Yes, we both consider stationery to be up there on the list of great finds at a garage sale, right alongside the Coach purse. Why? Because stationery, and good stationery at that, is hard to find. Walk into a Hallmark store and you would be surprised to find that there are just a few boxes of stationery - if you are lucky. Not even stuff with cute designs but rather drab paper that even a novice letter writer like myself wouldn't consider buying. Where has all the stationery gone?
Probably the same place that all the letter writers have gone - they have all but vanished. With e-mails, texting, and the increased use of cell phones (with free minutes!) letter writing has become almost non-existent. When we asked the ladies running the sale if they, too, enjoy writing letters since they had so much paper they mumbled "Ahh...well, that's just odds and ends that we've collected." I take that as a "no". It is rare to find people who truly do take the time to sit down and write a real, handwritten letter.
I've always loved to receive mail. Maybe it was growing up in a home where my mom had oodles of stationery, baskets of stickers, and cool pens to write with. Maybe it was watching her have so much fun when the mail arrived that prompted me to follow in the same foot steps. I got my first real penpal the summer that I began homeschooling and my name was published in a homeschooling magazine - so 17 years ago. Can you believe that I still have that same penpal? Our letters are less frequent as I have become busy with my children and she has gone to college and is busy with her nursing career...but we still manage to keep in touch every now and then. She is exactly like me in the fact that she uses colorful stationery and adorable stickers. I wonder if she even goes as far as to ask the postal worker (like I do!) at the window for some exciting stamps, as the flags and bell stamps get a little boring after awhile.
And then there is another friend that I have written to since I was 14 years old. We lost touch for a few years after we both got married and then reconnected when she was close to giving birth to her first and I was close to giving birth to my second child...which was 5 years ago. We now write almost weekly and while we are both busy with each of our three children we manage to find the time to sit down and write. We not only manage to find the time but we make sure we find the time to write. Our letters are almost like therapy sessions where we can rant and rave, or share and learn, or just ramble and chatter about one thing or another. It is almost as nice as sitting down in person over a hot cup of tea. We've met each other once and I hope that we will have several more face to face encounters throughout our lifetime. It truly is possible to have a kindred spirit even though they are miles and miles away.Even if you don't write out thick, newsy letters there are always thank you notes (these seem to becoming things of the past as well), get well notes, or thinking of you notes. Who doesn't enjoy receiving something in the mail that is something besides a bill?
Apparently receiving a letter and writing one is entirely different. The post office is losing so much business that they are considering (or maybe have already decided on?) doing away with Saturday delivery!
I encourage you to write a little note to someone special to you today. Whether that be a parent, sibling, grandparent, someone you know who is feeling down or ill, or a long lost friend. You can be guaranteed that it will come as a complete surprise and leave them feeling special. And to make sure that you have something cute to write on, one of you have the chance to win a box of these cute notecards:
Just leave a comment below telling me about your writing habits: are you a real letter writer? Have you not picked up a pen and paper in ages? Do you enjoy e-mail or phone calls more than real letters?