During the holidays I received a card from a friend. For some reason, the card hung around my desk and I couldn’t bring myself to toss it. For some reason I kept thinking about her and finally, faced with cleaning the desk (which meant tossing the card) and doing something else (like clean my desk), I grabbed a note card and wrote her a quick letter. I just jotted down a few things . . . Thinking of you . . . hoping all is well in your new home . . . will we catch up in SF? Sure I could have sent her an email, but for some reason my heart was telling me to take the time to write a personal note. So I did and popped it into the mail. And like most things in my cluttered, overdrawn head, I promptly forgot about it.
Until last week. When I went to get my mail from my PO Box, I pulled out an envelope. And when I saw the return address, I smiled. She’d written me back. I promptly walked over to Starbucks, ordered my coffee and opened my letter. I felt like I could hear her voice. She wrote a long letter back, for there was much to tell, not all of it good news, but I understood then why I had been thinking of her, and knew that I had done the right thing to send her a note.
The funny part was, as I was just settling in to read my letter, the lady at the next table leans over and asks, “Is that a real letter?” I nodded, and she just shook her head. “I didn’t know anyone wrote letters any more.”
Well, yes, yes they do. And now I ask you–who have you been thinking about lately? An old friend? A long distance friend? A cousin you haven’t talked to in years? Someone you know who is having a difficult period and could use a little nudge of kindness? You know exactly who I mean–so now take the next step.
Find that leftover box of notecards you haven’t used in years, a pen, and write them a letter. Heck, type them out a couple of pages. Clip a cartoon from the paper that you think would make them smile. Print out a picture of the kids and slip it inside. Share a memory of them that you hold dear. And then send it. In a few days, your message will touch someone’s heart.
BTW, postage is .41 cents, just in case you are like me and still have a bunch of .37 cent stamps in the drawer.
And Happy Birthday, Kelly Green, my dear childhood friend. I always smile on February 4th when I remember all those years we shared together. I just wish I had your address . . .
That was a great post, Elizabeth, and so spot on! The art of letter writing is indeed a dying trait. Sigh. You know it’s bad when you get just as excited to receive an email from someone that’s longer than one paragraph. But, you’ve inspired me to get out my pen and stationery and get a long overdue letter in the mail and on its way to Denmark, where there is a woman in her 80s who opened her home to me during my trip to Europe 18 years ago and with whom I’ve been exchanging 1-2 notes a year with. Well, mine are typically notes, while her correspondance is always a great letter. I definitely owe her a much desereved letter by now. Thanks for the reminder.
Beautiful post Elizabeth!
I write my mom 2-4 times a year. She has a pc and knows how to check email and I call her often, but I like to send her a note every now and then.
I love note-writing. I have had a pen pal in Germany whom I have met only twice in the last 27 years, and yet, we write regularly on postcards. I have saved every one of those letters and postcards. They are my treasure of memories.
Glad to know I am not the only one left writing. I just really love letters, always have. My mother corresponded with a lady in India when I was a child and we would all sit around and listen to her letters when they came–they were like magic. It is sort of sad that we’ve been reduced to email and text messaging. Though I have to admit, through email I’ve met so many people–that I would never have met before–so it is a double-edged sort of thing.
Still, what about the rest of you? Who are you writing this week?
Beautiful post – gosh I did this over Christmas – I decided while I was on vacation in Monte Carlo to get postcards and jot a few lines and mail them all my friends – it cost me 85c (euro’s) for each one but it was worth it i the end! Have to say I did shock some of them when I asked for there Postal address on my text message but they all did like the wonderful surprise of getting a postcard, which they were so excited to share with me when I got back by saying they have stuck it on the fridge and always smile when they see it there. Guess it does make a difference when we take time to jot a few simple lines to say “hello”
Oh, Rita, I love getting postcards! My grandmother traveled extensively when I was a child and would send postcards from all over the world. I still have many of them–they are probably collector’s items now. I remember when I went to Great Britain for 5 weeks in my early twenties, I sent tons of postcards home to my grandmother who was then bedridden, and she talked of nothing else for months than those postcards. My mom does the same now when she travels–sends the boys a postcard, and they love getting mail. It really is more fun than an email.
You’ve got me thinking, Elizabeth. There’s a good handful of people I should write a letter to, and yet it’s your last paragraph that really clutches at me. I have an old friend I lost touch with and would love to have her address to write, but I don’t. Like you, every year on her birthday I think of her and smile.
I do write letters sometimes but send more postcards. I’m a fan of postcrossing and through them I’ve got many friends. You never know when the cards arrive from which part of the word it’s been sent…I’ve got cards from countries I didn’t know existed!
How interesting! These past few months I’ve been trying to send more note cards, be promt about getting birthday cards in the mail. Now I’ll have to think about this ‘letter’ stuff. No one specifically comes to mind at the moment but I know one or two probably will soon.
Oh, just thought of one.
This week, I’m hand-writing to two of my aunts, my dad’s relatives. One’s a widow and two of them are single. I’ve always written to them and treasured their replies. I print out and save my letter to them, too, so the entire correspondence is in beautiful boxes.
Anyone interested in publishing my letter?
(Hope you got the Xmas card.)