The Little Things

Last week was a truly brutal one—one that perfectly illustrated the saying, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” On Monday, the college was forced into a “shelter-in-place” situation from mid-morning until evening because of a phoned-in bomb/active shooter threat. Ultimately the threats proved to be a hoax, but the day was surreal and stressful, and the aftermath promises to hang on for a long time.

Scoutie and Zoe

Along with that awful work situation, we lost two of our beloved pets in the same week. Scout, our 16 year old Silky Terrier, had to be rushed to the vet on that same Monday, and was found to have a large mouth cancer that we never knew was there. Left with no other choice, we said good-bye to our Scoutie, my first dog.

Our 15 year old cat, Zoe, has been failing for the past month, and we finally made the hard decision to let her go on Saturday morning. Zoe was never a brainy cat, but she was a sweetie, a purring machine right until the end. God, this stuff hurts.

I was so wishing that I was at the Atlanta Pen Show, but as things played out, it’s clear that I was where I was supposed to be.

Cult Pens Mini Pen

In the midst of all of this stress and heartache, there was a bright pen-related spot. About three weeks ago, I purchased a gently used Cult Pens Mini Pen and five nibs (by Kaweco) from SBREBrown. The tracking info got messed up by a careless postal worker so I couldn’t track its progress from the Netherlands to the US. But having ordered from Fontoplumo recently, I knew that pens take about three weeks to arrive, which is exactly how it went.

Cult Pens Mini Pen

The pen and array of nibs arrived last week and have served as a nice distraction from the week’s events. Whether I’m doodling or writing a letter with the petite thing, it’s taken my mind off of our absent pets.

Cult Pens Mini Pen

We all know that Stephen has large hands, so it’s no surprise that this pen doesn’t really work for him. It is TINY—just 4.2″/105 mm capped, 4.9″/123 mm when posted. Unposted, it’s a mere 3.7″/93 mm, which means it really HAS TO be be posted to be usable. I’d watched Stephen’s video review so I knew exactly what I was buying. It’s a fun little pocketable pen that works fine for me. It’s truly darling.

BB nib

The pen arrived with the BB nib installed, so that’s what I’ve been using and it’s pure joy—juicy and smooth, and a nice diversion for someone who used to be all about EF and F nibs. It really is fun to branch out of a fine or medium rut. What really sold me on the pen was that Stephen included all of the available nibs—EF, F, M, B, and BB—with the pen. So this is a pen for all of my moods, which can swing to extremes—nibwise and otherwise.

Goodies from SBRE Brown

Along with the pen and the nibs, Stephen tucked a handwritten note and a couple of Fountain Pen Day bookmarks into the package. He also enclosed a packet of his favorite tea for “the full SBREBrown experience.” THAT made me smile in a week where smiles were sorely lacking.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that matter, the little things that make all the difference.


32 thoughts on “The Little Things

    • Happily, we still have three dogs and one cat to keep us entertained. 13 year old Boo, now our oldest pup, is frail but keeps plugging along. The other guys are youngsters, thankfully!

  1. Mary, I’m so sorry to hear about Scout and Zoe. Sending your whole family my love. I’m glad you received such a sweet package from Stephen this week, just when you needed a smile the most. Sending love from Los Angeles.

    • It’s so interesting how the timing of the mail gave me Stephen’s pen and goodies exactly when I needed a lift. The universe is cool!

  2. What a perfect post. Loved how you compared and contrasted the “real” world with the pen world, and how our hobby can help us deal with the unpleasantness in our lives. And my condolences on the loss of your pets.

  3. So sorry to hear about your rough week. I had one of those too, albeit perhaps not as emotionally draining as yours. I hope things are getting better for you. Two pens in one week is more than I could bear. Virtual hugs!

  4. So sorry to hear about Scout and Zoe. It’s never easy loosing a pet. Cherish the good memories.

    I heard about the lock down. Scary. I rode my bike there Sunday & Tuesday, was wondering if I’d run into anything different (security, etc) on Tuesday.

    • Thanks, Phil. Such an odd day and so unexpected at bucolic little Hamilton. Goes to show you that no one is immune from this type of stuff. Humans are so unpredictable!

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  6. Thank you for this post. I looked up at my cats (Luke and Leia) immediately, and just know I will have a similar experience some day. I did go to the Atlanta Pen Show, my first, and encountered a fun, welcoming, incredibly knowledgable and passionate group. I am so glad that your tragedies were balanced by the people who make up the hobby we so enjoy.

    • That’s great that you were able to attend the Atlanta Pen Show! I’m pondering it for next year. Sounded like a blast! The community just can’t be beat.

  7. Mary–Your post reminds us to not take our pets for granted; their little lives are so short. You have my sincere condolences. I hope your heart will heal and you find yourself able to take in a shelter pet or two who needs your love. Sounds like you have a lot.

    • We still have a pretty full stable of pets—three more Silky Terriers (Boo, Charlie, and Flapjack) and one more kitty (Smokey Lonesome). Though we miss Scoutie and Zoe like crazy, the younger guys keep us company and entertained. Their love is, ultimately, worth the pain.

  8. Yes Mary tough week and my heart goes out to you. Here is hoping this week is filled with more joy than sorrow.

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