When was the last time you received a hand-written letter? If you had asked me that question a month ago, I would have told you it had been so long ago that I didn’t even remember it! However, about 3 weeks ago I received a wonderful letter….from my high school English teacher😊
Let me explain. One day recently I was going through some old papers, and I came across my high school senior term paper and also a composition I had written the same year. (Not bragging, but I made A on one and A+ on the other…don’t ask me how I did in Algebra though.) Both papers had very nice comments from my teacher, Mrs. Betty Cleveland. I got to thinking about her and how she had taught me to love words and how she had encouraged my writing. So….I decided it was way past time I wrote her a letter and told her THANK YOU .
I never expected Mrs. Cleveland to write me back, but she did. It was a wonderful letter that I will cherish. She is now 88 years old, still lives in her home, and from what I was told by a friend takes a “brisk” two mile walk every day.
Now that we have email, texting, and facebook, I imagine the postal service sees far fewer hand-written letters than in years past. And although I enjoy all of these types of communication, I really do miss the excitement of pulling a letter from the mailbox, tearing open the envelope, and seeing the handwriting of a friend or loved one.
When we had been married only a year, my husband had to spend four months at National Guard training camp. We sure kept the mailman busy with our letters….you can read about that here:
Today hand-written letters are referred to as SNAIL MAIL…although I just found out that that term was actually first used in 1942 in a news article about slow mail delivery. Today there are actually facebook groups dedicated to writing an actual letter. And…there are also groups you can join to receive HAPPY MAIL (another name for hand-written letters). To find some of these groups you can go here:
Some people really go all out for letter writing and even artistically decorate their envelopes.
So…why should we write letters instead of using email? After all, email is quicker and typing (for most people) is faster. Well, if you are in a hurry email is the way to go; but I got to thinking about it and here are a few reasons why I think we shouldn’t ever stop pulling out our stationery, envelopes, and stamps:
1. Hand-written letters are just more special. Seeing someone’s handwriting, knowing that they took time to actually “write” the letter just says “you’re special” and that you value them.
2. Stationery is so much prettier than a message on the computer.
3. You get to use all those hand-writing skills you learned in elementary school….no need to let those many lines of letter drills go to waste!
4. You can begin a stamp collection (if you don’t already have one).
5. You might get a return letter….just like I got from my teacher😊 And then you will have the excitement of opening that envelope!
I am so glad I took the time to write to Mrs. Cleveland and so thankful she chose to write me back. Now….who can you think of that would appreciate you taking the time to pull out your stationery and put pen to paper? Try it…I think you’ll be happy you did. After all, SNAIL MAIL can become HAPPY MAIL for both the writer and the recipient.