The Art of Letter Writing

Note cards 2

I’ve always loved writing letters on pretty stationery. When I was growing up, that’s what people did, because there was no email or social media. I wrote letters to my grandma in Wisconsin, a pen pal in France and to my friend, Sandy, when she moved to Texas after eighth grade. Sandy and I stayed in touch by mail for nearly twenty years. Now, we’re Facebook friends.

When I was in my twenties, I wrote to my parents, even though my mom lived just thirty miles away and my dad lived fifty miles from me. I enjoyed supplementing our phone conversations with written correspondence.

After my dad passed away in 2009, my Aunt Jane gave me a shoebox full of my letters that she found among my dad’s possessions. “Sue (old letters)” was scrawled on the lid in my dad’s handwriting. Reading the messages in the brightly colored notecards that Dad saved for two decades was like looking through a window at my younger self. The decorative paper reflected my taste back then, the narratives described what was going on in my life and my twenty-something voice was full of youthful exuberance.

These days, I keep in touch with family and friends by phone and email, but I don’t think looking through old emails will ever be as nostalgic as a shoebox full of letters. Thank you Dad!

Even though letter writing is not what it used to be, I still buy note cards. I use them for thank you notes, sympathy cards, get well wishes and enclosures with gifts. For me, selecting beautiful stationery and mailing a handwritten message will always be a treasured activity.

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