3.2.09

Lost art



I love writing letters. No one else seems to share this passion with me, except my family of course. I believe that the Treece family contributes a great deal to the continuing success of the USPS. It's quite a distinguished Treece family tradition. Since my arrival in Malaysia one year ago, I have received dozens of letter, dozens of postcards (all from my mom and dads travels), and dozens of packages from family. And packages aren't cheap, but thank God that I am blessed with an especially generous and thoughtful family.
I love writing letters as a way to keep in touch (albeit one-sidedly, but I don't write with the expectation of receiving anything in return), and I know (assume, I guess) that people appreciate it. Call me old fashioned, but who doesn't like receiving a good ol' hand written letter? To know that someone was thoughtful enough to get unglued to their facebook account and sit down to write a letter that takes thought and effort. Maybe people just don't like to think. My grandma writes chicken scratch and I can hardly read what she says, but I still appreciate the letters. My mom writes really random letters about mowing the lawn, the window treatment installations, and the fact that they're having chicken for dinner tonight. It's the thought that counts!
Sure, it's great to hear someone say "Hey, how's it going?" -or via the ubiquitous text, perhaps- But to know that a person picked out a card or random piece of paper, sat down and carefully chose the appropriate words for the occasion, and concentrated long enough to create something legible (I give exceptions to people over 90 years old, as is the case of my grandma-and perhaps doctors) is so much more meaningful.

Oh, how I mourn the lost art of letter writing! (I'm on a Jane Austen kick right now, can you tell?) All of the cards and postcards and letters I have received since coming here have been tucked away and treasured. Not that I read them and re-read them every day, but it seems like such a shame to throw them away! Someone put good thought and time into it. Letters have so much more permanence to them than conversations or email. I have received letters that I know I'll keep forever.
Which reminds me, my sister recently returned to me some letters that I had written to her when I was 10 years old. My sister kept them all this time, God bless her heart. And written with the hand of a 10 year old, they are hilarious. When I was little I was taught that the proper way to start a letter was, "Dear ___, How are you? I'm fine." I used this format until I realized how stupid it sounds - which unfortunately wasn't too far in the distant past.

1 comment

  1. Hi Friend! I see the card I sent you in the picture! I do appreciate your letters and cards so much. You are the only friend who writes me real letters, besides thank you cards. I know I need to be better about sending letters. I am terrible with keeping in touch in general! Thanks for the inspiration!

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