"Dear Auntie Cat,
I got your letter and package today! I will only say 'Awwwww thank you so much' once here because I want to send you a proper thank you card with a picture and all, which will actually be classier. So awwww, thank you so much! (okay, I said it twice.)
It sounds like you had a blast of a time. It reminds me of all my various adventures with canoes in Minnesota . . . I've paddled those suckers in all kinds of weather, including major swells and strong headwinds, and I've flipped them (never when loaded with gear, thank goodness) and I've gotten out and towed them and I've waterskiied behind them (well, it didn't really work, but I tried). I think you do learn a lot about the world and about God on the water. For instance, that whole every-action-has-a-consequence thing. And the eternal law that even if you're the best canoer in the world, sometimes you just get wet. It isn't a punishment; it's just life, and it dries.
I also thought about nights in my little flimsy wooden cabins with a heckuva midwestern midsummer storm raging outside, literally shaking the building, and me lying in the dark silently praying, "Dear Father in Heaven, if tonight's the time for me to go, I'm okay with that, I'm pretty much ready . . . but please, Father, I've got six little girls here who are my responsibility. And I can't keep them safe against something like this, but I know you can. So please watch over my girls tonight. Please keep them safe." Lots of times in life, you've got to work your butt off for things. But lots of other times, all you do is wait and pray.
So that's my philisophical rambling for today. Gotta go write the newsletter. I love you!