Monday, 25 February 2013

The Joy of Handwritten Letters in an Electronic Age

That's right, handwritten.  I think the most hand writing that any of us receive these days is in a greeting card.  Many times, the card in itself is part of the gift, not because it cost almost as much as the gift but because someone stood there and went through the myriad of choices on display and chose one especially for you.  If you are really lucky they might even have had the time and skill to make one.  They then sat down and wrote a message, just to you. 

Is it just people of a certain age who feel this way?  I've watched so many cards just put aside carelessly by younger people in favour of going straight for the present.  That is unless the present is inside the card in the form of a gift card. 

All this sounds strange coming from someone who has newly discovered the joy of sitting down at a computer and writing a blog.  For me the biggest thrill is when someone responds.  Its like i made a connection.  It could be a good one or a bad one, but i reached out and connected with someone and they responded.  I often reflect on comments because i get to see my views and opinions from anothers perspective.   I hope I'm not only sharing with others the joy of Living in The Land Of Oz but also making a connection with myself, clarifying my thoughts and sometimes just clearing the cobwebs.

For me the biggest gift of all is to know that someone, somewhere took the time to sit down and put pen to paper and write to me.  It takes time, and effort not only to write but to then go out of their way to buy a stamp and then post it.  What bigger commitment can there be to say "Hey, I'm thinking about you."  Pretty special isn't it.  No text, no tweet, no email but a hand written letter. 

Coming home to find an envelope addressed to ME that doesn't have a plastic window is a thrill.  One where i know the sender before i even opened it from the familiarity of the writing.   So who sends me these special gifts?  My big sister.

This sister (i have three) is very private, and she wouldn't like it if i posted a photo or mentioned her name.  Nor would she like me even mentioning her full stop.   So i will just say that i love her dearly and that she is a wonderful sister, mother, daughter, friend, work colleague ......  and is loved and respected by all (though she wont believe it).

So what does she write about.  Things about her everyday life.  Where she is writing the letter so i can imagine her there, things that have happened or are happening in my family that I might not have been told.   My 83 year old mother often thinks she has told me things but hasn't. I think she's allowed a little grace given her age and having six kids to keep up with.   My sister tells me what's going on in my home town so that i feel connected.   Sometimes its just about the weather.  It doesn't really matter about the content.  She doesn't use fancy paper as that's not her way.  Often she is sitting in the back yard balancing a pad on her knee and so its often not neat but who care, she is thinking of me             

sending her love and for that i say thank you.

Is anyone writing to you?

Thank you for visiting Living In The Land of Oz



  1. Each weekday morning, I wake to a cup of coffee, ready to drink, made just the way I like it (milk and sugar added), underneath is a handwritten note, from Mark, telling me to have a wonderful day and telling me something he thinks is amazing about me.

  2. Hi Lynda, I love letters as well. In fact I often write to my daughters; one of whom lives in remote community in Far Northern Kimberely (WA) so it often takes my letters two weeks to get to her. They are 2 hours from their postal box and only collect their mail once a week. My other daughter lives in Sydney and she receives her mail a little quicker. I wrote to my niece in Brisbane a while ago and she was thrilled to receive an Old School Letter - when i asked her what Old School meant - she said "hand written" .
    My hand writing is quite terrible the more I write, the quicker i write and it just gets worse and worse. When I used to write to my daughter, when she was living in Japan, she said it made for quite good entertainment trying to work out what I had written LOL.
    when i was a young married living in ACT (family was in Tas) I used to get a letter from my darling Mum every week - it was a real joy and still makes me smile to this day, 30 years later.

    1. You are a good Mum following the tradition set by your own. Gosh you must miss her being so far away in WA but im sure that the time you take writing the letters feel like its time spent with them. A conversation in writing that can be kept, and re-read and stored away to be brought out at another time. Imagine if you had kept those letters from your Mum and could take them out and read them today. What a pleasure that would be.

      My own Mum's writing is beautiful. Such penmenship. So much so that when it came to having to write a signature, i asked her to write it for me and i practised and practised until i could do it. Today, it is still the only time i use running cursive and im often complimented on my signature. It was really funny on my honeymoon (20 yrs ago) when i came to write my new surname and couldnt do it. HELP MUM!!

      Thanks for posting your comment.

  3. There really is nothing like snail mail. :)

  4. Linda.
    my best friend of 30 years and I still use snail mail. we write and write and write pages upon pages of thoughts good and bad, stories old and new, life changes & experiences etc. We never tire, we never stop. We tried going online once but it wasn't the same. There is nothing better than receiving an envelope packed full of words waiting to be devoured, making that cup of tea and sitting somewhere quiet and secret and commencing at the beginning with, Dear ........
    It is a dying art, but when you put the 'wonder'out there look what have quite a few of us saying 'we belong to the old club and love it'.
    cudo's for putting it out there. Bron

  5. Thank Bron. Welcome aboard - thanks for commenting. Gosh - Westbourne - we have had a journey there - Tom started in Kindergarten (4) and went till Grade 5. Not a good experience but that was because we didnt know (nor did they) that he had Aspergers. Now it all makes sense. I wish i knew earlier - half my mortgage is sitting at that place.


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