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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    OT: Birthday Suggestions

    My first-born, a beautiful daughter, was born 21 years ago in December. The very day she was born, when I had finished all the phone calls and was home with some time alone trying to wrap my brain around the miracle, I sat down and wrote her a letter, with the intention of delivering that letter on her 21st birthday. In the letter, I tried to describe how it felt to become the father of such a beautiful child, and how proud her mother and I was, and how she was the result of our love. I described my hopes for her, and, knowing I would be giving her the letter when she turned 21, welcomed her to her adult life.

    Now, all these years later, she's about to turn 21. And I still have the letter, which has had to be resaved over the years in the latest version of Word. I intend to give her the letter on her birthday.

    I'm just not sure how to do it. I have terrible handwriting, so I have ruled out a hand-written copy. I've been thinking about what to do, and interested to see if any of you has an ideas. I could have it engraved as a plaque (it's about one page long). I could print it on good quality paper with a hand-writing font. I could combine it somehow with a baby picture. I'm just not sure how to proceed, so I though I'd ask all you if you have any ideas. I'm hoping it will be something she'll want to keep the rest of her life.

    Any ideas?
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  2. #2
    Team Poseur Metric Man's Avatar
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    Hand written is the only way to go DG. Terrible hand writting or not, it's from YOU and it needs a personal touch.
    The thoughts and opinions expressed by this poster are his own and should not be misconstrued as gospel. They are and were not meant to inflame, enrage or otherwise tick anyone off, usually. ©
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  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metric Man View Post
    Hand written is the only way to go DG. Terrible hand writting or not, it's from YOU and it needs a personal touch.
    Sorry but have to agree- And My hand writing is probably just as bad as yours.


    Use the excuse that it was written on the day she was born and the Celebratory bottle of Dom Perignon was to blame.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    +1 on handwriting it yourself.

  5. #5
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    + 100000000000000 And if your writing(like mine)is so bad that even you can't read what you wrote two days later then print it by hand!

    P.S. Have a large box of tissues nearby for after the presentation to sop up the excess water.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    This may be over the top, but:

    - Hire a professional calligrapher to write a version on a piece of paper
    - Handwrite the letter yourself on same size of paper

    Put both in a frame, with the calligrapher's on one side, and yours on the other. Put glass on both the front and back.

    That way, when you give it to her, she can read the calligrapher's version. She can then hang it on the wall whichever way she wants.

    I'll bet she hangs it with your version facing out.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Write outside the box. Try to make it legible. Do some cursive exercises first and write one word at a time, forcing yourself to write as if you're in grade school again. The result may not be like your handwriting that you're used to, but much better. Where there's sacrifice, there is also love.

  8. #8
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    It should be hand written. BTW - a beautiful story.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  9. #9
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Contact your local Society for Creative Anachronism group and contact their herald and see if they can find someone who can do calligraphy.

    Ask to see samples before you buy. There are good caligraphers and so-so ones.

    Here is directory to the local groups in Southern California, or the Kingdom of Caid as it is known. It looks like the College of St. Isidore is the one you want.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  10. #10
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    Another vote for handwritten.

    She's lucky to have a dad like you, and you'd better believe she knows it.

  11. #11
    Member toddtone's Avatar
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    If it was me on the receiving end of something as beautiful as a letter from my father writtenon the day of my birth, while I'd really appreciate any version....the one in my dad's own handwriting - readable or not - would touch me the most by leaps and bounds. It doesn't get any more personal - and special - than that.

    Wonderful gift, DG. Your daughter must have a terrific dad.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    How about the original version - MS Word 3.0 on a floppy disk? Nothing beats the original.

    A wonderful thought, no matter that delivery method.

  13. #13
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Last edited by BluesDawg; 08-30-09 at 08:42 AM.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    This may be over the top, but:

    - Hire a professional calligrapher to write a version on a piece of paper
    - Handwrite the letter yourself on same size of paper

    Put both in a frame, with the calligrapher's on one side, and yours on the other. Put glass on both the front and back.

    That way, when you give it to her, she can read the calligrapher's version. She can then hang it on the wall whichever way she wants.

    I'll bet she hangs it with your version facing out.
    I vote with BengeBoy, nice touch. She is going to love it, but keep it personal as others have suggested.
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

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  15. #15
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    I vote for the hand written version as well. I did something similar for my daughters then had a friend pretty them up with a few photos and fancy trim and put it in a frame.

  16. #16
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the responses. It would appear that hand-written is the almost unanimous opinion, and I have to agree with the thinking behind it.

    I did a little google search on "improving penmanship" and such, and found several resources, all of which said pretty much the same thing: Practice, practice, and practice. I think my handwriting deteriorated from a serious lack of use -- I rarely have anything I have to write except my signature. Too much time on the keyboards!

    So, I'm going to simply try practicing my handwriting, slowing down, using a few different pens to find out which one I like best, and seeing if I can write the darn letter by hand. I've got plenty of time to get it right. And it will be fun to find the right stationery to put it on.

    I do believe good penmanship is a lost art in the modern world. Kind of a shame!
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  17. #17
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    So, I'm going to simply try practicing my handwriting, slowing down, using a few different pens to find out which one I like best, and seeing if I can write the darn letter by hand. I've got plenty of time to get it right. And it will be fun to find the right stationery to put it on.
    Go low tech then. Go to the art store and get some india ink and pen nibs (Crow quill, calligraphiy etc. )like artists use. This will slow down your writing, and give you far more control and expressiveness. With a little practice, you could have quite a beautiful document. Hint, write it on the paper lightly with a pencil before hand so you can plan for how much room is needed.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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