Saturday, July 30, 2011

What's in Your Mail?

The mailboxes for our condo community are all in one area, about 4 units from me.   I  either pick up the mail on my way to or from somewhere when I'm in the car.  Once in a while I'll walk down to get it.  It's just not that entertaining anymore. At least 80% is junk mail.  I pay about half of our bills on line.  Some I have to mail.  So, other than Terry's Sport's Illustrated and my Entertainment Weekly, we don't get much mail. 

I remember a time when that wasn't true.  I remember a time when mail was the highlight of the day. As a girl,  I remember my mother watching for the mailman, eager to see if she got a letter that day and who sent updates from across the state or across the country.  I remember moving to South Carolina from Michigan, away from family and friends when Daughter #1 was a freshman in college there and the younger girls were 7 and 9 years old.  Somehow we got hooked on stickers and had them for all occasions and for no reason at all.  I wrote and the girls wrote long rambling letters of "missing you"  to Daughter #1 and to their Grammy, in envelopes covered with stickers. 

As the years went on new technology took over our lives and letters were mailed less and less.  My mother, although, on line and hooked up, still wrote letters to her friends from the past.  While Daughter # 3 was working  in the Tetons, Grammy still mailed stickered letters.   When my Mom passed away, we found a letter, half written, to her,  on the bed.  What a touching keepsake for my daughter.

Now I live far from my girls but I don't write letters to them.  We talk, we text and we email.  In thinking about this post I realized the last letters I have written have been to soldiers I don't know.  I have mentioned before, that I have, for years, sent care packages through and I mailed out another one about 2 weeks ago.   I write letters to stick inside the boxes just to say Thank You for all they do.  Then I ramble, like my mother taught me, about things around me.

Last night while I was reading my book, I read about a modern day teacher that was given a hatbox full of diaries and letters from two women that became friends in the 1920s and stayed in contact over the decades.  This was just a story line but somewhere there are real hat boxes and cigar boxes full of letters saved from family or romances long gone.  There are books of love letters and letters to home,  written by soldiers in all the wars.   While texts and Facebook have their place and I am glad for their existence, I am sorry to see letter writing go.

Do you remember, on what occasion you last wrote or received a letter?  If I weren't doing soldier boxes, I wouldn't know.  I am sure the last letter I received was from a solider too, but back in the beginning of the boxes,  about 5 or 6 years ago.  I still send postcards to my grandsons ,when we go anywhere, so that they will gave mail.  Occasionally I'll send something to them in their own envelope so they can still feel the excitement of "What's in it".    Think I better go do that right now.


Rae said...

I can't begin to imagine when I wrote my last letter. Sadly, letter writing is a lost art form. It's no wonder the postal service is in such dire financial straits with email and texting taking over. I miss the old days of opening a handwritten letter, reading and rereading it over and over again. Kids today will never know that joy.

Anonymous said...

You are right. I can not remember the last "real" letter I wrote. I write a journal to my grandchildren, but they haven't seen it..yet. I send boxes of stuff to them. But no letters. They are old enough now to read letters. That could be fun and educational for them. good idea!!!

Kathy said...

Oh how I miss the days of letters, too! My sister-in-law used to write to each other before we both got email. I miss those letters. We sent photos of our children back and forth for many years.

I think the last letter I wrote was probably to soldier, too. I sometimes do that at Christmas time.

I really wish I'd kept all of my letters from Ed when he was overseas. Once I had the "real thing" in my arms, I left all of my letters behind at my parent's house. I guess they eventually threw them out.

I enjoyed this post!

Daughter #2 said...

I'd write you letters, but I wouldn't know what to say besides what I tell you on the phone. How do you talk about your day, wait for it to get there a week later, and then not say anything when I talk to you every day anyway? :) I like the postcards, though.

Gran said...

Wow, I don't remember the last time I wrote a letter, or received one. I used to have pretty good handwriting, but no more! I email and text my family, trade messages on Facebook with my often hard to find brother, and stay in touch with many people I've known throughout my life via the internet.

Great post!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I do write letters, I have a few older friends who do not have computers. I mailed off a letter about two weeks ago and got one in return the other day..I love getting letters in the mail:)

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