in his weekend wandering question, david mcmahon over on authorblog asked us to write about the last time we got a letter through the mail. i love this question, because i have always loved getting letters. (and i am a week late on this; i think Mr. McMahon is on to a new question.)
when i was a small girl, i once asked for "a year's supply of stamps" for christmas, to feed my letter-writing habit. that habit has been overtaken by blogging and email, i'm afraid, but it has not entirely gone away. i still thrill to see a hand-addressed envelope among the bills and circulars that slide through our mail slot.
in july, i went to montreal for a long weekend to visit my brother and his family, who were there for the month. we had a great visit, doing normal things like shopping for shoes and going out to eat and taking long walks and reading Harry Potter.
then i went home, and in august, so did they.
a week or so later, i got a letter from my older niece, M. she had addressed the envelope herself, in crooked pencil capital letters. it was a great little letter. she reminisced about montreal. she asked about the dogs. she told me about the part she was dancing in the autumn ballet. she said she missed me.
i wrote back.
her next letter came immediately; she must have answered mine the minute it arrived. she answered all the questions i had put to her, but without context; "yes." "no." "i think so." i had to rack my brains to remember what i had asked.... but it was great to get. and a few days later, another letter showed up, this one from her little sister, L., who wanted to be in on the fun.
(i wrote her back, too, and her next letter came quickly: "wow! thanks for the letter! i was so excited to see it!")
m. and l. live in a small, quiet town, but they are just as wired as anybody; they both have multiple email addresses and spend time on little-kid myspace-type sites. they know how to use a cellphone and voice mail and Wii (or Wiii?), and when my brother can't get into the family blog for the 80th or 100th time, they politely shove him aside and smoothly log on.
but it makes me very happy that in this fast-paced electronic world, my little nieces have come to appreciate the value and the beauty of sitting at a table, writing down their thoughts, walking to the mail box, dropping in the card, and then waiting with hope and confidence that in a few days something will come back to them.
2 hours ago