff, and two cats. While my husband’s small car was filled with him, my dad, another one of our kids, and a dog.

When Irma passed and we settled back into our home, I knew I had to create a plan for future evacuations, but more importantly, I have to plan for the inevitable day I leave this Earth. Many people have wills but many, many more do not. I never thought I had anything of enough value to make a will. But when I realized my custom pen collection stood above my jewelry in terms of sentimental value to me, the thought crossed my mind — what would happen to all of my calligraphy supplies, books, etc. when I go. No one in my family would have any clue what to do with it. Despite our growing numbers, the calligraphy world is still a relatively small group and only to its members would my oblique pens, nibs, and collection of calligraphy from around the world have immeasurable value.

So while it is difficult to think about, I encourage all of you if you have anything of value: calligraphy, art, custom pens, rare or extensive nib collections, books, whatever you think should find a home with someone who would truly value it — if not a will, at least write out a plan detailing what you would like done with them, or their estimated values if you want your family to sell them, or if there is an organization you would like them donated to, etc. Sign it, date it, and then let someone know it exists.

Now, on to the fun stuff – it’s that time of year again – our popular Haunted Hellos – Halloween/Día De Los Muertos – Day of the Dead Exchange. If you’d like to join, sign ups are open until Monday, October 2nd.

And speaking of Day of the Dead – have you seen Schin Loong’s online tutorial to create Día De Los Muertos sugar skull envelopes?! I can’t wait to give it a try.

Happy Fall Y’all!