New and Noteworthy

Not my handiwork. I would never waste time feeding my family lettuce.

As a house husband, I am responsible for pretty much all of the daily domestic chores. One of those chores is Lunch Making. Each evening, I spread the peanut butter or slather the mayonnaise, wash the apples, and parcel out the Halloween candy into my wife’s and son’s respective lunchboxes.

Packing my son’s lunch is fairly straightforward: Just Lunch and Nothing Else. He’s too obsessed with building and maintaining his social circle to tolerate anything that may cause embarrassment, so I do my best to curb my whimsical instincts.

Ellen, on the other hand, gets a little something extra: a Lunch Note. These notes are nothing special, just a line I blearily compose before my first sip of coffee. When she opens her bag, she might find something like:

This sandwich was made with LOVE!


You’re all that and a bag of chips!


Stay cool, hot stuff!

Not my best work, but Ellen seems to enjoy it.

My point is, these notes never communicate any information that can’t be written on an average sized Post-It note—and that’s usually what I use. The other morning, however, I found myself fresh out of Post-Its, so I dug into the living room desk drawers to see what I could find.

I found no Post-Its. No scrap paper. No cheap notepads from various charities trying to guilt me into making a donation. I did, however, find some pretty nice note cards. Really nice. In fact, they were too nice to warrant my typical brand of tossed-off correspondence.

So I composed something more.

My Dearest Ellen, 

Oh, how I long for your warm embrace. 

I do so miss the simple pleasures of our days together. Your peach cobbler. Long talks by the glowing hearth. Bouncing our dear son on my knee. I can only imagine how he must have grown in the many months since I’ve been gone. 

I sometimes fear this war will never end. Every day we march further south. Talk amongst the men say that we’ll face the Rebs tomorrow at dawn. Sometimes I think I can hear them just beyond the next hill. I hope not, for I am sick of fighting and wish to wage war on nothing more than the crabgrass invading our lawn.

Pray for my swift return, my sweet. Stay strong. Kiss little Alex for me. Take solace in knowing that no matter what may happen to me, we will reunite in this life or the next.

Your beloved,


It seemed appropriate.

To give the lunch note just the right hint of pathos, I later texted Ellen some suitable background music.

Go ahead. Give it a try. Read my note aloud while the music plays.

Ain’t it great? It’s powerful, emotional stuff! You could play that music while reading a birthday card or a grocery list or a fart joke and it’ll make you bust our crying!

Anyway, long story short, Ellen thinks I’m nuts now.

72 Replies to “New and Noteworthy”

      1. Then again, it’s a nice kind of nuts, not like you are yodeling in the backyard kind of nuts. You aren’t doing that anymore, are you?

  1. New and Noteworthy On Wednesday, November 10, 2021, Hey, Look! A Writer Fellow! wrote:

    > heylookawriterfellow posted: ” Not my handiwork. I would never waste time > feeding my family lettuce. As a house husband, I am responsible for pretty > much all of the daily domestic chores. One of those chores is Lunch Making. > Each evening, I spread the peanut butter or slather the ” >

  2. I love the idea of the long letter, especially since it’s close to Veterans Day. Yeah, okay, that’s a little on the heavy side. And, yes, you are nuts, but how else would you be able to write your wonderful books?

  3. Your choice of notes seems appropriate for me to read today 11/11 (Remembrance Day here in Canada). Whether intentional or not, your sweet note brings to life the young men who served in all the wars and how much they sacrificed for us. The music is perfection to accompany the note. The whimsical beginning of the post only sets off how much they contributed so that we could enjoy our lives. Like I said, whether it was intentional or not, you have given me something else to think about when I bow my head at 11/11/11.

    1. 11/11 is Veterans Day in the U.S., but I must admit, this post is a coincidence. The note (and the accompanying music) is a homage to the film style of the 1980-something Ken Burns documentary, The Civil War.

      That said, my timing was pretty good.

      Best wishes to you–and to all of those you know who served, my friend.

  4. At first I thought you were serious, and I’m thinking eww Mikey, don’t do the nauseating notes to your wife, thing. And then when I saw where you were going with this, I laughed.
    YES! Humor!
    Also I used to think like you, lettuce was a waste on a sandwich. However, since I suffer from extremely dry mouth, that lettuce is a life saver for the rest of the sandwich. It’s like a mist hitting you at just the right time. Think grocery store produce. Not the little showers they give you at the zoo, which sound really nice, but in all actuality when it’s upper 90’s and humid, it just makes you soggy and hot. Blecch!
    Thanks Mike for a good laugh!

    1. What, a humor writer can write sweet notes to his dear wife once in a while? Don’t you pigeonhole me, JAS! I have layers!

      And, with all due respect to the hydrating power of lettuce, I’d rather just pack an extra bottle of water.

  5. NOW?? Just NOW she thinks you are nuts?? Hasn’t she known you for more than 5 minutes? I mean, after all you do have a son together! LOL!! She should have known you were nuts LONG before NOW!!!! 😂😂😂😂😂

      1. Are you familiar with the old Ken Burns PBS documentary, The Civil War? That piece of music was often used when the narrator read soldiers’ letters to their families. I am, in effect, spoofing a 35-year-old program. (Dang, I’m old.)

        BTW: The weirder the letter, the funnier the accompanying music becomes. Try reciting the post card in the following post while the music plays:

        Card, Catalogued

        I promise, you’ll laugh your keister off.

  6. I’m listening to the music as I type this. Suddenly my words feel more somber…
    Anyway, Ellen is a lucky woman. You’re hilarious. So is my husband. I told him about a conversation I had with a friend, telling her I didn’t want to live to a ripe old age. She responded, kind of snippily, “Then I hope you die young.” Hubby helpful noted: “It’s too late for that.”

      1. 😊 🎂 writers.

        On Saturday, November 27, 2021, Hey, Look! A Writer Fellow! wrote:

        > writersideup commented: “Hey, Mike! I just realized you mentioned your > birthday. I wonder if we’re birthday mates…mine was the 23rd :D” >

      2. lol…you’re BOTH youngsters! Me?… When I get OLder, losing my hair, manyyy years from now…do do do do do…will you still be sending me a Valentine? Birthday Greetings? Bottle of wine? 😉

  7. Thank goodness Alex and Ellen’s lunches did not get mixed-up that day or your son might never speak to you again…

  8. OK, Mike, you never fail to make me laugh to one degree or another. I barely started reading the note and glanced down to read your closing/signature and started laughing even before I got to the second paragraph! lol And I have to say I enjoy all the comments and replies as I work my way down the page. Just hilarious from everyone lol ❤

    What I want to know is what inspired you to time travel and to the Civil War? Was it the picture on the note card? And I hope you texted her with music BEFORE she opened it. SO clever 🙂 If nothing else, your marriage could NEVER be boring 😀 ❤

    Btw…"nuts" as compared to…? 😉

  9. I disagree with you. I think Ellen knows that you’re only trying to make her day that much more special by receiving creative and actually intense love notes by a wacky but lovable husband. Good job!

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