Friday, February 25, 2011

Letter Writing

I have been cleaning out the attic and the closets and drawers recently, and have come upon many, many letters written to me by my wonderful friend, Marianne.  I met her when I was seventeen, and we have kept up for all these years, (admittedly more and more intermittently,) through our school years, our weddings, our new babies, and our children's growing and growing-up years.  When we first became friends, we had to maintain contact through writing letters.  Except for the rare quick phone call overseas, it was the only way to stay in touch.  Now we have the internet, and I tend to fire off letters to her by email, because it is quick and easy and that seems to be the only way to make time for letter-writing in my life right now.  I love email, but it doesn't compare to a real letter, like the kind she sends.  She is a beautiful writer, with beautiful hand-writing.  She sits down at a desk and takes her time, and I can feel the thought and time and love which go into her letters.

My heart leaps whenever I see a personal letter in my little brass mailbox.  I toss aside all the bills and circulars looking for this "good" mail, the only kind I really want to see.  Then I slide my finger under the gummed flap, and pull out the letter with a little crackle.  I unfold it, and I settle down someplace comfortable to read through those loops and dots and flourishes which say so much about her.  She makes time for me and for maintaining our friendship, and that's what a handwritten letter is all about.

My daughter, who is from the email generation, also has some friends she exchanges hand-written letters with.  She even spends time making special postcards using watercolor and collage.  Do you have a correspondence like this with anyone?  When was the last time you took the time to write a real letter?

Maureen at Twig and Toadstool is pairing children of her readers with penpals right now.  If you want to participate, visit her at or click on the title of this post.  Yesterday she posted about making her daughter a special letter writing kit!  Go see!


TwigandToadstool said...

It has been amazing to see the enthusiasm of my own daughter with her newfound love of letter writing, (reminds me of ME when I was little and had penpals from around the world)! What a gift to pass onto our kids! Thanks for the link, and for spreading the letter writing love!
xo maureen

Nicole Vangen said...

Oh how you inspire me Beth. I started my first letter in a long time last week. It felt sooo good. I had also found some old letters and that was so good too.

Tomorrow I am using the color green.
Stop by.

Love & light,

Grace said...

Wonderful post Beth. I have been saving letters and especially cherish the ones from my best friend in Sweden - the stamps are so cool.

Grace said...

Wonderful post Beth. I have been saving letters and especially cherish the ones from my best friend in Sweden - the stamps are so cool.

Beth said...

Dear Grace, I know my friend picks out special stamps at the post office when she mails me a letter! I love them. My daughter has been using the stamps to make collages. love, Beth