August 25, 2009

The Need for a New Security Blanket

I know it sounds a little cheeky, and the fact that I work for Social Security, makes the whole definition of security for me take on so many different forms. During an average day at work I probably say the word security at least 500 times, and that is not exaggerating. For a normal, secure person probably no problems, but for me too cathartic.
Whether it is answering the phone or explaining the different “security” programs that are available at the Social Security Administration. I probably utter the word security at least once if not twenty times in every conversation with every individual that I speak with every day. If I don’t utter the actual word it is probably contained in one of the many bureaucratic acronyms like SSI, SSDI, or SSN. So it may get hidden in my office’s coded language, but it is still decipherable the same and it's name is security.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, I actually rather like my job. Some days better than others, but overall I relish in being the old grumpy government employee having to deal daily with the tax paying and non tax paying citizens of my country. But unlike the old guard, i.e. Baby Boom Generation, I am the kinder gentler government employee. I am a Generation X’r that cares, insert huge oxymoron snarky smile :)

However, security or the word security is very difficult. I like most human people have insecurities. For me personally I probably have more insecurities than the normal person. So I'm always on the look out for a distraction to take my mind off myself. So that is why this project I’m contemplating, might do some good for me and distract me for long enough. But to get my mind in order, first, I need more envelopes and then a really good blog, placed in cyberspace securely.

Next time:
The Security Envelope Quilt Project

Security and the Blanket

Much like my 2 year old daughter’s “Blankie“, my security was currently coming surreptitiously in the form of a security envelope.

I fondly remember my own security blanket from my childhood. My mom would bring it out every so often when it got chilly here in Florida.

It was no ordinary store bought blanket it was a handmade quilt. It was called a “Postage Stamp” quilt. It was made for my mother by my Great Great Granny Dick The quilt came to her as she left home for college in Abilene, Texas.

For those not into the traditional quilting arts will see only pieces of fabric sewn together in various shapes to create a blanket. But among many, such as myself, quilts are revered. Quilts gain not only sentimental value but can even gain monetary value over the years.

Quilts have all have different names based on how the blocks are put together. So the “postage Stamp” quilt looks just as it sounds. Small one inch squares of fabrics sewn together. Today, the “Postage Stamp” quilt could be considered an eco-friendly- green quilt. This type of quilt was made of recycled little scraps of fabric. The fabric was either left over from other quilts or home sewn clothes or were just bits and pieces passed from one neighbor to another.

We had several other quilts but this “Postage Stamp” quilt was my favorite. I loved looking at each and every individual square, trying to find other squares that were the same. But Granny Dick was a master quilter and had made many quilts, it was very hard to find the same fabric square anywhere else on the quilt. Yet some how all of the different pieces fit. The overall presentation was not only fine craftsmanship but gave me a sense of beautiful security.

Up Next:
The Need for a New Security Blanket

August 23, 2009

The Prologue

I’m not sure of the exact date, but it started at the end of last year. With all the attention of going green, of recycling, I felt forced to do my part. Actually I was being forced into a different reality, a different fate. So I like to call it my personal paradigm shift to security.

Mind you, I’m not one that conforms to much of anything and certainly I’m far from being conventional. But there are times that I do conform out of necessity for reasons of security.

Conforming like most all American families, I have a mailbox out on the curb in front of our American Dream. Each day, apart from Sunday and federal holidays, the mailbox is filled with junk mail and mostly bills to pay.

I’m the bill payer in my family. So I’m the one that moans and groans for every bill that arrives.

That was until that fateful day.

I began to look really deep into the envelopes. An obsession began. I know only some will truly appreciate my obsession for the weird, and the obscure. But an inexplicable obsession with envelopes, specifically “Security Envelopes” began.

Every day I’d open the bill, throw the bill into a stack and the return security envelope into a stack. Eventually, I’d pay the bill on the Internet then chunk the bill into the recycle can. The stack of bills would go down while the stack of return security envelopes got bigger. Then I began to notice differences in security envelopes.

They were printed in all graphical shapes and colors. The graphics varied. There were circles, crosshatches, checkerboard, squiggly lines, and straight lines. Some were black and white, some were blue and white, and the real gems that made me do a dancey dance were green.

I thought I was going crazy, I was amassing a pile of security. So finally one day I did it, while on my 15 minute lunch break at my job with the Social Security Administration. I googled the words security envelopes and I found some interesting people, who just like me hoarded with love these envelopes.

Some people used the envelopes to make real stuff like art or fun stuff like crafts, and the more studious types were just documenting the different patterns from around the world on a flickr page.

Then it hit me like a mail cart full of security envelopes.

I was not alone.
I was not “The Crazy Potter of Biloxi“ but I could be.

I had stopped to smell the envelope, if you will.
I was someone who took the time to look deep inside. And what I found was serenity, serendipity, and yes even security.

Security and the Blanket