I was going through the contents of my personal memory chest, an old olive green hard-covered suitcase, this past Christmas. Kind of fun. And which, by the way, I realized I borrowed from my older sister over 40 years ago. She had good taste back then. LOL. Suitcase is in great shape still. Uh oh! I never gave it back. Yikes!! Sorry sister. Anyway, nostalgia. Pure and simple. It holds some of my most treasured keepsakes that I have gathered and saved over the years. Things I just did/do not want to let go of. Why in the world I kept all of these things?! Not like I am a hoarder or anything. I really am good at purging. Probably too good at times as my daughters have reminded me. Oh well. But regardless, it brings me happiness. Lots.
I chuckle and smile as I look over some of the collection of chaos nestled in the lined case. Old photos, awards/ribbons/ silver dollars won in sports, an old pennant, baseball team photos, newspaper clippings, my first train/plane ticket, report cards (what a hoot to look over) homemade cards from friends when our family moved away, cards and notes from students/friends, odd trinkets, a pressed flower from being a bridesmaid many moons ago, 4-H recipes for Baked Alaska and Raspberry Bavarian Cream (yummy), my girls artwork and hand-made cards to me, Mother’s Day place mat, certificates for workshops, Christmas ornaments, a popsicle stick memento box from middle girl, my grandpa’s poems, old coins, hospital baby pictures, hospital bracelet, Christmas song book, old journal….crazy happy mementoes. Honestly, a hodge-podge of sentiment. Love it!
And then I find a stack of letters, old letters wrapped in a rubber band, tucked way underneath the bits and pieces of chaos. Aha. Briefly leafing through them, I found I kept letters from friends, my grandmas and my mom. Good old fashioned, long hand-written letters written with heartfelt love. Archived stories and news of days gone by. Is this a lost art? When was the last time I sat down to write a letter to someone, anyone? Dear…..
Man, do I miss snail mail and stamps that were 6 cents. LOL. I remember going to the mailbox many a time during my university years and seeing a letter laying in the box, marked 343 or 203. How on earth do I remember those numbers from my residences? Huh. Anyway, I would take the stairwell, no slow elevator for me, running up taking two steps at a time, to my room and ripping open the news. Just knowing that someone took the time and wrote to me….so gratefully humbled now. I hope I conveyed that when I responded back. I hoped they knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was ever so thankful. And I wish I could have saved a few that I know I got rid of too. Hmmmm.
My heart has a bit of heaviness right now thinking of my mom in a home, her ability to write is no longer available to her. Those hands of hers, which now are laden with arthritic pain and shakiness, brought beauty to the pen. You know the kind where the hand could take the pen and form the letters with a flow and curve connecting so perfectly,, creating wonderful loving messages. It felt like home. And it was. Did not matter what she wrote, she had a way of making whatever she had to say come alive. And so too did her own mom. Funnily, she nor her mother, passed along the grade A penmanship. More like, chicken scratch would be apropos in describing my writing. LOL. I am not as bad as a doctor’s pen, but deciphering it…well my mom and grandma loved me.
I cannot remember the last time I wrote a letter by hand. I know that it would be mixed with print and cursive with a heaping spoonful of chicken scratch. I so remember the many periods during elementary school where we had to print or cursive line upon line of the alphabet, one letter at a time. How many would that be 26 letters x 187 instructional days x 10 school years =? But not today. Nope. I barely lift a pen unless I am doing crosswords or a grocery list or printing the alphabet as my granddaughters (when I am one or the other) learn the alphabet. Or sometimes creating a brain shower of ideas on a page for writing. Hail the digital age….ready fonts, big and small, bold or not. When was the last time a pen or pencil was picked up?
Well I know that I cannot stuff a computer or laptop or iPad in my treasure box to be tucked away and later looked at. Or at least I do not think so. But I do know that those letters written to me long ago are still there, safe and sound. The specialness and sentimental value of them are held steadfastly. I can still decipher who’s penmanship is who’s wonderfully enough. They are still with me, alive and well, even if on paper.
Is handwriting a lost art? It could be. But I think I better not talk about it but do something about it. I guess I am going to have to find some addresses. Oh my Lord. I just opened another can of worms. Addresses?! Never mind. I need my cell phone because heaven forbid I cannot remember phone numbers to get addresses (as I can email or facetime) so I can write a handwritten letter to with a stamp that is about what price now! It’s all good. Blessings.
Let us pray for those in need of prayers today and for those who would be so joyous to receive a letter from home. Peace.
PS. Lost art. Handwriting…say it is not so!!
Handwriting is more connected to the movement of the heart.
I don’t have bad handwriting, I’m just using my own font.
Handwriting says a million things about a person. Create.
As a person with terrible handwriting. I love the computer. I’ve waiting all my life as a computer.
Handwriting is an imprint of the self on the page.
I saw that bad handwriting should be regarded as a sign of an imperfect education.
The only thing that most people do better than anyone is read their own handwriting.
Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
Irony we want our handwriting to look like typed fonts and our computer fonts to look like handwritten texts.
Handwriting enables civilization.