SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - The mail arrived today at the post office around the corner and there, buried between political ads for California gubernatorial candidates (Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman), was a letter from my sister Anne.
A letter! And actual piece of paper, tucked neatly in a small envelope with a first class, forever stamp affixed in the corner.
A 'forever' stamp
The letter was in response to a missive I sent last week (a real letter, too), when I decided that sending electrons across cyberspace in an email to communicate was getting tiring.
Of course, writing a letter, printing it out (my handwriting is beyond atrocious), addressing an envelope and then - gasp - taking it to the post office, had its tiring moments, too. But there is something soooo satisfying about dropping a letter into the mailbox to be delivered. And it's even more satisfying when you receive a letter.
I know my granddaughters Samantha and Kami love to get mail, and from time to time, I dash off a letter, usually adding a sheet of stickers and sometimes some photos - or even toys.
My late mother wrote letters every week of her life. And at Christmas, her card list had more than 300 people - old roommates from college, relatives and professional acquaintances with whom she had become friends. Starting sometime in early November she would pen a few cards every day, sending them out with personal messages to each person, inquiring about families and health and other such things.
Not all responded, though I remember our roadside mailbox in Lakewood, New York being quite full in the spring, as people wrote her back.
For me today, the best part is holding the letter I just received, then setting it in a place of honor, from which it can be picked up and read again later. And read again.
I have a full sheet of first-class, forever stamps, waiting to be put to good use, as I type this. Perhaps it's time to leave the world of electrons and get put together another real letter.
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