Monday, January 23, 2012

Pen Pals

Oh, what a bad blogger am I? What with the holidays and the back to school and the 150 baby chicks (4-H projects!) and numerous other bits of life, I have not been spending much time on the least in productive ways!

I'm all caught up on my blog reading and am ready to get back in the swing of things!

Lately I've been thinking about letter writing. Why'd we stop doing that? I have some letters between my grandmother and her sisters, from the 30s through the 50s or so. I also have a fantastic love letter a beau sent to my great aunt in the teens (I'd love to share it, but I fear I would be haunted!). I love old letters for their high and sometimes low thoughts, for the handwriting and occasional art work, for the record of lives lived. Perhaps the most poignant letter I could imagine, I own. In it, my great aunt tells my grandmother about another of their sisters sons, who had just died at the age of about 10. It is so beautifully sensitive and a priceless family record. I knew two of my grandmother's sisters quite well, and if I could time-travel, I would immediately go back to their young days and get to know them! The oldest was born 1890 (or so...she was vague on that!) and the youngest, my grandmother, was born 1907. In fact, her birthday would be next week, come to think of it! That age span meant they were scattered around for many years, either off at school or work or starting their own families. And letter writing was how they shared their news.

I was also given a gorgeous Parker 21 for Christmas by my sweet husband. That pen writes like a dream and is a pleasure to hold. Problem is, I can't find anything to write! I have done more playful scribbling than actual writing with it, and that makes me sad.

And third, I'm currently reading As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto. Talk about a wonderful document of a friendship, of a cookbook, and of a national personality. I feel like I have two new friends while I'm reading this book, and I'm just itching to join in their years-long conversation. If you come across this book, give it a look.

I want a pen pal like Julia and/or Avis. I have a few e-mail correspondances, but they don't really have the "feel" of becoming letter-writing relationships. There's something...different. But the thing is, there will be no wonderful letters like the ones I have from my relatives, left behind to record my generation. For goodness sake, my husband and I spent much more time on e-mail (in those early e-mail days!) than we did on paper in our courting days. There will be little to nothing for anyone to stumble over one day. I might have to resort to journal writing... ugh. Or maybe I'll have my pen next to the computer as I blog!

Ah well. What about you? Do you write letters?