One of my Facebook friends, and a former student, expressed so well the tugging at my soul about all the reaching out and not touching that goes on now with all the instant communication tools around.
I do enjoy sharing tidbits of my life, keeping others posted on this and that, but all that doesn’t really count in the realm of social connections that are supposed to foster healthy relationships and keep depression and dementia at bay. Now, my Facebook friend might not have been thinking along quite the same lines as I am since we are of different genders in different generations, but the feelings he expressed were almost identical to mine.
Yesterday I heard a news feature on the increase in jobs in certain markets due to the expanding campaign to buy American. Almost immediately I heard another about the dire status of our US Postal System. I had a tiny fleeting thought that I should resume writing letters, real letters, the kind with notebook paper or stationery, envelopes, homemade or store-bought, and stamps, the kind you lick, no, they are adhesive now, the kind you tear the backing from. (to distinguish it from the rubber thingamabob used in scrapbooking – which, come to think of it, would be great it adorning letters to grandparents or birthday cards to siblings.)
This morning when I read all of my Facebook friend’s entry – I’m not accustomed to having to click to read a whole message since most Facebook entries are fragments of thoughts – I thought how comical he might find it were I to say that great minds think alike, that it’s a sign, and that means it’s time for action! (He has one of those technical, mathematical, engineering-type minds that I find mysterious and enviable. We do share a love for kayaking, though.)
So my mind has been busy reminding myself that I have an almost infinite store of paper and pencils and pens and a huge box of envelopes. Seems I buy envelopes to mail…what I can’t remember…but I have envelopes, and I have stamps that seem to hide in my wallet unless I’m searching for something else. I have no excuses. I have the ‘stuff’ to write and mail letters right from my mailbox across the road.
When I was a kid, a cousin and I found an old chest of drawers in a shed out behind my grandparents’ house. One of the drawers was full of love letters to and from an uncle when he was in the navy. He had been married for a time to that aunt. What a precious peek into our heritage, and oh, how sneaky we felt!
I had my own set of love letters from a beau during his navy service, but I didn’t marry him for a time, so I burned them. How sad. Do people even write love letters any more? Recently I found a letter my mother had written to one of my grandmothers, sharing the weather in the city, the shopping for shoes for us kids, the progress made on the house we lived in, how work and school was going for everyone. It must have been a special letter to my momo, because it was tucked into her box of important papers that found its way into my parents’ keepsakes, as did some of the cards we drew to tuck into those letters.
So I am going postal, pledging to write a least one letter a week to send via snail mail. Surely I can write without the backspacing and deleting keys at my fingertips; we do still have erasers and whiteout. But what would be so wrong with a cross-out here and there? Personal communications don’t have to be manuscripts. If I fear being judged for my scribbles and doodles, I probably won’t deem that individual worth the price of a stamp anyway.
Won’t you join me in my effort to go postal? Saved emails in folders of yahoo accounts don’t get tucked into drawers for cousins to find. Few of us actually print one out to tuck into an album or a special trunk. Share your joys and sorrows, your journeys and your flubups, to be read and re-read, tucked away to share with company or to hide as treasures for later, and slip a note or a drawing inside from a child in the family before sealing the envelope.
I have some relatives who would enjoy a letter with some photos of my grandchildren tucked in. And there are some special friends who have moved away. I would count it a priceless treat to open my mailbox and find letters from them, so maybe they will see it the same way. The USPS may not feel the impact, but I’m postive the writers and recipients could be touched in unique, unpredictable ways. Who knows? There may be some love letters in the future!
But first I may have to email them for their physical addresses!