I received an honest to goodness old fashioned letter today; THREE pages long!
Needless to say, seeing that handwritten envelope lying among the junk mail and the bills made me smile. Oh sure, there were a few Christmas cards thrown in the mix, but in addition to the cheer that those cards bring; they also have the air of "just another Christmas chore to complete" about them - but that letter stood out, a true beacon of "I'm thinking of you and taking the time to let you know."
Now granted, the letter itself contained some distressing and sad news, as the sender informed me that she is having a difficult time of late - but it still cheered me in a small way. Mainly, because I don't receive letters very often these days.
In the letter, the sender reminded me that when I was young we used to exchange letters on a very regular basis. She is trying very hard to instill this in her young grandchild - but it hasn't taken. I think, mainly, because her grandchild is so young.
But that line in her letter brought back so many vivid memories. I LOVED receiving mail when I was small. I would write to everyone I could think of - and my mother indulged me by sending them every single time (I had forgotten this and am glad to have that memory of her). And while some would write back occasionally, she ALWAYS wrote back. Every single time.
I think because of her, that is where I developed my obsession with stationery. I love to have beautiful stationery - even though I don't write so many letters these days, what with email and all (which is a wonderful thing, don't get me wrong. But a letter? Oh, that is SO much better).
But I have a feeling that she and I are about to re-kindle our letter writing. It really is becoming a lost art; along with cursive writing; both of which should definitely be preserved (not to mention, saving the postal service, which is in dire straits).
And you know, there is nothing like the feeling of seeing that handwritten letter piled amongst all the other detritus the post office delivers. The anticipation of what is inside. It's a delicious feeling, actually. One in which you want to cut your husband's rant short and sneak off to a private place to read, and savor, it. (Which is actually what I did as quickly as I could without being totally rude)
So what about you - when was the last time you sent, or received, an actual letter? Do you miss them as much as I do?
And that letter? Sad news and all, it is going into the keepsake box, as a testament to simpler times.