Thursday, February 2, 2012

A hand-written letter challenge.... will you join me?

I saw this on the Crane Stationery Co. Facebook page and I'm going to try it.

I used to write lots of letters.  I've always written letters.  I loved to write so much when I was in my youth, in fact, that I've written letters to friends who lived just a mile away from me!  When I was 14, my mom worked for the Post Office.  A co-worker, who she was friends with, was sorting mail one day, when she saw a letter that was addressed to: 
                                A girl, 12 years old
                              Santa Cruz, California

This woman knew that I loved to write, so she grabbed it up and gave it to my mom, to pass on to me.  How cool was that??  (I wonder if you could still do that.... if it would make it through the Postal Service??)  I was actually 14 at the time, but I wrote back and told her that.  She was fine with that and we are still friends all these years later!  Let's see... you don't know how old I am, so you don't know how many years ago that was!  35 years ago!!  And, this pen-pal-wanna-be lived in Sweden!  So, that was even *more* cool!  I've had the good fortune to actually meet her, face-to-face; but it was when my twins were about a year old and my oldest was 3.5 years.  We did make it over to the beach and to a holiday festival up in Portland, but I felt badly that we couldn't show her more of this beautiful state!  We were actually also just recovering from a serious flu, which her boyfriend ended up getting.  :(  So sorry, Magnus!!
But, I digress.  Back to letter-writing.  I fear that it's becoming a lost art.  It's such a treasure to find old letters, read them and be taken back to a different time.  To be reminded of days gone by.  Not to mention to have that "documentation", for lack of a better word, of those friendships and connections.  Of your history.... what were your interests in those days?  What did you daily life consist of?  We get more of that in real, handwritten letters.  It doesn't happen so much with emails and online forums.  As the instigator of this challenge, Mary Robinette Kowal writes:

"When I write back, I find that I slow down and write differently than I do with an email. Email is all about the now. Letters are different, because whatever I write needs to be something that will be relevant a week later to the person to whom I am writing. In some ways it forces me to think about time more because postal mail is slower. 'By the time you get this…' It is relaxing. It is intimate. It is both lasting and ephemeral."

That is so true.  I hope you'll join me in this effort.  Think of how fun it is to get mail, too!  There's so much non-personal mail these days... magazines, catalogs, junk-mail, bills.... how many personal letters do you get?  Wouldn't you love to put a smile on someone's face by sending them a hand-written letter?  It could even just be a postcard, from your town, to say hello. 

If you collect stamps, then there's an added bonus!  When you receive a letter, you also receive a postage stamp!  More ephemera....something else to give you a glimpse into the past.  (The one thing I don't like about the US "Forever" stamps...they don't tell you the price!)

OK... yes, I could go on and on about the benefits of letter-writing, but I really should get off of here and, well, go write a letter!

Happy Writing!!

      ~  Teri

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