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The Pen Pal Project: Letter 2

November 23rd, 1941

Dear Molly,

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends this holiday. Things sure were busy at the Mitchell house this year- between helping Mom prepare for the big feast and cleaning up afterwards, I’ve hardly had time to write! But now that the festivities are over, I can’t wait to tell you everything that happened… including our special performance!

To show our gratitude and thankfulness this year, my good friends, Lily and Donna, and I decided to surprise our families with a hula performance. Hula has been a traditional island dance for many years; it’s almost like the Hawaiian way of telling a story! Instead of sharing our story with words, we use our hands and feet through dancing. A hula may tell an ancient legend that has been passed down from generation to generation, or it may just be a sweet story of appreciation- like ours!

Since costume is a very important part of hula, most dancers wear flowing grass skirts and a colorful tops, along with a flower lei. My hula skirt was made by my grandmother and hula instructor, Tutu, but Lily and Donna did not have skirts of their own. Tutu solved the problem by showing us how to make grass skirts ourselves! It was a fun project, and the skirts turned out to be nani, beautiful. If you ever visit Hawaii, we should do it together sometime, Molly.

Lily, Donna, and I performed by the beach for family and friends. In our hula, we told about the many things we were thankful for- our parents, school, and even silly Mele! It was our own special way of showing we were thankful.

Before this letter comes to an end, there’s one more thing I am grateful for this Thanksgiving- my pen pal and friend, Molly McIntire.

With love from Hawaii,


November 26th, 1941

Dear Nanea,

Golly, what a day! Your hula performance sounds very impressive; I wish I could have been there to see it. I bet it was swell!

Thanksgiving day here in Illinois was busy as well. I spent most of the day helping Mom and Jill in the kitchen. There’s a special McIntire holiday tradition that we prepare for each year, and this time around, Mom agreed to let me be in charge. Boy, was I excited! Each Thanksgiving, we always pull out my Grandma’s delicate punch bowl and cup set. It’s been passed down through the McIntire family for generation- kind of like Hawaiian hula. Once the bowl and cups have been washed until they're sparkling clean, we make Gram’s cherry punch using the secret recipe she sent us. Mmmm… My mouth waters just thinking about it! Nothing can beat Gram’s good ol’ cherry punch!

It sounded pretty easy to make a simple bowl of punch, but the recipe turned out to be more complicated than I thought! Thankfully, my two best friends, Linda and Susan, showed up just in time to help. Well, I’m not exactly sure how much they helped... Linda kept “taste-testing” the punch more often than needed, but many hands make light work, right? And a job like this can actually be fun, especially when you have your friends by your side.

So, this Thanksgiving, I’d have to say I am thankful for one very special thing- the gift of friendship. And most importantly, the friend I’ve found in you. Happy thanksgiving, Nanea!

Your Pen Pal,


. . .

Stay tuned for the next edition of The Pen Pal Project!

Coming Soon!

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