Sunday, December 06, 2009

Skip ahead a quarter century

Skipping ahead from yesterday's post that is - - - Today the letters that I write are few and far between.  There are the usual thank you notes, quick greetings in birthday cards and holiday cards, and notes tucked into packages that I mail. 

Now for the most part, my stationary gathers dust.  I used to buy beautiful stationary and kept it guarded from kids and the husband who seemed to be clueless about where to find scrap paper.  Nothing fried me like seeing a phone number scrawled across stationary meant for letter writing.  But over the years, I started doing the same thing.  I'll bet I sent the prettiest school absence excuses in the history of Uniontown High School.

Now almost all of my written correspondence is done by email or blogging.  Or blog commenting. At first it felt like letter writing's poor cousin, but I'll tell has grown on me.  I'm about as happy when my Inbox has "genuine" email in it as when my mailbox had a letter. (By genuine I mean non-subscribed to, as in not newsletters and ads.  Real email generated by real people that I know.)  I've made some very cool friends as a result of blogging and email, too and I think that they are just as important to me as my pen pal friends are.  In some ways I feel as if I know these ladies better than my pen pals of years ago, because we are able to pack so much into a blog post.   

I know I'm probably preaching to the choir here, because most of you who read blogs have probably embraced this kind of communication already and are comfortable with it and satisfied with it.  Still, there are people who will tell us that our correspondence isn't as satisfying as an honest to goodness paper and pen letter.  It certainly isn't as lasting.  (And given some of the blather that I write, that may not be a bad thing). 

For instance, go on over to this post of Barb's and scroll down and read the sweet letter that her mother gave her.  (Admire the stitching as you scroll down too.  It's lovely.)  Imagine if Barb's grandmother had emailed that letter!  It'd be long gone...We don't wrap a ribbon around our emails and keep them safe.  What a treasure to have a letter like that!

So - where does that leave us?  For me, I think it means that although I won't go back to writing long letters, I want to make an effort to send more birthday cards and other occasional greetings in the mail, and to make sure that I add a note that's more heartfelt and meaningful than my usual "Have a great day!"  Because now that letters are so rare, they really do take on a special significance.  And who knows what will end up tied neatly in a ribbon and packed away with other treasures? 

Hey! This sounds a little like a New Years Resolution!  And so although I haven't done one minute of shopping or baking and I'm way behind on the decorating, I can say that I'm actually ahead of the game for this one aspect of the holiday season.  Go Me!

I have a couple nice pictures for tomorrow.  He's only the sweetest Santa evah.  Little preview below.


  1. It is nice to have actual letters. When my MIL passed away she had kept all the letters from her DH when he was courting her and when he went to war. They are just priceless.

  2. I remember a time when I used to write six or seven letters a week. Carefully choosing the paper. Nowadays, I hastily type messages. Christmas cards have gone out of my life - I used to make garlands with the ones I received. Funnily though, I have more correspondents.
    The times,they are a-changing...

  3. That's exactly how I feel about it, too. Nowadays I tend to write emails instead of letters on my nice stationary - and I have so much pretty stationary and notecards. But I feel that I am too lazy to sit down and handwrite a letter because it's so much faster to write an email. But I'm about to change this a bit and at least write some some shorter letters to my friends using my note cards. I'll see if this will really happen ...

  4. I have a stitching friend with whom I share occasional cards and letters. She really has the most wonderful knack for knowing exactly the right thing to say; she sent the most thoughtful card after Phoebe died. It's hard to make myself sit down and write her even a little note, though. Even when I know that she would be delighted to receive it. Isn't that sad? And I, too, still have a lovely collection of stationery. I think we should both try making a commitment to send semi-regular communications. I'm sure my grandmother(s) would love to hear from me!