I read a lot of blogs, and one of my favorite is a blog by Cassie, over at Books and Bowel Movements. A couple of days ago she wrote about “A Month of Letters“. I loved her idea, and after a couple of emails with Cassie, decided to join in!
Here’s how Cassie put it in her blog:
“To do this, I was hoping to have people to write too. I’d like to spend 31 days writing to people who are new to me. Or people, who I haven’t known my whole life, or lived in the bed next to for a summer, or spent my spring evenings with. So, I’m opening this up to all of you. I think in order to do this, you will have to believe that I am not a serial killer, and will not take your addresses and spam you with vacation packages, or car insurance quotes. In order to prove this, I’ve decided to hand-make all of my own cards. This means, you may think a first grade relative sent you something, but really it’s me, Southern girl from Books & Bowel Movements. ”
First, you see why I like Cassie – she’s just plain funny! Second, I just want you to know that I will NOT be making all of my own cards/stationary. I am not crafty, or artsy, or any combination there-of. BUT, I do like cards and stationary – I just won’t be making it! Also, please note that I am also not a serial killer, and I will not spam you if you email me about this project.
I hadn’t thought about the joy of hand-written letters in quite a while, but after reading Cassie’s post I started thinking about some of the letters I have kept and truly cherish. My grandfather traveled the world for most of my life (and my mothers), he was an engineer and worked mostly on asphalt plants. He used to send postcards and letters from all over the place, and I was thrilled to get them. He would sign his name, and sketch a fish. I loved his little fish – and as I grew older I realized that you could tell his mood by the facial expression on the fish. I know, I know – fish don’t have facial expressions! Well, you just haven’t seen my grandfather’s fishes! Now I’m wishing I had a postcard handy to scan in and show you – I’m currently marking that down on my to-do list.
Other cherished letters include a handful of letters from my grandmother. My grandmother is 93, and I talk to her at least once a week. She is amazing, and I adore her. My grandmother will tell you straight out that she is not a letter-writer. Her first response to someone’s distress or hard times is to visit them or call them – not send a card or letter. Because I know that she doesn’t enjoy writing letters, the few I have from her are some of my most treasured.
I have a great-aunt who loves to write. Cards, letters, on napkins, envelopes, that woman will write until there is no space left. She will fill the entire page, then start around the edges. And bless her heart, Egyptian hieroglyphs are easier to read. I love her, and I love to get letters from her, but it takes me upwards of an hour to get them all sorted out – not only are there pages and pages, they are covered front, back and edges. Picture me holding the first page, getting to the bottom, then trying to decide if I should turn it over, or start on the edges. Then I’m turning it around and around as I follow the written edge – around all four edges! Not only is that a challenge, she writes them over the course of several days, and it’s hard to pick up from one day to the next with any continuity.
Long after my other grandmother died, I was given a stack of cards and notes that I had written to her. She passed away when I was 10, so the letters I sent her were childish, and grew from scribbles to short sentences. But she kept them all! I love looking over them now that I’m grown up with a family of my own, and think how much I will love all the letters I get over the years.
As you can see, I have a long line of letter writers in my past, or at least A line – even if it isn’t all that long. I grew up where not only did you thank someone in person for their gift to you (for whatever the occasion), but you wrote them a thank-you note within 14 days, AND you mentioned it, or displayed it the next time you saw them, so they would feel properly appreciated. I have written many letters in my time, but in the last few years I’ve slacked off. If I can reach someone via email, text or phone, or even Facebook, I don’t typically write them a letter.
Thanks to Cassie, this will change in the month of March. Letter writing has become a lost art, and I would like to revive it in my life. There is nothing better than opening the mailbox to find something that’s for me, that’s not a bill or a stupid piece of junk mail (that goes immediately in the recycle bin), but is personal. It’s even better when it’s a chatty hand-written letter!
So, here’s the deal – I am going to write letters each day in March. If you would like to receive a letter (or maybe a smallish note), and you trust me not to share your info or send you crazy unsolicited stuff (which I promise not to do), you can email me at muzettew AT gmail DOT com and introduce yourself and give me your mailing address.
Although I have some people in my life who deserve a letter instead of just an occasional phone call, I would like to have some new people to write and share funny things or great quotes with. I would love to hear from you.
If you’re interested in participating on your blog, you can grab the badge on the top of this post, and get ideas from me or Cassie.
There are a ton of blogs that did this for February. I believe the starting blog was LetterMo.