Letters from Me, Day 6: Josie Neumann, Iowa City, IA

Dear Josie,

You have to be one of my very favorite postal service corresponders in all of my history as a mail-receiving citizen.

That's why you've taken the spot at day 6 of my 365 letters in 365 days letter writing campaign.

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Now, something I love about mail from you is your consistent creativity in choice of medium. I can't say I don't know why - I mean, you work at the cutest stationery store in all of Iowa (in all of the world?!) And you've always had impeccable, fabulous taste. But still, every time I get a card from you (often with the return address written vertically down the left hand side of the envelope), I get excited to see what's inside. Not just because the card will be cute, witty, sassy or even (maybe) covered in glitter, but because I treasure the words you've written inside.

I love getting these cards from you, also, because you're so damn far away. It's funny, we've known each other for coming on 13 years, and we've only really lived near one another for 2 of those years.

Our time at BU, so many years ago, was where we forged our friendship.

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But the years since, the years of phone calls, letters and cards, text messages and the once in a blue moon amazing whirlwind of a visit has solidified your place in my heart as one of my soul sisters.

You are a brilliant mind.

We have always schemed the best of ideas together, and I'm consistently astounded by your brain and the connections it makes. Your dedication to being awesome in your career also inspires me, and when you flew across the country to land a new job and venture into the unknown, no matter what it would bring, I was like...damn, that's a brave and brilliant gal. I know your beauty wins people over at first glance, but it's your brains that keeps them there, drinking beers with you until 2am, not being able to get enough of your point of view and your stories.

You are a kind soul.

You have always treated people with the respect, decency and especially genuine human love they deserve, be they big or small, rich or poor, smart or not so smart. If someone is good to you, you are good to them...and even if they're not, you give them a fair shot. You go out of your way to be kind to the people you love, too. You take joy in bringing others joy, and make sure that your friends have what they need, no matter what the hour of the day or how out there the need is.

You are honest to a fault.

I always love getting your opinion on a person, even after you've just met them once. You're a fantastic judge of character and astoundingly accurate when it comes to a person's true nature. You can also be put into a situation and without thinking twice, tell people what needs to be said, no matter how tough. I've always admired that in you, because I tend to err more on the side of telling people what they want to hear to keep things running smoothly, but it's not often the high road. You cruise the high road in a red convertible and sassy shades, and you keep me honest.

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You keep me honest, yes, but you also always keep me laughing.

You are funny as hell. No matter the situation, good or bad, you've always got a way of making it just a little bit easier, or just downright hilarious. I look to you when things get too deep, or people get too awful, or situations get absolutely ridiculous, because you can turn all of that into a great story, in the blink of an eye. You are a wordsmith, and you can tell a story with the best of them too, always with a dramatic flair that keeps us all on the edge of our seats.

I was so happy we got to spend a night with you last year on our roadtrip. It was time you met Dylan, and he met you, since without meeting you, he really hadn't FULLY gotten to know me.

No matter how long we go between talks, between visits, between letters, I know you will always take up a nice comfy corner of my heart, and you'll be there, sipping something special and blasting some sweet tunes.

Stay classy, Josie N.

Love,

Amanda