Thursday, January 8

Letters

I have lately been lamenting the fact that no one writes letters any more.
It is a dying art, it would seem.

In this electronic age, when we can flick off an email in an instant, the handwritten letter is beginning to assume dinosaur-like status.



I miss the wonder of recieving a loving letter, written, perhaps over the course of several days, & posted with care to arrive in my letterbox, a treat for the day, and indeed, days to come.

I could pore over the written words, picturing the writer. Return to re read at my leisure.

I have quite a large collection of letters, I have saved over the years. Some are letters written by me, & sent to my mother. She carefully saved them over the years. I know she had saved them for re reading, when she felt lonely & so far from us. They made interesting reading for me, as they often contained news of events I had completely forgotten.

I know she had a massive stock take, not too long before she got ill, & she must have thrown away a lot of the letters, or perhaps burnt them. After her death, I found quite a few still remained, carefully stored in an old chocolate box. Somehow it broke my heart, to think of my mother, alone, carefully storing, & rereading those letters.

I also have letters from my mother, & I am reluctant to dispose of them. She is gone from this life now, & I still, childishly cling to the remnants of her being, in those letters. Her wisdom, her love, shining through her words, & her neat handwriting.

When I first married Gom & we moved back to the Southern Island to live, I so longed for my mother's letters. We were temporarily living with my in-laws. How I hated it, when I found my new MIL was going through my things, reading all my letters, & nosing into my suitcases.

It broke my heart, but I made a point of burning the letters, in front of my MIL, once I had read them. I was so glad when we found our own place to live. It was years, however, before I found out the MIL had still gone through my drawers & read my mail, without my knowledge, every chance she got.

She used to wonder why we never asked her to babysit.

I have kept letters written by Aunts now dead & gone. I have a letter written to my mother, by my grandmother.

My grandmother loved writing letters, & she wrote wonderul letters, full of news & interesting little bits & pieces. She had a pen friend in her male cousin in England & they exchanged wonderful letters for many years.

I feel sorry for the teenagers of today. They flick those txt messages, on their phones, to each other, using a shorthand only they can decipher. I know they can store them on their cell phones, -or as we call them, mobiles. Somehow it is not the same though. They cannot tie them with ribbon. Store them in a box, to be re read at liesure. To be laughed at, cried at, in private.

Emails can be printed out, & kept, if it is hard copies one wants, but somehow they are not the same, as a hand written letter, which has been written in slow condideration. I cannot really imagine folding a bunch of printed out emails, & tying them with ribbon or tucking them into a box...

I must admit though, the typewritten word is much more legible than my atrocious hand writing is now! I have not retained my neat writing from years ago, & often, can not even read my own writing! Partly it is due to my arthritic fingers, & partly it is laziness, I suppose.

I know it is the electronic age, & technology is here to be utilised, but I still mourn the 'Love Letters' from the past.

PS. I had no idea I had been nominated as a Blog of Note, so you can imagine my surprise on finding out! Thankyou to all the new visitors, it is fun meeting all of you.




Diana Krall, Love Letters. I also really enjoy Nat King Cole's version of this song.

139 comments:

Dru said...

I so agree with you! I have so many letters from my youth that I have kept and cherished. I just moved a few months ago, and found some that had been stored in random boxes and was so glad that I had them to look back on :)

~Regina~ said...

Very well said! Enjoyed reading yoru post. I also miss receiving letters and have many tucked away for re-reading.

Catherine said...

What a fabulous post! I miss receiving letters too. I have a small collection of letters written about 30 years ago that I absolutely will not throw out.
The past two days something has been telling me to write my aunt, who's in her 80's, a letter. I am going to sit down and do that this weekend.

ancient one said...

Congratulations on the Blog of Note!! You deserve it... I couldn't imagine why so many people were coming to visit me after leaving you...I guess they are checking out all of your commenters...LOL

No you cannot tie up print outs on the computer with a pretty ribbon.. but tell you what I've done... I printed all the first year of my blog and have it in a notebook... And will start on the second year as soon as I have time...

I love old letters and have them stashed everywhere...some of my husband's grandmother's letters written to his mother...some from favorite Aunts and a lot from my daughter before we got computers...

Loved this post!!!

knitwit said...

When my parents came to Canada well over 30 years ago, my mum used to write the most amazing letters home to the family in England. Those who received them often said years later that waiting for those letters was like waiting for the next exciting installment of life in the new world. No email will ever create that kind of anticipation. I've been saying for years that letter-writing is a lost art. Thank you for articulating it so well.

yakfactorial said...

i completely agree. even though i am an eager and willing participant in "generation text", nothing quite compares to getting a letter. sending an email, texting, or even calling is easy and quickly over. the physical act of sending a letter shows the recipient that they are loved.

Panademona said...

i love writing letters! i wish more people would write me back though...

anotherlinda said...

Your post reminded me of all the letters I wrote my best friend when we were growing up, after I moved away. As an adult, she delivered all those letters back to me and it was one of the best gifts I ever received. My childhood returned to me!

Thanks for reminding me.

persiflage said...

This aroused so many memories for me, of leaving home when I married and moved away, and relying on the correspondence with family and friends. I did not keep many of them, but those I kept will be there when I die. The trouble is the handwriting is so difficult to read. I wish I had my own letters, so I could remember more of the day to day events as well as the traumas of the first few years of marriage. Your post is so beautifully written. Emails have to a large extent revived writing to people and there is an immediacy which gives so much spontaneity.

Q said...

I still will write a letter now and again. I love the feel of the pen and the paper.
I too have letters my mother wrote. I shall go poke around and look for those old letters. I think seeing her dainty handwriting would fill my heart.
Thank you for this post.
Happy New Year to you and yours.
Sherry

1950 Democrat said...

What a pretty blog! Congratulations on being a 'Blog of Note'.

Anonymous said...

I especially liked the flowers!

~~Serendipity~~ said...

Wow GOW !!! u re real good :)
Its the first time I have ever opened a "blog of note" and I am glad that I did so...
The letters and their value is really diminishing fast...getting Extinct like dinos(haha!!) !! But to tell u the truth we do all cherish that emotion of the ink and paper dearly even today...
I remember when I was a student and lived in a hostel...my parents sent cheque for me each month...and a letter with it. The instanat I used to receive the post...I jumped for the letter..reading the letter from my mother and father(both wrote individual ones)in a go...then re read and again re read...they used to be nothing less than a wonder to me that wow!! look my parents love me so much... :))
I have a large stack of letters from them over the 4 years that they wrote for my hostel days....
Others include my friends form school, college and even junior school...its really a treasure trove for me...

Thanks for reminding me those sweet memories once again!!
Love and cheers
Shailja

Mike said...

Letter writing, like so many things, is becoming a dying art. My wife and her mother still exchange letters on a semi-regular basis. Her mother is 87, so for her, I guess computers are out of the question.

Kerry said...

Blogging is good, but letters are the best.

JOSEPH GELB said...

the internet is both sad and happy like that

It's All Good said...

I know what you mean, my friend is in basic training right now which means no phone or computer communication! The only way we can talk is through letters, and there's something so romantic about it, I wish it was still appreciated! Cool blog!

marigirl said...

that song was a great compliment to your post :)

Warty Mammal said...

I barely got through the rest of the post after reading about your MIL violating your privacy. What a horrid abuse of the situation, particularly given that you were far from home and those you loved! I would have felt violated and humiliated in your position. It is to your credit that you came through it, marriage intact.

financeaussieguy14 said...

I also miss writing and receiving letters.. you can see how artistic a person is on how he prepares his letters most especially for suitors of women.. Also, you can see that they indeed exerted effort in writing the letter.. If you use electronic gadgets, less effort is exerted, hence, lesser appreciation of effort..

reyjr said...

I agree a hundred percent. And the same goes with Photographs. It's so much more natural (and exciting) to capture a moment when every click is recorded permanently. :D

CSouthwell said...

I love letters, and cards with long caring messages written inside them.

It's such ashame that it seems to be dying out, i make a note of every christmas card i send personalising it and writing a spefici message to that person, otherwise the whole reason of writing seems lost.

I also maintain writing complaint letters gets you further when something goes wrong than shouting at someone.

The power of the written personalised word.

STRONG.

what an intruiging blog. i really like it (i stumbled through blogs of note, may i congratulate you) :)

Charlie

Christina Claassen said...

I am an avid letter-writer myself. Nothing says "I care" than a hand-written note. I find it calming and peaceful to sit down, pull out my special stationary, and write a friend a letter. I pick different friends or relatives to write to, depending on who I've been thinking of lately. If only my friends would write me back!

D.A. said...

Great post. It's given me the idea of writing my girlfriend (whom I live with) a love letter and mailing it to her. That seems to have a touch of romance on it doesn't it?

http://TheAssortedGoodness.blogspot.com

Jellyhead said...

Oh yes, I LURVE letters. I have been trying to write them more often, too - knowing how much I love to receive them makes me think that others must feel the same, too.

Congratulations on becoming a 'blog of note'!

shara said...

Congrats on being a 'blog of note'. That is how I found you. I really enjoyed this post and plan on visiting again.

Thanks!

Catherine said...

Since the era of mobile phone ... I do not have long to receive a letter ......

Nicholl said...

I was thinking the same thing. I felt a tad bit sad when a relative who received handwritten letters from me for years finally confessed that she didn't like to write. I figured that out after the first year, but neverless I will still write my handwritten letters to anyone who will appreciate them until the day I die! N. McGuire nichollmcguire.blogspot.com

Mackenzie Mabrey said...

Thanks for writing such wonderful posts. I can relate to alot of what you say. I appreciate your opinions.

Zubee said...

you are totalyy true...letter writting is dying! as a regular user of the latest tech..i strongly agree that sms, emails, faxes..IMs dont have dat sense of touch that there in a hand writen letter!! When i wa in arnd 10years, i used to write letters to ma bestie even though we lived just a few miles away...it bot all those memeories back.... the anticipation...the excitement that one has when writting or receiving a letter!!

thank you for bringing the memories back...m goin to suprise my bestie agan by sendin her a hand written letter!!

and congratulations on being on the blogs of note...ur blog trulllyyyy deserves it!!

intentionsgirl said...

Hi Meggie,

I loved your blog about handwritten letters. I am a writer and I love the written word... I wish I had the letters written to me by my penpal when I was young. They would be so great to hold and read now.
I am on the Central Coast as well, so Hi!
All the best,
Rachel

Ali Honey said...

I think it is 50/50. ( Now and Then )I have kept letters from the past from most of my family's previous generation, along with photos of them. I have saved other letters too. I still write some letters, as I actually like the act of writing.
BUT I wouldn't exchange it for the speed and frequecy of email and blogs. Who could afford to write to so many interesting people in all parts of the world? ( as we do with computers! )
Like someone else said I print out my blog and keep it in clear files as a diary record( after the event ). My normal diary is more for planning ahead.
I love any form of written communication!
( That MIL should have been ashamed! ) )

More than a Mother said...

It somehow seems ironic to be reading about the dying art of letter-writing, on an internet blog... I love to write and receive letters, and do so frequently. I will be passing on this habit to my children and writing to them once they fly the nest. God, will they one day leave me?!

Dinah said...

when my husband moved out of their house when we married and let his mother throw away the letters i wrote him, instead of taking them with him, i cry buckets of tears! i still have his letters to me.

Ango said...

Your post brought nostalgic memories! How I used to look forward for letters from my grandparents a decade ago. But the email is faster and we have to go on with the technological advancements.

The villager: said...

The demise of letter writing is sad.......particularly letters of love..........

newman said...

like your work, keep it up

newman

My Rights said...

the song was great and lovely.

Pan's Island said...

Hello There,

I've just started blogging and I'm using the Blogs of Note to familiarize myself with the concept which is how I stumbled upon your blog. I'm 21 and I completely agree with you that writing letters is a lost art, but fear not, it isn't completely dead. My fiance is in the Canadian military and we write letters to each other - less often now because I luckily get to see him every weekend but when he was in training I frequently wrote to him. We were cleaning house the other day and I found a box with all the letters I had wrote him inside - he told me about how when he was having a really bad day in training he would re-read those letters - that touched my heart like nothing else. So don't feel too sad about the disappearance of letters - there are still people out there who write them, and read them, re-read them, and cherish them, and I'd wager there always will be. It was a beautiful post and it made me smile.

Michael Lockridge said...

As the years have gone by my hand has also lost its skill in writing. Arthritis is a small part. Lack of practice is the greater.

I have volumes of hand written journals and stories. I enjoyed the mechanics and tools of writing in those days. Now I keyboard faster and clearer, but something has been lost.

On the other hand, other things are gained. My wife has renewed friendships around the globe, communicating with friends in several countries on a daily basis. Letters would not work for that. Email does.

I am able to produce and publish my short stories in one of my blogs. That is better than hand writing them and sharing them with only a friend or two.

Congratulations on you Blog of Note. Keep blogging. It may not be letters, but I think we are all better for the blog.

Mike

Kikit said...

you said it just right :)

Chatty Crone said...

Just found your Blog today - it's awesome.

Synxiec said...

I completely understand this letter. I'm one of those people you see constantly firing off text messages at a hundred miles a minute.

I kid you not: on average, I send 3000+ text messages. My current average, as quoted by my carrier, is 3700 messages per month.

However, when I want to communicate my feelings and thoughts in a significant way, I sit down and break out the stationery.

My grandmother and I only communicate via letters and the phone, so the art of letter-writing is never lost on me. Well, that and my poetic streak.

I can testify to the fact that some of the most powerful things are the things we handwrite. I think it's not even the fact that it is on paper to be wrapped or rewritten as much as what people leave on paper that isn't ink; I feel the imprint the pen left as the words were made and I smell them on the paper (not cologne or perfume) and I see where they wrote, then rethought and scratched it out and then tried again to communicate and select words carefully so that I wouldn't miss something important.

The wonderous letter. I think I have been too long separated from it and I should get back to that.

Maybe I'll be a penpal to you and we can write each other just to keep letter writing alive.

Kitty said...

Couldn't agree more, Meg. I still have letters sent over the years - many by people who have now died. Some from people who were once dear to me, but grew away. An email's not the same is it? Even printed out, it's just not the same.

x

Working mum said...

Congratulations on being a Blog of Note! I have enjoyed your free treats for some time, now others can, too!

Thimbleanna said...

Beautiful post...beautiful picture. You're so lucky to have letters from your mother. I too, am sad for the future, when no-one will have letters to cherish and pore over.

Gretchen said...

I'm 28, and though I can remember a time without the use of computers, I have come to rely on them just as much as anyone a few years younger than me. But every once in awhile, my hand will find an old ink quill and some nice parchment paper and it will write a real letter. And sometimes it's only an ballpoint pen on a simple paper, but there is a thrill inside my soul that comes from writing.

I love that the first post I read of yours is one that is so dear to my heart. I'm glad there are still those that mourn letter writing.

Ornery's Wife said...

Interesting that you posted about this today. I wrote a very similar post at Thoughts from Miller Manor yesterday--it is my deepest desire to get birthday cards from those I send them to throughout the year. I, too, love the written word, and cherish not only the letter itself, but the fact that the sender took the time to think of ME while they wrote it.

Congrats on your blog of note. You deserve it!
tm

Anonymous said...

Hey, nice blog.
I have a tip for you, you should have more music on the blog.

I´m using http://musicpirate.org/
That works well, you can make playlists or download and link songs.

Have a nice day

Sarah said...

i adore Diana Krall; have since I first came across a CD of her pushed into the back of a friend's bureau as we were packing her to move. :)

and i agree----hand written letters seem to be dying off, sadly. i can't even send a bill from my office anymore with handwriting on it, because get this they 'need it in type font to match the billing statement.' geesh!

i enjoy your blog. thank you. :)

sarah

Ady said...

I have not gotten a letter since I was in the military. My mother wrote me every single day that I was gone to send me encouraging words and news of home. I miss getting letters too... This was a great blog and highly deserving of being a Blog of Note. I am very glad that I managed to find it! :)

Rod said...

Hello, I''m new to the blog and I really liked it.

I agree with you, though I'm young and have not send man letters in my life; I've sent thousands and thousands of e-mails and txt messages, instead.

I think I'd like to receive a hand-written-love letter :)

Good work yours at this blog; I salute you from Buenos Aires, Argentina !!

Rodi

Brenda Heisler said...

I understand what you mean. Letters are to be kept and treasured. And the handwriting was so beautiful back then. You are lucky to have your Mother's letters.

Congrats on the award. Well deserved.

చైతన్య said...

Congrats meggie for being nominated as a blog of note!

i like ur post on letters, very much...
i remember my good old days when i used to receive letters from my only friend! i dont receive them anymore... its all instant now... an email or just a phone call!

i really miss the fun of receiving letters...

i wonder if the next generation will even know what a letter is!!

Keep posting

~ chaitanya

ACTIVE WORKWEAR said...

Well done!! I totally agree with you...letters are so much more fun than an inbox!!

Crissy said...

It is so sad that the handwritten note/letter/card is almost a thing of the past. But! That said, there will always be people such as ourselves who cherish such things, and so we'll keep the tradition alive. :)

Mahesh Sindbandge said...

No one writes letter's to me.

Every week i check my postbox to check whether i got any letter,parcel but every time i get disappointed with it.
I always use to think,no one understand the importance of letters.
But i think i am not alone here..
you are there who expressed what can my mind speak of.
Keep it up...

adlibby said...

Congrats on being a blog of note!

I absolutely agree about letters. My grandmother had the most lovely handwriting and she sent me letters as long as she was alive. Sadly, I only saved a few. What I wouldn't give to have those letters now!

Adlibby

Blue Mountains Mary said...

Congrats Meg on being a blog of note (which we have known for a long time!).

I have long thought that the email has revived written communications between people. For a long time (pre computers!) we relied on the telephone and letters but email has made it so much easier for people to communicate...

A friend was given a letter at her mother's funeral on Wednesday. Her mother had dictated it to my friend's cousin to be given to my friend after her death. Now that is a letter worth getting...

CrazyCardLadies said...

I so wish I could write as you do, you are very interestig. I so cherish notes printed by my young daughter when she was 5 years old, because now I will always have a part of her until we meet again.

Carolkson said...

I belong to the group of ppl who cannot live without sending txt messages and emails but i have to agree that there's some magic about writing and reciving handwritten letters. I live abroad and from time to time receive such letters from my friends - they make me so happy and I still don't know exactly why:P

Cabbage Babble said...

I love writing letters! Thanks for this great post.

JC said...

You've really inspired me! I'm almost 17 now and I can remember being 5 or so and getting letters from my grandma, that meant so much to me. Unfortantly, all of them were ruined in a hurricane. But anyways, I'm going to sign off and write a letter to an old friend! Thank you!

Corgidogmama~ said...

Meggie, hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog, I feel honored to have the writer of a Blog of Note, reading my simple, discombobulated words!
My Mom is 91, so every card, letter, or gift tag that has her writing on it, I save...one day, I'll want those!

VioletSky said...

Well, congrats on being a Blog of Note!! So many new friends to make. I love to read old letters and have saved all the ones I've written (yes, I make copies of most of them) and the one's I've received. The file from the 90's onwards got rather slim and I only have 3 from the 2000's.

Laban Johansson said...

I´ve read your bolg, not everything but close enuf, and it was really intressting :)

MissMeg said...

Wow.. I couldn't agree more.
The handwritten letter conveys so much more than an email ever could.
When my grandmother was put into a nursing home, I was going through her things, and I found all of the condolence letters and flower cards from my grandfather's funeral. Some were simple affairs, some were elaborate.. some were even telegrams from those overseas..
She had lovingly kept every single one of those notes and letters.. had written the type of flowers given on each card in her beautiful handwriting..

When my mother passed away a few weeks ago, I received one handwritten letter, and I know I will always keep it and treasure it. I have dozens of emails, but the option of hitting delete to those letters is too tempting.. it's not the same, and it's not nearly as touching or personal to me.

maaaaaa said...

I thought writing letters is important!

Ulrike said...

Yours really is a blog of note. Congratulations and best wishes.

Very sad that your MIL went through your personal things. Seems she never realised what she really lost by doing this.

takai said...

Your opinion is good!I like to write a letter.
I hope to continue the custom that writting a letter.

Country Girl said...

I am keeping this art alive in my own way. I write letters every now and then to friends. Then they e-mail me and say what a nice surprise it was to get a handwritten letter in their mailbox along with all their bills!

Nice post.

Kim said...

I stumble upon this blog and had to laugh while reading it. You see... I have a son in college at UCLA and he recently came to me unsure of how to address an envelope as he had never hand writting one before.. shocked I was. But just the same this past christmas my husband of 22 years hand wrote me a Love letter and put it under the tree. I will save that forever and one day when I'm gone I hope my sons treasure it as you treasure yours.

Kasey Skala said...

I think another reason, other than the advancement of technology, is that letters are so personal. We're an impersonal society. An email is so easy to write and there's no connection there. A letter, however, we get scared of getting to close to the person we are writing too.

That along with the fact that many people can't write at all outside of an email. I can't tell you how many times co-workers have come to me to help them write a letter, regardless of where it is going. Bad and improper grammar is almost acceptable in emails.

Good post.

http://www.mostemailednews.com said...

Congratulations. I share your longing for letters. Even Christmas cards are disappearing-an eCard doesn't do it for me.
Lee

life_is_not_fair? said...

I really agree with you, I actually like writing letter than txt messages, but my mom won't let me txt messages to friends since she locked it... So instead i send email to friends that way i could keep it to myself. But sometimes it feels different because they will always be in the same font. I rather receive letter from a person with handwriting. I did actually get that from my cousin, but I kind of stopped writing because it is hard to understand what she's writing in English... sometimes I wished that i could write chinese to her, but its hard... so i really love the way that u brought up about the letters, reminded me some great memories of it. Thank You.

Short Stick said...

I agree. Do you know how i cope? I write letters to my grandma. She doesn't fool with them computer machines. You can always count on the old fashioned way when you're with your trusty nanna.

Cheyenne said...

This was a touching post! I am away at college now, and this has inspired me to send my parents a weekly handwritten letter to keep them posted on how I am doing. I am also going to begin writing my grandparents. I know they would love it! Thank you so much for the inspiration! I look forward to reading later posts.

Seeker said...

This is a fantastic post dear. You have just taken the words out of my mouth. I was pondering over the same issue for ages and wanted to do a blog post on this today - but just as I was checking the blogs of note archives I found this lovely post. I think I will not post a link to this page and add some lines - your post is very good.

Seeker said...

Sheesh I meant now instead of now there -

pls publish this reply -

"This is a fantastic post dear. You have just taken the words out of my mouth. I was pondering over the same issue for ages and wanted to do a blog post on this today - but just as I was checking the blogs of note archives I found this lovely post. I think I will now post a link to this page and add some lines - your post is very good."

Becky said...

I have to admit to losing the art of handwriting letters now. I generally only write to the oldest generation that don't have e-mail etc. My handwriting and spelling have suffered due to a reliance on computers , mobiles etc.

I must encourage my children now that they are learning to write to put pen to paper themselves. Trying this year with thank you notes for Christmas presents.

You were a great find through Blogs of Note and I hope that one day my blog can be as good ;-)

beckywilloughby.blogspot.com

XUE said...

I have a folder of the letters, cards & faxes that my husband & I wrote to each other when we were seperated (because of our jobs) shortly after we met. I do treasure those & woryy that they will crumbled & fade away one day.

Pauline said...

A wonderful post - brings memories of the letters that were exchanged weekly between my mother and hers, and then my mother and me after I'd moved away from home. I still have some of them. When my father passed away we found, tucked in a dresser drawer, a stack of letters I'd written home from vacations and then college. My cousin recently sent me a letter dated 1941, written by my mother to her father. You've inspired me to take up my pen.

Priya Sara Thomas said...

I completely agree with..Who wouldnt actually? It used to be such a surprise to see letters coming..especially when the senders address wudnt be there..we would be in a hurry to open the letter..Even for cards...i still remember counting those xmas cards..we will be happy when we count them and find that we get more cards than the number of cards we sent out....those ages are like another era...i really hate sending ecards...semms so mechanical....keep writing..hope u cud comment on my blog to...i have just started writing...

Pat said...

Your recognition on "Blog of Note" is well-deserved. I also have saved letters, especially the ones that told of a new marriage, new birth. One day I'll read them again.
I'm reading a good book now which is about 2 friends who wrote and saved each other's letters. "Acts of Love" by Judith Michael. You might check it out.
I'll be back to visit your blog!

Divya said...

As a kid, i loved reading and writing letters to my cousins...Now its more of emailing and insta messaging..Thought it might serve the purpose of keeping in touch, letters do have their old world charm which we simply cant ignore

Michael Reid said...

Letters are sooo old fashioned!
Get with it!?
(Only kidding - I agree also);-)

cheri said...

Hiya, and congrats on the blog of note. :) This was the first time I read one of those and actually liked it...

As to letters, yes, they're very sweet & easy to keep. But I still couldn't survive without textmessages. There's just nothing like them. I keep a special SMS diary where I write down the best ones. Those include my dad's text about the first flower he found one spring, witty birthday congratulations and the answer to my first ever love confession. Yes, I'm one of the "new generation"... :) And I really think that every person has such an unique way to express themselves in SMS-language that it's just as good as an individual handwriting. So, please, don't feel sorry for this teenager - I love my texts. :D

sia said...

well i m 20 and i have written a fw letters to my sister as a kid when i was in my hostel for my school, i relly miss those days and after reading ur post i really think that these days we people are missing something that is writing, i will try my best to skip the regular emailis and start mailing latters to my friends this is really a fun way to keep in touch.. some things are really touching yet they are treditional and classy..

thnx i m much inspired wth the post

sia

henzy said...

thank you for commenting on my blog and liking my pictures

Karen Cantwell said...

I just had this discussion with someone recently. It is a sad fact. The art of communication of any kind is dwindling away before our very eyes.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I agree that letters are great to have. Letters I received when I was a lonely student abroad still mean a lot to me despite the intervening years.

Congrats on being a blog of note.

Vita said...

I miss my dad. He wrote hundreds of letters to me, but came to prefer my letters to be typed, because he could read them better, and I found out too late that he didn't even bother with many of my hand written ones. That is so awful your MIL went through your things.

Urgência de viver ! said...

Gooodddddddddd

Halcyon said...

I am sure you will find a lot of supporters of your opinion. I too miss the old days of getting letters. But I also admit, I don't have the time to write like I did when I was younger - or perhaps I just don't make the time.

I do have a couple of cards and things from my mom and Granny stashed away somewhere. Those messages from the heart are real treasures.

lakeviewer said...

Maggie,
Most of the comments you received complained that letters are not received any more, and how great it all was back when we all wrote them.

But we only had letters then. Now we have almost unlimited time to post blogs/notes of sorts, unlimited time to send and receive messages on the phone and by email, and nothing is more satisfying than getting on with our busy life with a minimum of efforts.

Now, love letters are something else. They are really composed poems, meant to engage, delight and woo. We may not want to give up those treasured tokens of our affection for each other; because, romance is still worth having in its full measure.

What's exciting, at our age, is the new technology that makes us stay in touch and reach out to people across the world. Here I am, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States sharing my thoughts with you in Australia and your readers from all over the world. I'm happy to have the new tools.

sixtyfivewhatnow.blogspot.com

Kim said...

I was just thinking the same thing the other day. How I need to start the art of "real" letter writing back up again. I miss the feel and smell of the paper and actually seeing the persons unique handwriting. I think I will go look for some pretty stationary today.

Anonymous said...

I also miss letters.
An e-mail is fine, but hand written letters always seem more sincere.

streetmachine said...

Hello I really like your blog, I would like a link exchange with you, I insert your blog to my favorite blogs ;)

Blogotion said...

Hello, we also think your blog is really nice and interesting. You are invited to apply to be a featured author in our site called Blogotion. Congratulations.

Prospering Daily said...

I just love your writing, thank you. Congratulations on your award, so deserved.

gracepark said...

I am 23 years old, and my boyfriend is considerably older. During the beginning of our relationship, we wrote back and forth to each other -- many times in a day. I'll admit we emailed more than we wrote handwritten letters, but we cherish those emails, and have saved many of the important ones.

I remember sitting in a classroom one day, writing what would become a 6 page (back and front) letter to him. My classmates didn't understand and mocked me.... But he and I love the written word so much, in whatever fashion it may come. It was a major reason why we fell in love.

Tanya said...

Wow! A lot of comments on this post! You certainly hit the nail on the head! I too often think that someday our history will be lost. Even e-mailing is going out the window with chat so available. Maybe that is why some of us blog, so that something written is left in cyberspace.

Coin said...

Have a nice day
I like it

Drea said...

I think this was the best thought I've read thus far on a blog...I'm a teenager and I can't even remember the last time I received a hand written letter. Really touching, your memories of your mom and other family members made me think of my grand father who we used to call Daddio...really nice =)

Shoshana said...

I find letters very important and dying art. I found my husband in letters.

Jo said...

I was thinking this just the other day as well. I love writing letters and notes and nice cards. I still do it occasionally, even though everyone communicates by e-mail nowadays.

My mother used to exchange correspondence with one of her teachers in South Africa, and it was almost a magical moment when she received a letter from her.

I love this website said...

So true! Thanks for a great post

Coachdad said...

Thank you so much for writing about letters...you motivated me to write my own and would for you and your readers to read it own my own blog.

Jo said...

Meggie, congratulations to you too on being chosen as a Blog of Note! What a hoot, hey?

Coachdad said...

Wow...after reading the comment I left you, I noticed it wasn't well written. Typos and words left out. Thanks for overlooking that and coming to my site and leaving your own comment. It meant a lot to me!

Marianna said...

Hello from Greece!

What a great site and post! When I was a little girl I subscribed to an organisation in order to have pen-pals all over the world. It was a great experience and for quite a few years I would exchange views, experiences, 'culture' with many people from around the world, through the mail!

After reading your post I remembered that i kept my letters in a box in the exact same way shown in your picture! Thank you for reminding me that...

I still write or send real cards and my friends make fun of me but I know...there is nothing like a card or letter addressed to you and only you...

take care now
till next time
xoxo

Connie Babe said...

My aunt saves all letters. She recently made copies of all the ones from my grandma and put it in a huge binder for each of her sisters...my mother is dead and by some stroke of fate, I ended up getting this binder. It is a treasure, a way to get to know my grandma better, adult to adult. I'm glad you save your letters.

Savvy Mom said...

You have rightly mentioned that letter writing has become a forgotten art.

I cant say i was much of a letter-writer back in the old days (ie about 20 years ago). But I remember writing to my uncle who was abroad, when i was about 10. This is how all my letters would go:

Dearest Babychachan
How are you? I am fine. I want
1. A pretty doll.
2. Fancy frocks.
3. A digital watch.
4. ...

you get the drift :)

But i am glad that at least now i blog!!

R2K said...

: )

Prerana said...

congrats to you for it being blog of the note.I still love writing letters n my near n dear ones also write back to me...i agree that nowadays vry few people write letters but this art is still not became a forgotten thing.:):)

byvonne said...

"Letters" is a wonderful blog entry, and so true. I am a handwritten letters friend, if that makes sense. It's unfortunate that most people today prefer an online note to this art. My mailbox has been empty for far too long. Your entire blog is great.
I was wondering, how can I add yours to the ones I follow. i cant seem to find a link to click on to add you.

iVan Chong said...

love it..
the joy of reading old letters..
with joy or sadness,
the letters are with us..

BCS is BS said...

I was reading your comments earlier and ran across the one from Coachdad. You must be flattered that you moved him to write what he wrote. Both of you captured what a letter is supposed to be and mean.

ishqia said...

congrats for being a blog of note.

i liked ur post. it was emotional.
i too have some letters saved and i m glad i have them. but i dont thinks mails r bad.. i do re read mails at times i m lonely. i feel its letters or mails .. what is important is the content..

have a gr8 life.

Rachete said...

You have the nicest blog. Thank you for sharing it with us.

http://racheteapaintersdiary.blogspot.com/

Liska said...

I have a box full of letters from my Mum and I treasure them, as she used to pour her heart out into them. She used to write often so I have lots of letters, as she is in Ireland and I in UK, but alas, she got modern and now texts me. Maybe it's now well over a year (plus or minus) since she wrote a letter, but I think, having read your blog, that I will write her a letter (she'll be so shocked) to prompt her to write me one back. Thank you for reminding me of the forgotten art. For a year she has been living with her sister, and in that house, very little is her own, and her belonging are all in boxes, so for her to receive a letter, addressed to her, I think it will mean an awful awful lot. Thank you for making me think of this idea. Funny, it came to me while writing this comment. Your blog is beautiful. x

Ian Buchan said...

Well done BON! I like your letters post; since I was a kid at primary school, I had the habit of writing to my parents every week that I was away from home. My Mom kept some of my letters from foreign countries, and I'm transcribing them onto MS Word in case i lose them. Teh same with travel diaries, I dutifully scribbled every night in camp or hotel. Now, a senior citizen, I'm lazy and do digital photography instead! Pity.

Mary said...

My handwriting is terrible now, since I type so much more but I do send cards - not quite letters but usually made with one of my photos and I fill the inside page with writing.

One of my goals in 2009 is to keep in touch with loved ones - for some that will mean cards, others get emails, some fabric postcards, and for a couple, more frequent text messages.

Tyler said...

what an interesting blog.
take a look at my blog if you ever are interested.
www.tylerstunna.blogspot.com

Heather said...

I've never seen so many blog comments on a single post before!

I thought you be glad to hear that some of us of the text-message generation still send snail mail. Once a week I hand write and mail a letter to the man I love on the other side of the country. Love letters should never go out of fashion with more convenient technology. :)

D.K.Fisher said...

Congradulations on the Blogs of Note! My MIL lives with us and she still writes handwritten letters to family and I have always appreciated that about her. She can write to most beautiful notes. I love making home made cards but am terrible about actually sending them out. You have inspired me and I plan on doing better about writing.

~Unfurling Flower~ said...

I found your blog just today in the "Blog of Note!" And I was thrilled to read this post about letter writing! I was thinking about doing such a post in my blog soon and I've been inspired to do it! Thank you for this post about a lost art! I grew up loving paper, pens, envelopes and when I was old enough to know what a "pen-pal" was---I was hooked! And I still love the written word any day over a typed letter or an email--and especially over a text message!!!

There is nothing like getting a letter to hold in the hands and cherish. I keep my letters and reread them often. I do miss letter writing on a daily basis. I just wrote my 7 year niece a letter last week. She is learning to read and write. I am anxious to see her letter arrive in my post box!!

Kudos for this post! And I am glad I found your site. Take care.
Affectionately, ~Unfurling Flower~

CrazyCardLadies said...

Thanks for your comments. You are very ambitious, I need to buckle down and get my videos organized and get picture put in albums.

Talk to you soon

CrazyCardLadies said...

Oh yes, you definately have to write to her. She will treasure it forever. I network for a business and I always tell people there is nothing like acting on your prompting. Say when you feel it or the feeling will be lost, don't waste it.

Thanks

soJAEded said...

i absolutley agree - i love writing letters

ohh and receiving them is just so much fun

CrazyCardLadies said...

Are you a coach?

Connie W said...

I still have a penpal with whom I exchange paper letters and we both truly enjoy it.

Sarah Sahim said...

The advancement of technology, I believe is a good thing, but onlt to a certain extent, I feel it may become all a bit too much, for example by 2049, it is estimated a £500 computer will have more compacity then every human brain in the world, such advancements are too an extreme, but perhaps, they are for the better. Check my blog out at www.sarahsahim.blogspot.com
x

Miss Feona said...

I love getting letters, though unfortunately I only ever get them telling me about the lack of money that is sitting in my bank account. Though my grandma sends me letters when she finds somethign relevant or interestign in the newspaper (she lives in another country). The feel of opening envelopes is just wonderful though, especially when the envelope has an interesting stamp and the envelope is made of brown paper.

Emma said...

You'll be happy to know there's one teenager that still writes letters! I write texts and ring, but these are more an easy means of communication than a well thought out keepsake. I write letters to a penpal in Austrailia and also my Nana. I also write letters to my boyfriend which I think he appreciates alot just as I do when I receive them from him. I just love the feeling of receiving it through the door, the excitement of reading it as I dont get them everyday. I love reading them again too and I would never dream of getting rid of them. It infuriated me to know that your Mother in Law had been so disrespectful of your privacy and feelings. Letters are so personal and sacred, it's a shame that you had to go to such lengths to let her keep away. x x x

miss diarist said...

Letters are so beautiful. There's nothing like knowing that someone has taken the time to think of you and put words to paper.

I keep every letter written by my grandmother, and have three boxes in my cupboard filled with every letter I received whilst living overseas for a year as a 17-year old. I don't know that I'll ever be able to bring myself to throw them out.

Solleggiata said...

"We shy persons need to write a letter now and then, or else we'll dry up and blow away. It's true. And I speak as one who loves to reach for the phone, dial the number, and talk. I say, "Big Bopper here - what's shakin', babes?" The telephone is to shyness what Hawaii is to February, it's a way out of the woods, and yet: a letter is better.

Such a sweet gift - a piece of handmade writing, in an envelope that is not a bill, sitting in our friend's path when she trudges home from a long day spent among wahoos and savages, a day our words will help repair. They don't need to be immortal, just sincere. She can read them twice and again tomorrow: You're someone I care about, Corrine, and think of often and every time I do you make me smile.

We need to write, otherwise nobody will know who we are. They will have only a vague impression of us as A Nice Person, because, frankly, we don't shine at conversation, we lack the confidence to thrust our faces forward and say, "Hi! I'm Heather Hooten; let me tell you about my week." Mostly we say "Uh-huh" and "Oh, really." People smile and look over our shoulder, looking for someone else to meet.

So a shy person sits down and writes a letter. To be known by another person - to meet and talk freely on the page - to be close despite distance. To escape from anonymity and be our own sweet selves and express the music of our souls.

Same thing that moves a giant rock star to sing his heart out in front of 123,000 people moves us to take a ballpoint in hand and write a few lines to our dear Aunt Eleanor. We want to be known. We want her to know that we have fallen in love, that we quit our job, that we're moving to New York, and we want to say a few things that might not get said in casual conversation: Thank you for what you've meant to me, I'm very happy right now.

The first step in writing letters is to get over the guilt of not writing. You don't "owe" anybody a letter. Letters are a gift. The burning shame you feel when you see unanswered mail makes it harder to pick up a pen and makes for a cheerless letter when you finally do. I feel bad about not writing, but I've been so busy, etc. Skip this. Few letters are obligatory, and they are Thanks for the wonderful gift and I am terribly sorry to hear about George's death and Yes, you're welcome to stay with us next month, and not many more than that. Write those promptly if you want to keep your friends. Don't worry about the others, except love letters, of course. When your true love writes, Dear Light of My Life, Joy of My Heart, O Lovely Pulsating Core of My Sensate Life, some response is called for.

Some of the best letters are tossed off in a burst of inspiration, so keep your writing stuff in one place where you can sit down for a few minutes and (Dear Roy, I am in the middle of a book entitled We Are Still Married but thought I'd drop you a line. Hi to your sweetie, too) dash off a note to a pal. Envelopes, stamps, address book, everything in a drawer so you can write fast when the pen is hot.

A blank white eight-by-eleven sheet can look as big as Montana if the pen's not so hot - try a smaller page and write boldly. Or use a note card with a piece of fine art on the front; if your letter ain't good, at least they get the Matisse. Get a pen that makes a sensuous line, get a comfortable typewriter, a friendly word processor - whichever feels easy to the hand.

Sit for a few minutes with the blank sheet in front of you, and meditate on the person you will write to, let your friend come to mind until you can almost see her or him in the room with you. Remember the last time you saw each other and how your friend looked and what you said and what perhaps was unsaid between you, and when your friend becomes real to you, start to write.

Write the salutation - Dear You - and take a deep breath and plunge in. A simple declarative sentence will do, followed by another and another and another. Tell us what you're doing and tell it like you were talking to us. Don't think about grammar, don't think about lit'ry style, don't try to write dramatically, just give us your news. Where did you go, who did you see, what did they say, what do you think?

If you don't know where to begin, start with the present moment: I'm sitting at the kitchen table on a rainy Saturday morning. Everyone is gone and the house is quiet. Let your simple description of the present moment lead to something else, let the letter drift gently along.

The toughest letter to crank out is one that is meant to impress, as we all know from writing job applications; if it's hard work to slip off a letter to a friend, maybe you're trying too hard to be terrific. A letter is only a report to someone who already likes you for reasons other than your brilliance. Take it easy.

Don't worry about form. It's not a term paper. When you come to the end of one episode, just start a new paragraph. You can go from a few lines about the sad state of pro football to your fond memories of Mexico to your cat's urinary tract infection to a few thoughts on personal indebtedness and on to the kitchen sink and what's in it. The more you write, the easier it gets, and when you have a True True Friend to write to, a compadre, a soul sibling, then it's like driving a car down a country road, you just get behind the keyboard and press on the gas.

Don't tear up the page and start over when you write a bad line - try to write your way out of it. Make mistakes and plunge on. Let the letter cook along and let yourself be bold. Outrage, confusion, love - whatever is in your mind, let it find a way on to the page. Writing is a means of discovery, always, and when you come to the end and write Yours ever or Hugs and kisses, you'll know something you didn't when you wrote Dear Pal.

Probably your friend will put your letter away, and it'll be read again a few years from now - and it will improve with age. And forty years from now, your friend's grandkids will dig it out of the attic and read it, a sweet and precious relic of the ancient eighties that gives them a sudden clear glimpse of you and her and the world we old-timers knew. You will then have created an object of art. Your simple lines about where you went, who you saw, what they said, will speak to those children and they will feel in their hearts the humanity of our times.

You can't pick up a phone and call the future and tell them about our times. You have to pick up a piece of paper."

~Garrison Keillor

Alice said...

Meggie - I'm sure you read all 137 comments before this one....I'm also sure you are glad they weren't all letters....lol.

When Shelly and Tanya went to live overseas, our relationship changed and we began a new one which we shared through letters. We said things in those letters we would never have said face to face.....somehow the deeper, more emotional things, were easier to express on paper and nonetheless sincere.

Handwriting letters took time, so how pleased we were when we got computers. Do we write letters on computers now? Rarely.

We write emails, but even those are often whittled down to mere comments. Certainly, that may often be far more frequent than a letter, but not nearly as informative.

I remember writing a letter to my mother when she was going through a difficult time a year or so before she died. It was a handwritten letter and the words seemed to flow from the pen of their own accord. It was a long letter, and for some reason, I photocopied it. Mum told me later that when she opened the letter, the very first words were the ones she needed most to hear at that time, and the letter spoke to her in a very special way. Years later I read my copy of the letter and was astounded at what I had written. I was very definitely inspired by 'someone' with a greater understanding of Mum and her situation at the time, than I would normally have possessed.

I can imagine how sad you would feel thinking of your mother re-reading your letters in her loneliness, yet be thankful that she had those letters which conveyed your love and support for her.

Thank you for your great wisdom and ability to share, Meg.

'Alice'

Wendy said...

I just want to say to all of you who jotted here before me... we will not go down without a fight! Letter writing lives like little embers that we just need to fan into flame! :)

Okay, sorry I get carried aways. I maintain a letter writing blog and I get really excited when I accidentally run into a group of people who are enthusiastic about letter writing. WOOOO!

(Was that really unladylike?? Sorry.)