Writing Letters – a Nostalgic Look into the Past

stack of letters

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how people communicate.  Writing letters used to be one of my favourite things in the world.  I don’t do it anymore, and I really miss it.  I’ve written some of my thoughts about it for you.

writing letters part 1
letter and flowers
writing letters part 2
lots of letters
writing letters part 3
paper and pen
writing letters part 4
air letter

If you can’t read my handwriting, or if your screen doesn’t show images, you can read this post here.

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Author: Cheryl

I'm an Australian woman who is now living in a village in rural Bulgaria. I lived for 12 years in Moscow, Russian Federation, working as an English language teacher. My current loves are my husband and my vegetable garden.

16 thoughts on “Writing Letters – a Nostalgic Look into the Past”

  1. It certainly is a lost art isn’t it? I suppose it is easier to write an email or message. I know my handwriting has certainly deteriorated because I use the computer all the time. I do have some letters which I treasure. One is from my grandmother to my Mum (both deceased now). Mum was in hospital after giving birth to my older brother and in those days you were in hospital for a longer time. The second was letters my Mum wrote to my cousin/godmother who is like a big sister to me. It is so lovely to see their handwriting as well as read their thoughts. Thank you for linking up and sharing at #MLSTL and have a great week. x

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    1. Hi Sue, yes, I agree that it’s a lost art. It’s even difficult to get people to write anything meaningful in an email these days! How nice that you have letters from your grandmother and mother – as you said it must be lovely to see their handwriting, it’s so intimate. Thank you for visiting again, it’s nice to see you here. πŸ™‚

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  2. I truly enjoyed reading your handwritten post! I used to love letter writing when I was younger. I had a niece that was my age but lived several towns away (enough for there to be long distance charges!) So we wrote to each other. The funniest one was when she accidentally put her letter for her boyfriend into an envelope addressed to me. That one deserved a long distance phone call. I could almost feel the heat of her embarrassment over the phone line!

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    1. Hello Jennifer! What a funny story about your niece! It’s the old version of sending an SMS to the wrong number! πŸ™‚ It’s nice that you wrote to her – I remember the days of long distance calls and not being able to just connect with people whenever you wanted because it was too expensive. Times sure have changed! Maybe you could send her a letter now – she’d probably be very surprised to see your handwriting again. Thanks for visiting, hope to see you again. πŸ™‚

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  3. I had a Japanese penpal too Cheryl! We used to write to each other on those thin blue email letters and she’d send me little cute Japanese character pictures – I still have some of them! You’re so lucky to still be in touch with yours and you’re right about the lost art of handwriting – I wrote about it too a while back. Typing’s faster but not as satisfying.
    MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM πŸ™‚

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    1. Hi Leanne, yes, I also used a lot of those thin blue airmail papers and envelopes. I couldn’t afford to send anything heavier than an airmail letter! Do you remember how you got your Japanese penpal? I got mine because a teacher in Japan sent a letter to one of the magazines my mother used to read (Woman’s Day or something) asking for penpals for the students in her class. So I answered it and got a letter back from my new penpal. It was a wonderful experience and I feel sorry for the kids these days who will never know the feeling of waiting for the next letter to arrive. I haven’t seen your post about handwriting, I’m off to look for it now. πŸ™‚ Enjoy the rest of your week. x

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  4. I love your post – and especially the way you hand wrote it all out. I have to admit that I was guilty of the same lack of letter writing. Then I gained a new friend several years back. She was in two of the anthologies I put together & she wrote me a sweet note afterwards. I was so touched. So we started corresponding. It’s mostly emails back and forth, but I get at least one and sometimes two handwritten cards and notes from her each week. She just loves to write to friends – the ‘old fashioned’ way.
    It inspired me so much, the past two years I gave ‘Card of the Month’ memberships out as Christmas gifts to ten friends & family members. Each month I send them a handwritten note/card. I’ve gotten responses back from almost all of them about how much they enjoy getting a ‘real’ card or letter.
    Thanks for a great post!
    Sharing for MLSTL

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    1. Hello Trisha, thank you for your kind words, I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I love your idea of ‘Card of the Month’, it can only bring positive emotions to people, I think. I might try and do the same, I’m sure it would put a smile of people’s faces, especially since I live so far from my friends and family. Thank you for visiting and commenting, I hope to see you again. Wishing you a lovely weekend. πŸ™‚

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  5. Hi Cheryl, I had a pen pal when I was in the fourth and fifth grade, but we lost touch when as a military family we moved overseas, first to Japan, then later to Bogota, Colombia. I miss those days of writing letters. I used to keep a hand written journal, too, but now that I’m blogging, that has fallen by the wayside. I enjoyed your post. It took me back to happy times. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hello Christina, yes, I miss it too. It was such an interesting way to spend my time, writing and reading letters. I feel a bit sad for the younger generations, because I think they’ll never know the pleasure that writing (and receiving) letters can bring. It’s a shame you lost touch with your penpal – have you thought about trying to track them down? A handwritten journal is also a great idea – something I never did but always wanted to. When my daughter became pregnant a few years ago, I wrote her biography from birth to her teenage years, by hand, and presented it to her in a nice little book with pictures I found from the internet of toys and games she used to play. It was such a joy for me to go through my memories of her childhood, and she learnt some things about herself that she didn’t know. Thanks for reading and commenting on my post, I’m glad that you enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

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      1. I highly recommend doing it, Christina. You know, we often think that our children remember the same things we do, but they don’t. And especially in the early years they have no memory at all. I didn’t write just about her first tooth, or first steps, but also about her little friends next door, the fact that she spent a lot of time at grandma’s place, her favourite food and toys etc. It was really fun for me to write it too. We moved a lot when my daughter was younger, so I did a time-line as well, with the addresses of the places we lived in from when she was born until she left home. I found photos on the internet of the houses and printed them out, too! Some of them she couldn’t remember. You know, if anything happens to me, she won’t have anyone to ask about her early years (I was a single mum), so I think it’s something really important not only for nostalgia and memories, but also as a record of her life. If you can find the time and energy to do it for your daughter, I’m sure she’ll love it and appreciate it – ESPECIALLY if you write it by hand. Let me know if you want to know more about what I put in mine and I’ll have a look at it and let you know. πŸ™‚

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  6. While I don’t handwrite many letters (although I do make cards and write a brief note) … I do enjoy journaling by hand. And lately, I’ve taken to using a fountain pen. I like the feel of the pen in my hand and the way it makes me slow down to ensure the ink flow is smooth and even. In slowing down my penmanship, I slow down my thoughts – which helps me make more sense of the world (rather than mindlessly going from one activity to another).

    I love that you used photos of your handwriting to draft a blog post. I might like to do this myself sometime – if you don’t mind.

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    1. Hi Molly, wow, a fountain pen! Wonderful! I used to use a cartridge pen, which I guess is the modern version of a fountain pen. I also love the way I write when I’m holding a beautiful pen – it makes a huge difference, and as you said, it can help you think because you’re taking more care with such a beautiful instrument. You’re welcome to use the idea of handwriting for your blog, of course, I’m sure it’s not an original idea (although to be honest I haven’t yet seen it anywhere else). Wishing you a lovely week! πŸ™‚

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  7. I grew up writing letters. I gave myself a challenge last month to write one letter a week. Even if only a postcard. I did write a long two page letter. I feel I express myself differently in a letter – whether true or not. Yes I still like to write paper/pen my to do list. I like looking and feeling it.

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    1. Hi Amelia, thanks for your comment. I love hearing from other people who feel the same about writing. I interact with a lot of younger people in my work, and almost all of them prefer the electronic version of everything and they wouldn’t dream of doing something as simple was writing something on paper. My students even take a photograph of my email address when I write it on the whiteboard for them! Sad 😦 Thanks for reading and commenting. πŸ™‚

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