Writing Letters – a Nostalgic Look into the Past

When was the last time you wrote a letter?  I mean, a real letter on paper.  With a pen.  Not an email.

Although, even emails are becoming rare.  People don’t seem to be able to write anymore.

If you know anything about me, you’ll probably know how much I resist new technology.

Specifically smart phones and all the apps – “to make life easier” – that come with them.

I learnt recently that when people need to take notes these days, they open an app in their phones.

They don’t grab a notebook or a piece of paper and a pen anymore.

You won’t be surprised to learn that all my notes and “to-do” lists are written on paper.  My “to-do” list is on my desk where I can see it.  I add to it as necessary, and get great pleasure from picking up a pen and drawing a line through the things I’ve completed.

When I was 12 years old I got a penpal.  She’s from Japan.  I know, it’s so easy to connect with people from all over the world these days, but in 1979 it wasn’t so common.

How I loved getting her letters!  Exotic handwriting, tucked inside an envelope with an exotic stamp stuck in the top right hand corner.

We took turns writing to each other.  I would rush home from school to check if the mailman had left me a letter from Japan.

Sometimes she drew me a picture, and, less often, there would be a photo of her inside the envelope with the letter.

I used to carefully draft my replies to her on paper from my school books.  I can’t remember what I used to write about, but probably stuff about my family and school.

When I was happy with the draft, I would write it all again in my best handwriting, on beautiful paper I had especially for writing letters.  Do you remember this?  Sometimes I got some as a present at Christmas from people who knew I liked to write letters.  Sometimes I went to the shop and spent a long time choosing which writing paper to buy – there was so much choice back then!

My Japanese friend and I still keep in touch, but these days it’s by email.  It’s not the same.  I haven’t seen her handwriting for more than 10 years.  Now, it’s just text on a screen.

I still remember her address – she has never moved in all the time I’ve known her.  If I sent her a letter today I’d be able to address the envelope without checking it.  I wrote real letters to her for more than 25 years – I think I’ll always know her address.

I miss writing letters.  She wasn’t the only penpal I had, but she’s the one I’ve had the longest.  Maybe I should surprise her and send her a real letter.

When was the last time you put pen to paper?

~ Cheryl

And here’s the link to the handwritten version of this post.