Saturday, 6 August 2011

Tearstained post about letters

Today, I'm grateful for handwritten letters.

If you read my post yesterday you would know about the letters.   I found a bunch of letters from my childhood pen pals, and have just been reading through them, it is just so special. 

I just realised that with the use of email, facebook, twitter etc, my children may not have anything like these letters to look back on when they are grown up, and that makes me feel rather sad. Of course, I will have to make sure this does not happen.  But the question remains, does anyone use pencil and paper for letter writing anymore? 

Most of the letters I found were from one particular friend. We moved from the Gold Coast to Brisbane when I was 9.  Linda and I wrote to eachother regularly, probably about every 4 weeks.  I remember writing the letters, and how much fun it was putting a stamp on the envelope, sealing it and posting it in the postbox, then waiting for a response.  Sometimes it would be many weeks before a new letter arrived, and how exciting it was to check the letterbox and find a letter with my name written on it.

We shared so much of our childhood between the ages of 9 and approximately 18 years of age and each letter is like a little snapshot in time of what was going on.   You can see how our handwriting, grammar, spelling evolved, how we matured into adults, all through letters on paper.

We talked about all the normal kid stuff like what we were doing at school, what movies were on at the cinemas, what boys we had a crush on, and then we both shared one of the hardest imaginable times of losing a parent as young adults.  There was a comfort in being able to put pen to paper, especially through the teenage years, something I really appreciate now.

Ok, now if this post were written on paper, you would see tearstains.  I am getting very emotional now thinking about this, these are wonderful memories, I am so grateful..
I can remember making a special trip with Mum to a stationery shop at Indooroopilly.  It was such a treat to get a new stationery set or writing pad.  I would sometimes send new stationery to my pen pal, and she would write a letter back to me on them.  One particular paper smelled very sweet and powdery, I don't know what the fragrance was, but I can distinctly remember it. 

I have searched facebook for Linda recently, but to no avail.  She spent her childhood growing up on the Gold Coast, went to Merrimac High (graduated 1991), and she may be married now with a different surname.  I would love to get back into contact with her, for old times sake, and maybe share a letter or two along with a latte or two.  That would be a very special treat.  So if you or anybody know of her or have any ideas on how I might be able to find her, I would love to hear from you.

Would also like to hear your thoughts about paper letter writing.  Is it something you or your kids do? Do you think it's important to keep it up in some form or another?

Linking up with maxabellaloves today, why not pop over there for some inspiration.



Sarah said...

Great post Sam - Unfortunately email/facebook/etc has really gotten in the way of the good handwritten letters. I, too, had childhood penpals - and it was so fun to pick out the special stationery, etc. :) Thanks for the memories!

I do still have penpals now - my husband and I are friends with an Amish couple in the states, and we really enjoy writing letters back and forth to them. Otherwise it's really just an odd card here and there, a bit sad really isn't it?

supermac said...

This is such a lovely post. I love letters and cards. I lost most of the letters I received as a kid and there were plenty of them from a cousin who lives in the US. I write notes to my kids. And they do give us notes and drawings which I all keep in a special box. I have a few as well from my husband when we were just starting. Hope to get more.

Debbie (Aspiring Mum) said...

I love handwritten letters. There is something so special about them, and unfortunately it will probably be a lost skill in generations to come. I'm encouraging my girls to start writing to friends that we've just moved away from, so they can realise how special it is.

jody said...

a lovely post, i love hand written letters, love receiving and sending them! nothing better than getting letters in the mail, i also like to leave little notes around for my hubby too!
poping over via maxabella :)

Taylor Made said...

I too have letters from first boyfriend now husband..letters from my mum to my dad, from my mum to her precious. I do hope you find your friend for old times sake.

Sam said...

Just stopped by your blog for the first time - couldn't resist checking it out with a name like that ;) I *still* exchange the odd letter/postcard with my French penfriend! We wrote from 12 - 19 years of age, had a break and then found each other on fb 2 years ago. We have used the chat feature on fb, but we've gone back to pen and paper. What a treat to get some letters from my special friend again!