Thursday, October 02, 2008

Theme Thursday: Mailboxes

There is a post with some lovely mailboxes on it, and it brought back a flood of memories for me. These boxes are like the ones that I saw nearly every day in college, back when everything not spoken was typed, mimeoed, or hand written. The other day, I was looking at an old art history book, and out fluttered a little typed schedule of classes from my senior year, with my adviser's name in the upper right. I remember crisp fall days, angling across the green, headed for the old PO, whose downstairs was the domain of the Latin professor, with her ancient cat in her lap. The upstairs was, if I can recall correctly, atticy and dusty, not used for much. Or am I misremembering?

Remember what it was like in a world sans junk mail/catalogues/credit card offers/invitations to free estate planning dinners at the Outback . . . ? (Back then, there really weren't many credit cards at all. Remember Diners Club?? Does it still exist??)

We receive thank-yous from nieces, and Christmas cards, but not much personal, physical letters, handwritten. My great-aunt was a legendary letter-writer; she used a typewriter and, frugal person that she was, typed up to the very very edge of all margins. Actually, her letters were marginless. She was also a great card sender, especially with scenes of cats (not photos, drawn) dressed up and doing things like playing cards, or having a birthday party.

After my mother died, I found a big box, full of correspondence from my grandfather to my grandmother, letters, postcards, all kinds of things. He would write her everyday when he was away, doing county agent work for the state they lived in. There were letters from my mother, too.

Perhaps we should all send a card or letter out today, in honor of Theme Thursday . . . Who's on your list?

19 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

Receiving a hand-written letter is so precious. Can't remember the last time I received one.

I will send a letter today ... hmmm ... to whom will I send it?? Fun to think about.

Thanks for this!

Kurt said...

I still send and receive letters and cards.

Angie Ledbetter said...

With the advent of the Internet, texting, IM'ing, etc., the art of writing has all but been lost. I wrote a letter to my nephew in college this morning. Surely, it's still a minor thrill to get a piece of snail mail...with a check enclosed? ;)

Shammickite said...

I've sent out (via snail mail) about 6 personal letters to people over the last week or so, but I have to admit, none of them were hand written! But I signed them.... does that count?

Steve said...

I just realized today that I inadvertently jumped the gun with my post yesterday about junk mail. Coincidence, I swear!

I really liked receiving letters. It's terrible that no one sends them anymore. But at the same time, given a choice, I'd rather pound out an e-mail!

(My word verification is "knewfckr." Not sure what I think about that.)

JGH said...

Oh I would love to see one of your auntie's cat drawings!

Somehow my family has decided that I should be the one to keep all the old letters from past generations. They're in my attic and I do intend to go thru them sometime -- maybe when I retire!

I still hand write thank you notes to the senior members of my family on occasion - and of course condolences. I made a rule that my kids can't play with their birthday presents until the thankyou notes are sent, but am wondering what to do when they begin using email?

carolyn said...

I hardly ever get a letter anymore, just bills through the post!

Joanne said...

I can't remember when I last sent a genuine letter. Handwritten thank you notes? Yes, always. But sadly, no letters, coming or going :(

lettuce said...

how wonderful to find your grandparents correspondence.
My mum used to write right up to the margins too.

email is great, i love it.
but....

Leena said...

Writing a postcard or even a letter could be a great thing nowadays!
I write Christmas and birthday cards, but extra cards or letters could be wonderful to get and that is why it could be also wonderful make someone happy just as a surprise.
So, we do it NOW :)

Have a happy weekend, Beth!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

geez I thought I wrote a comment. either I messed up on the word verification or it I was so incoherent it didn't pass the comment moderation process!

I really enjoyed your contribution to theme thursday.

I'm making a resolution to write more letters! to family and both old and new friends!

have a good weekend! hugs to frankie and hope the process of acceptance with the other kitties is still moving forward!

citizen of the world said...

I miss letters, but I do love getting emails, so it's a trade-off. But I do routinely send birthday cards to my sibs.

Coffee Messiah said...

A part of life should not be neglected.

And who wants to be responsible for the post people losing their jobs!

; (

Nice post! ; )

Tex Swiss said...

I don't think today's kids will ever know the thrill of getting a hand written letter or card in the mail and many probably fabulous emails are lost forever.

Betty C. said...

I used to be a huge letter-writer, especially when I first moved to France, of course. I used to reserve a few hours a week to sit down with some coffee and write to friends and family.

I kind of miss it but I have totally embraced the electronic age. Even my parents, in their seventies, have MSN, email of course, exchange links with me...

I often wonder how my first years as an expat would have been different had they been in the electronic age.

d. chedwick said...

Last month, I sat down at Grand Central with some fancy new stationery and wrote a letter to a friend. I hope to get it in the mail tomorrow. That's how out of practice I have become. I used to have stamps at hand, a variety of letter paper and postcards, and an address book fat with addresses. I am going to try and get a letter out at least once a week--my experiment.

family affairs said...

I miss letters - I used to live abroad and therefore used to send and receive lots of letters. Those lovely airmail blue ones with sticky edges....Lx

d. chedwick said...

pls e mail me yer snail address again I deleted it maybe dang! I have something here I meant to send ages ago. dur!

poppy fields said...

I don't write a lot of letters, now. Maybe I'll send a card to my mom today :)