When did you last receive a letter? A real, handwritten letter delivered by the postman?
Last month, I received a letter from a friend who lives near Waco, Texas. Years ago when I was a Baylor college student, we worked together at a law firm in town. My job was part-time—a few afternoons each week and every Saturday morning. I typed legal documents, filed papers with the County Clerk, that sort of thing. Edith, my co-worker, was older, wiser, a full-time employee. She became my mother away from home and we became friends, exchanging Christmas cards even now. But, we haven’t seen each other in over twenty years.
Last month, I received a real, honest to goodness letter from Edith. And it wasn’t one of those Christmas newsletters. It was a letter about her family and an update on the attorneys we worked with.
I loved it.
Once upon a time, I wrote lots of letters. Letter writing was something people did. Routinely.
Back in the 1970s, my Australian pen-pal and I wrote to one another for years. It was called airmail. A cool thing when the world felt gigantic and I lived in the middle of a cotton field.
Even during summer cheerleading camp (which only lasted one week), my friends and I packed notebook paper and envelopes and stamps so we could mail letters home. We usually made it back to Mississippi County before the exciting news of our spirit stick win. We’ve got spirit, yes we do…
Momma and Nana wrote letters to me at college. I wrote back each week. Long-distance telephone calls were expensive, and those meaningful letters from home often kept me going.
Today, I have a box in my closet filled with priceless handwritten letters, letters spanning my lifetime so far—from my fourth grade classmates who wrote to me when I was in the hospital to letters my own children sent home when they were away at summer camp.
My how things have changed.
And what about love letters? I love you, do you love me? Text 1 for yes and 2 for no? Not quite the same, is it?
Since 2015 is my year to focus on writing, I’ve decided to add letter-writing to my repertoire. One letter a week. To someone. A friend. A family member. A shut-in. Anyone who might want to receive something other than bills and junk mail. A regular, handwritten letter.
I may even try my hand at those wax seals folks used back before envelops self-sealed.
I’m starting today with a hand-written letter to my Waco friend, Edith. Since I’m getting a late start (2nd week of January and all), I’ll send out another letter before the end of the week. Then one a week (that’s my goal) for 2015.
52 letters this year.
What do you think? Want to join me in my letter writing quest?
If you know someone who would like to receive old-fashioned mail, send me their name and address, and I’ll add them to my list.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Please Mr. Postman – The Marvelettes