You never really know in this job how you are going to connect with readers.
Yesterday, in my weekly Letter From the Editor print column,
I wrote about a recent visit to the Flight 93 Memorial outside Shanksville.
I wrote specifically about the sky, how it seemed different in this vast expanse of open space, how it seemed so much closer, almost constricting.
That did not surprise one reader and she should know.
She grew up in that area.
And she wanted me to know that I was exactly right about the sky.
She related a story about how her parents grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania and that even after they moved away as he father looked for work, they would return for a week each summer to visit relatives.
She talked about those visits warmly, clearly relishing a trip down memory lane.
You could almost hear the joy in her writing as she described sitting on the porch of a house, sandwiched between her mom and her aunt, staring up at the wondrous sky. She would be cloaked in a blanket, because even on the most scorching summer days, it always cooled off at night.
Then she talked about the real reason she emailed me, the same thing that I came away with after my visit.
"We felt like we could reach the sky, along with the millions of stars we would see so close and bright," she said "We would stretch our arms thinking we could touch the moon to give it a hug. Every sense I have, but especially a smell, could bring back memories flooding my mind and heart, of my Aunt Mary and all our family. Her house had a smell I still long for and when I smell it, I wish I could bottle it.
"Anyway, you are correct! That sky in Western Pennsylvania, seems like you can touch it. As a kid, I thought I did many times."
I'm not sure I've ever received a nicer compliment.