Well, just 28 days to go. For those of you who are quick with figures, you're probably wondering why I'm planning on doing 367 New Things. I'm not being an overachiever--it's just that somewhere in the list I managed to screw up the numbers. Since I started on December 29th of last year, December 28 will complete my year of new things.
Fear not, I already have a new blog project planned for next year which I will reveal when the time comes.
In the meantime, I went letterboxing, which is kind of a lower-tech version of Geocaching. Participants hide boxes in parks and forests, each containing a journal and a signature rubber stamp. Following clues left on Your Friend and Mine the Interweb, one goes hunting for the boxes, stamping the result in your own journal and leaving your signature stamp in the box.
The practice began in 1858 in Dartmoor, England, where it remained a local tradition until Smithsonian magazine did an article about it ten years ago, sparking an international trend for rubber-stamp enthusiasts, a group of hobbyists I didn't know existed until 11 am this morning.
"It keeps us from getting OBD--Oregon Butt Disease," said Kuku, my enthusiastic guide.
"And gets rubber stampers out of the house," added Oregonian columnist Margie Boule', who came along because I didn't want to meet a stranger alone in a park. And in case Kuku lived up to her name.
Turns out I needn't have worried. It's hard to be intimidated by someone wearing a button reading "I heart handbells."
There are over 500 of these boxes hidden around Portland. The treasure hunt element is giddy fun and I appreciated getting the inside track, like how boxers wipe the excess ink from the pads on their socks because they're easier to clean and call non-boxers "noxers."
"Finding a letterbox is always a thrill," Kuku told us. "It's always new."
I understand the impulse.
Here's Margie with one of our finds: