I love to thumb through old postcards in antique stores. Not only do I enjoy the vintage art work, but also finding ones with handwriting scribbled across. A window into a past world, a seemingly simpler place.
Postcards were the equivalent of a text or email. “Mom says that you should come over for dinner on Thanksgiving. How is everything? I am doing good in school. Love, Carol.”
Letters on crinkled paper from time bundled by ribbon in a hope chest in the attic. The years of two lovers’ correspondence during the war. Letters from children. Letters from friends about what is happening on the farm.
I don’t care to talk on the phone much. Conversations tend to drag on after awhile. Awkward silences, trying not to interrupt each other.
I like texts but texts are like a hundred postcards a day. “Do you need a ride to school tomorrow?” “Yes, we make a sleep medicine.” “Who is coming to dinner?” They carry little emotion.
Emails are alright, but reserved for business more often than not. I sit in front of the computer to write, to check banking accounts, to check Facebook (another way to keep in touch…though superficially) once or twice a day.
When I was a child, I had pen pals. Remember pen pals? I wrote to a young girl in Italy. I wrote to a young man in Texas (and I mean young, I think we were eleven). I enjoyed years of correspondence with a girl in Uganda. I wrote to my best friend in Boise. Once I grew up, these letters dissipated until the mailbox was empty.
Doug and I started sponsoring children and eagerly awaited their quarterly letters on how they were doing. But, those were shallow as well. After all, six year olds in Africa only have so much to say.
So, I check the mail and see the few bills I don’t pay online. Look for magazines to inspire me. Throw out the ads. Does anyone else miss the anticipation of opening the mailbox? Hoping for a letter from a friend? To prepare a cup of tea and sit in one’s favorite chair before carefully opening the envelope to see what is happening in a different place? Handwriting speaking its own messages as well. To pen a response, lick the envelope, and happily adhere a stamp to it then send it on its way across the land to be read on another homestead.
I do. Would anyone like to correspond through stationary and pen? Send to Mrs. Katie Sanders, P.O. Box 2012, Elizabeth, Colorado 80107. I will respond. We are all much too busy in this day and age. To sit and pen a letter or to open and read one would send us to that place in time where housewives corresponded through letters.