Erin and Brad, who took care of the house

Dear Erin & Brad,

Thank you for taking care of the house and the cats while we took a quick little trip out to Yellowstone last week. I know you’re still getting to know all the ropes, but you’ve got great attention to detail and people, so we were able to leave the house to you in complete confidence, and that makes all the difference in a trip away from the house, especially this time of year. I’m looking forward to having you around for the next couple months. I can already tell that having you here is going to make so many things easier.
❤ Laura

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Dustin, who did all the driving

Dear Dustin,

Thanks for taking me on a mini-vacation for our anniversary and for doing all the driving. (The fact that this is at least the second time I’ve thanked someone else for doing all the driving should be an indication of how happy I am to turn that task over to someone else.) I’m going to write a much better thank-you note tomorrow – well, more of a love letter to Yellowstone – but I’ve run out of hours for today.

And for anyone wondering about yesterday’s password-protected note, my apologies. I kind of figured that might happen eventually. It turns out, sometimes you need to thank people for things that are none of the rest of the world’s business.

Tune in tomorrow for some super awesome photos of Yellowstone.
❤ Laura

The buffalo in my dad’s back yard

Dear buffalo,

Thanks for not eating us as we sidled from the car into Dad’s house tonight. I realize we disturbed your nice nap, and I apologize for that. We tried going in through the front instead, but it was locked. We tried to scuttle by as inconspicuously as possible, but I realize that inconspicuous scuttling can be annoying too. Thanks for just getting up and wandering off instead of turning me into a really awkward headline. I hope your new napping grounds were even more comfortable.

❤ Laura

Friend Megan, who keeps me company from afar

Dear Megan,

Thanks for keeping me company at dinner tonight, even though you were in a completely different state. Actually, you (and Twitter) kept me company last night at dinner too, but not quite as directly as tonight. We chattered about the relative prices of hot chocolate at the tops of ski slopes and the tops of fjords, Brussels sprouts, bierocks, dudes swimming in pools during a snowfall, late-night lawyers, the dangers of texting and walking, and almond cakes. The couple eating fondue, drinking red wine, and cheering for the hockey game at the table next to me probably thought I was nuts, nibbling my Brussels sprouts alone and giggling at my phone.

But totally not alone, because you’re a first-rate long distance buddy. Thanks for the chatter, and sleep well dear friend!
❤ Laura

The Staff at Big Sky

Dear Big Sky People,

We’ve only been here for a few hours, but I’ve gotta say: you give Disney staff a run for their money on being pleasant and helpful. (The comparison probably springs to mind because this place feels a lot like a theme park. The theme, of course, is Snow & Cold.) From the cowboys (I think that’s their actual title) who hold open doors and hop the bells to the concierges who explain the 40 restaurants patiently three times and don’t laugh when I ask if I can ride the chairlifts without skis on. Thanks for making the evening pleasant. I look forward to bothering you with more questions tomorrow.
❤ Laura

Dustin, for being a solver

Dear Dustin,

It probably isn’t fair for me to write you two thank-you notes in a row, but that’s the way it goes some weeks.

It’s a bit of a stereotype, that men are solvers and women are empathizers. I hate conforming to stereotypes, but sometimes that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. I’m an empathizer with a lot of problems, and when I talk about my problems, I almost always want empathy in return. You are a solver who hasn’t met a problem you didn’t want to solve. This occasionally causes us a little frustration, but sometimes it comes in really handy.

Thank you for the problem-solving session on the ride home from our snow hiking adventure today. I have a really hard time getting over my emotional roadblocks, even when they’re supremely irrational. You gave me some needed perspective today, including some new paths for me to direct my obsessive thoughts down that might wind up being more productive. Here’s hoping.

On an altogether less mature note, thanks for rescuing me when I texted you that I was stuck in bed this morning. Sometimes you need adult help, and sometimes you just need someone to snuggle you and remind you that there are things worth getting out of bed for.
❤ Laura

Dustin, again, for being that guy, again

Dear Dustin,

I’m not doing such a great job easing back into the busy season. I’m having trouble finding my equilibrium this spring. Between new employees, new helpers, a new kitchen (that still isn’t finished), and the (still theoretical) upcoming attempt to sell the place, I can’t seem to figure out how to behave like a competent human.

The last few days particularly have been hard, and you’ve been very patient and encouraging. When I couldn’t get myself out of the house to work out this evening (not entirely my own fault), and then refused to move from in front of the fireplace to help you make dinner (that was pretty much all me), you bribed me by saying we could hang out in the kitchen together, and cook dinner together, then plop down in front of the tv and slug out together.

Those “togethers” were exactly what I needed to hear. I know I’m supposed to be self-sufficient and self-actualized and all that, but sometimes it just really helps to know you’re there to prop me up and that you want to spend time with me even when I’m kind of a mess.

Thank you. I love you. I’ll figure it out someday.

❤ Laura

Our regular server at Legends

Dear….

Ah, I’m really sorry. I’m going to go try to find out your name, and I will come back and update this.

Dustin and I go out for breakfast every Thursday morning. It’s a standing date to touch base on personal stuff, not work stuff or work stuff or work stuff, which is mostly all we talk about otherwise. Sometimes we spend 15 minutes with a donut, sometimes we get to sit down and have a fancy breakfast. When fancy is on the menu, we often head over to Legends, which rocks breakfast in Deadwood. You are almost always our server when we come, and you take such great care of us.

I always get tea, and I always ask if I can have the mug warmed up. This morning, not only did you warm up my mug, but you gave my water an extra zap so it would hold the heat longer. When the box of teas didn’t have any Earl Grey in it, you went and raided all the other boxes in the restaurant, even though you suspected they were all gone. You came back, victorious with two shiny Earl Greys, just for me. You always leave a few extra chocolate mints with the check, too, which is brilliant.

I was having a bit of a rough morning when we came in today. Having you make that little extra effort for me meant so much, and I am so grateful. We look forward to seeing you again next time!
❤ Laura

Dr. Scaeffer, family doctor

Dear Dr. Schaeffer,

Thanks for taking good care of people, even when that means doing reeeeeally unglamorous things. Thank you for peering into all the snotty noses and poking the things you must rather not poke. Thank you for answering all the questions and being so professional about topics that are only discussed with equal seriousness amongst five-year-olds.

I don’t really like coming to see you, per se, but when I have to, I’m so happy to come to you of all people.

Thank you for keeping me ticking.

❤ Laura