FROM POLITICAL PRISONER MONIKA SCHAEFER TO SINGER & ENTERTAINER BARBARA ANN NOWAK
(FROM MONIKA SCHAEFER TO BARBARA ANN NOWAK) July 1, 2018
Dear Barbara, thank you, dear sister, for your long and wonderful letter and envelope with Elvis stamps in a heart. I notice details. Well that one would be pretty hard to miss — haha – unless I was a dullard. And if I was a dullard, I guess I wouldn’t be in prison for speaking words.
I must tell you, so you don’t think I’m a slacker, that your letter took exactly 8 weeks and a day to reach me from when it was postmarked! I used to say that the average time for mail one way in and out of prison was about a month but now I would put the average at 6 weeks. Pretty bad eh? It leads to slow conversations. Maybe that’s the equivalent of the slow food movement and I like the slow food movement so maybe the slow conversations are a good thing? Having just reread your letter before responding I’m kind of in free flow here, inspired by you.
Me too, I am totally into organic real food and have always grown veggies wherever I could. I grew up in a family of seven, five children, in a big city, but we were like Urban Farmers. Huge vegetable garden, fruit bushes, some small apple and cherry trees in the yard. The family would go berry picking in the river valley, we could walk there right from our home and pick saskatoon’s, chokecherries, rose hips and I can’t remember what else. We live really near the Storyland Valley Zoo. You should ask Alfred to tell you the story of how he used to talk with the seals. It was funny. Speaking of funny, you can probably imagine this without me telling you, Alfred had us in stitches a lot when we were growing up. (In case that is just a local expression, “in stitches,” that means we laughed a lot. Very fun and funny.
I love the image of you and Dolly singing to the dudes (?). That is just Priceless. Speaking of images, although that was a mental image, yes you can send me a few pictures but not too many. There is a limit of 20 pictures in the cell and I have my limit but when people send me a few more, then I can trade them out and send the excess into storage. So if you sent three or four pictures in a letter nobody gets in a sweat. I wonder what the storage looks like. Stuff keeps getting sent there, that people try to send me and I cannot have. I will need a few wheel barrels or a pickup truck when I leave here. People send stuff and I can’t have it, how sad. It’s pretty strict around here. Oh and you mentioned internet, definitely not! I wonder if people are trying to send me emails. Oh dear, I dread trying to wade through thousands of emails when I get out. I will probably just have to delete all and start over as it will be too overwhelming.
Very interesting that you got persecuted by the doctors for breastfeeding. When I had my daughter, breastfeeding was encouraged but the actual support to do so was not that great. I became a La Leche League leader and did that for a number of years in my town. I learned a lot about the industry of baby food, formula, etc. Boycott of Nestle ever since.
The hot water just got delivered through the little hatch in the door. I feel so special here, getting room service like that! Now I am going to enjoy my cup of coffee, knit and listen to music on the radio for a bit. That is my early morning routine I’ll be back.
An hour later… I love that part of the day. Come to think of it, there are many parts of the day that I really enjoy. So you see, they are not getting me down. I am sure that you would be the same. You wouldn’t waste very many minutes or seconds on self-pity and you would get right to work on becoming creative and using the time well.
On the subject of being well, I want to add that I certainly couldn’t do it alone! Just like you said about the karaoke coming from God, I too feel I am being guided and helped by spirit and that includes all the loving energy thoughts and prayers coming from many many people including yourself. Thank you also for the Bible verses, and the Elvis lyrics. We used to sing the German folk song Muss I Denn, around the campfire when my dad’s best friend came over from Germany and visited us one summer with his wife and two of his many children, they did that twice with different children the second time. He belted out those folk songs and we sang along and just loved it.
Well, my dear, it has been lovely spending part of my morning with you. Let’s do it again sometime, yes? I’ll put the kettle on… We are the birds flying free in this picture.