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Posts Tagged ‘letter writing’

So this one is sort of about letters. And it doesn’t involve me. It’s about my ex-husband and his sister. They tell a story, and I believe it because I know them both, about one year when his older sister was at UCLA and he was at MIT. They wrote letters all year long. He didn’t have money to fly home for any holidays so he stayed in Boston from August until May. Long distance phone calls in those days (the late 60’s) were very expensive so the only way to stay in touch was through letters. Mr. Google has led me to several sites that say first class letter postage in 1969 was six cents. It doesn’t seem like much, does it?

One year, they used the same stamp all year long, back and forth the stamp traveled. They figured out that you could use a pencil eraser to erase the postmark stamping from the stamp and they were very careful about taking the stamp off. I am not sure which glue they sued but I vaguely remember that it was rubber cement. So the stamp would travel from Los Angeles to Boston and back again, over and over. I don’t know how often they wrote but I am thinking it was about once a month so that stamp must have made the round trip at least ten times! And I don’t think they did it to save money. I think they did it more just to prove that it could be done.

That’s my letter-ish post for today!

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How many of you remember hearing that 1962 hit song, Sealed With A Kiss by Brian Hyland? I remember it but of course, I’m of that certain age! It was quite popular long after 1962. It was one of those songs that spoke of all that puppy love we experienced.

When I was a sophomore in high school, there was this boy. Yeah, a very nice one that also thought I was a pretty nice girl. We spent most of the school year together then the end of the year came and we were faced with summer. We didn’t live in the same neighborhood and our families didn’t have much in common so we were pretty sure we were not going to see each other during the summer. In my yearbook, he ended his rather long writing with the part of the lyrics to the song:

“Though we have to say good bye for the summer,

Darling I promise you this,

I’ll send you all my love,

Every day in a letter,

Sealed with a kiss.”

Later that summer, I went to southern California to stay with my aunt and uncle for a couple of weeks. They had a couple of daughters that were close to my age so we got along and we did a lot of stuff that I would never have been allowed to do if I had been at home. We rode bikes all over Orange County and went on a midnight donut run and flirted with boys. One of the things we did a couple of times a week was go to the beach. They lived just down Beach Boulevard from Huntington Beach so it was a straight shot to the beach. During one of those beach trips, I wrote a letter to that young man I had left behind in San Jose. I didn’t swim so while the others were swimming, I would read or write letters. After all the mushy stuff and the details of all the things I had been doing with my cousins, I was perplexed about how to end it. I wanted to make a reference to the lyrics of the song he had quoted in my year book but I didn’t want his mom to see anything on the outside of the envelope as my initial idea was to put on lipstick and kiss the outside of the envelope. So that was nixed then I got the idea to just write “sealed with a kiss” inside the envelope so it would be the first thing he saw when he opened it. So I did, but I also enclosed a pinch of sand from the beach! At least I thought it was a pinch. Later on, I heard that it was more than a pinch and his mom had not liked having to vacuum the sand after it spilled when he opened it!

Can you think of any “memorable” letters you’ve written?

 

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I remember hearing this phrase a lot when I was growing up. Instead of asking someone to “shoot me and email” when they arrived, we used to say, “drop me a line” or “don’t forget to write.” Those were the days. The old days.

Letter writing, and even writing with pen and paper, is a lost art. I pick up a pen and try to write some notes and I almost can’t remember how. It feels so alien to me. I think we also have a generation growing up without learning to write in cursive and without learning how to format a letter or even write the most basic salutation. That can’t be good.

I enjoy letter writing. Or at least I used to. I wrote a letter to my friend Kim, in Australia and really enjoyed it. I was pressed for time or I would have written more. And I wrote a letter to Deborah who is a woman in one of the Buy Nothing groups I belong to. We chat when she picks something up and sometimes we send text messages to each other regarding an item to¬† be picked up. However, I have thought for some time that it would be nice to have her as a friend. A friend I might invite for a cup of coffee or meet for a quick chat. So I jumped in and used her address for one of my February letters for Incowrimo. It occurs to me that it is also one person I am reaching out to, a person on the fringes of my circle of friends, as I wrote about in Expand. So I’m on my way!

One thing that I like about letter writing is that it is so much more personal. When you open a letter from someone, you are holding the same paper they held and reading the words they wrote out in long hand. Maybe you are also witnessing their choice in paper or ink on the letter. In some cases, even the stamp used is a personal choice. So much more personal than anything else.

Well, on to writing my February 3 letter before the day is done! Happy writing!

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I was recently made award of a newish wri-mo event. Not NaNoWriMo this time. February is International Correspondence Writing Month or INCOWRIMO. So for the month of February, the idea is to write at least one letter, postcard, or other correspondence and mail it, each day. So now I am hooked! I will be writing letters and postcards and some valentine cards this month, every day. I have a list of people to write to but I haven’t counted them. If you would like to receive a piece of mail from me, let me know in the comments then I will email you for the address. Do not post your address here, please.

If you want more info on the month long event, click on the link above. All the info is there, including a place to enter your address if you want mail (please note that it is a public document so you might not want to post the address there) and there is also an address book with hundreds of people that would like mail if you want to participate. There are also a number of sites with videos and tutorials on good old fashioned letter writing. Check below for a couple of links. You might even get a pen pal out of this, if you wish to continue after February. Also, remember that you can write Valentine cards to people and that will count! Have fun with this! I challenge you!

So now, keep me honest. Bug me. Ask me if I am up to date with my letter writing this month!

https://incowrimo.org/how-to-write-a-letter/

The Power Of the Letter (Ted Talk)

 

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I recently agreed to be pen pals with a fellow blogger. I got my first letter from her over the weekend and I’m ready to write my letter back to her but I wanted to write it on pretty paper. I haven’t written letters in so, so long that I don’t have pretty stationery anymore. After dropping Anderson at pre school, I went to four different stores looking for stationery, even ugly stationery, as long as it had matching envelopes and paper. No luck. I guess that’s one of the things that is difficult to find now in the age of email and text messages and skype and all the different ways people find to keep in touch in a less personal way than through letter writing.

I want to write her this letter so she doesn’t have to wait much longer. She’s in Australia and it takes a couple of weeks for the letter to get there so I don’t want to put it off. I do have a few rubber stamps left from my former extensive collection so maybe I’ll just decorate the paper myself. After I get this letter off, I will get busy and look some more for pretty paper and matching envelopes and maybe I’ll find some in the next month before I need to write another letter!

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