Thursday, January 5, 2012

Real Letters

I have several blog posts in various stages of completion, that will go up over the next week or so. One of them was supposed to have been finished by today.

But you know what? I've decided to shelve the electric writing for a day or two so I can do something really antiquated and out-of-touch.

I need to write some letters. Letters requiring stamps and return addresses. And I am NOT typing these.

January is about the right time of year for this sort of endeavor. Not only is it a cold, cozy, burrow-beneath-your-favorite-blanket kind of month, but it's usually around Christmas that I receive the two or three Real Letters that I still get every year. One of these is the usual "this is what I'm doing" letter from - get this - my first grade teacher. Yes, she prints her letters off on the computer, and puts a hasty signature at the bottom - but that's okay. She's in her seventies and has almost as many irons in the fire as I do. But I always make a point of writing letters back the old fashioned way, even if they are very short. For one thing, she gets to see how vastly my handwriting has improved since first grade. (No - really - you have NO idea what a mammoth undertaking that was.) Also, she can see at a glance that I took the time to do it. And I do it that way because I care.

There is also another letter that I need to write, to a South African gentleman who means a great deal to me. Actually, his whole family means a lot to me. His daughter is one of my best friends, and he and his wife are essentially my second parents. He has a significant birthday coming up in a week or so. That ought to be honored with a real letter, too.

So the savvy writing rhetoric, book reviews, and the rest must wait a little while until I finish my letters.

After all, writing is ultimately about the people on whom you lavish your attention, and doing it "old school" is that compliment at its highest.

Now, to find the fancy note paper....


  1. This is so lovely! Sad to say I've never much done the Real Letter thing outside scrawled notes passed around the classroom... but you make it sound so alluring.

    I've had a few friends move overseas recently, so maybe I'll start a tradition of exchanging Real Letters with them :)

  2. I used to write a lot when I was younger, but it really has just faded was so sad to gradually lose touch with friends just because we were all so busy, but that's what happened. Then I found Facebook and renewed contact with so many friends.
    Social networking has opened up contact again for so many, but I do love writing real letters, don't do it much, but love when I do...and there's nothing better than getting a bona fide handwritten letter through the mail, opening envelopes and actually reading words in ink!!

  3. I love writing letters. I have a friend a few provinces over from me and we always exchange letters. I think it's time to write her again. Great post and have fun :)