The end of summer was always exciting when I was younger. It meant that friends were returning from vacation and camp, and even though school would be starting soon, play dates would resume. Despite the fact that many of my friends spent the hot months away, we always kept in touch. Because when I was young, we still wrote letters.
My dad was a letter writer himself. I have a stack of letters he exchanged with his aunt in Germany, and always loved examining the stamps when they arrived.
And when I entered high school, I could always look forward to summer letters from my best friend Jen (who my dad called Beethoven). She abandoned me for summer camp, but I could always count on post cards and long letters filled with gossip to keep me company. We continued this into adulthood. Though we live far apart and don’t get to see each other often, we drop each other a line, especially for birthdays. Recently, when cleaning out my office, I found an envelope from her addressed to “Insanity Surveys Inc.” with my address. It was a survey I sent her when I was bored at work in 2005, with crazy questions like “If you were a bird, what bird would you be?” (for which she chose cockatoo).
My friend Season and I exchange letters too. How we got in the habit I don’t quite know. Our letters to each other are rambling, and they often are simple updates on our lives. Recently the Man and I received a package from her and a card. Inside the package, everything was blue. It had a special meaning that I’ll keep to myself, and I love her for it. It’s packages and surprise notes like that which make a day brighter.
With email and texts and Facebook, choosing to sit and write a letter usually goes by the wayside for most of us. I wonder if kids even have pen pals anymore. So here is my offer to you. Do you want a letter? or a pen pal? E-mail your address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a letter.