Paper Trail

Honestly, Kids, sometimes I long for the days when letters were on paper….

With online banking to pay your bills, and emails/texting to touch base with family and friends, will hand-written letters become totally extinct?

I think it’s a pretty good possibility.

Although I’m glad to see most of my bills being paid without a stamp, I really hate to think that the fun mail will someday stop.

People don’t really write letters very often, now. In some ways, it’s understandable – email is so much quicker and more convenient. But there’s something beautiful about a little envelope with your name handwritten on it. 😀

When I was quite young, my grandmother helped me compose a letter to a cousin who lived far away. I had never written a real letter before. Nana suggested that I first scribble something in pencil on a piece of scrap paper, but I wasn’t sure how to begin. She encouraged me by saying:

“Just write as if you are talking to the person… as if he is sitting right there beside you!”

That worked like a charm. Next, she gave me a sheet of good paper and (drum roll, please!) my grandfather’s special pen – the “fancy” one he kept in a little stand on the bureau. Talk about feeling like a grownup. 🙂

Probably the most faithful and prolific letter-writer I’ve ever known was Sir Beads’ Mom. Her letters were little treasures. She always used pretty stationery and usually, it was scented! I swear the lovely fragrance of those letters would spread to all of the other mail that arrived on the same day. It made opening the bills a pleasure (well, almost!).

Her letters were written in a beautiful script and she often tucked in a photo, or a newspaper clipping, or a recipe she’d copied especially for me, or snippets of yarn from an “in-progress” sweater, or scraps of fabric from a dress she was sewing for one of my girls – just so I could see the colors and textures she had chosen. It was fun to feel part of the project in that way.

I miss those letters. They brightened up even the sunniest of days! I did save a lot of them. They’re part of our family history, after all.

I wonder if emails between family members will survive through the ages. Will they be stored on tiny discs? Will they be accidentally erased during computer crashes? They definitely won’t have the little surprises tucked inside . . .

This week’s question is:

Do you have old hand-written letters that you have saved? Do you ever hand-write a letter, now? Do you save emails? Are you ok with a totally paper-less society?

Ok, that’s more than one question! 😉

But you know what I mean…. Lol



Wait a minute, Mr. Postman!

One of the contest questions in last week’s “giveaway” was . . .

“When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper; put it in an envelope; put a stamp on it and mailed it?”

I must admit I asked this question with fingers crossed that many of you would say, “all the time”.

I shudder to think that email may completely replace the hand-written letter someday. The encouraging news is that the majority of people – who answered the question – do actually write letters and love receiving them in return!


Some of you communicate by snail mail quite often; others include hand-written notes in your Christmas cards; still others write letters on paper for elderly relatives who are not computer savvy, but most of you seem to agree there’s nothing like a hand-written note!


I have a cherished stack of letters and cards from family members that are no longer with us. Their notes are absolute treasures and part of their legacy. Many were written to me during special times – like when my children were born. There are also family recipes written on assorted scraps of paper or recipe cards – some have precious “hints” added in the margins! My favorites are the sweet, newsy, everyday kind of letters – they’re just brimming with tales of the past. Now and then, I come across some of them, unintentionally, and a glimpse of the handwriting brings back a wave of wonderful memories. Reading the messages is a chance to “visit” with loved ones, once again.


Some would argue that an email can be printed and kept, but it seems a poor substitute for handwriting on a pretty card, or scented stationery, or even plain old yellow lined paper!

I worry a little about today’s kids. They don’t have to spell because there’s spell check; they don’t have to multiply or divide because there are calculators; they don’t even have to “talk” because there is texting and instant messaging.

My hope is that they’ll experience written communication often enough to realize how special it is – so much more warm and fuzzy than a keyboard! Otherwise, I fear that handwritten letters may someday become as quaint as the inkwell.