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



Time Thieves

I think we all become a little introspective during New Year’s week.

Whether we’re “resolutions” people or not, many of us feel a desire to do an adjusted “mapquest” of this journey through life we’re taking. We instinctively give some thought to what’s working for us, and what is not . . .

I recently read a phrase that struck a chord with me:

“Time is a modern day luxury.”

Wow, is that ever true!

If you can carve out a little free time in any given day, you are living the good life. I am serious!

Our ancestors surely must have dreamed that they could be ladies of leisure if only they didn’t have to haul water from the well, wash clothes on a rock, and keep that fire going to cook and heat the home. So why is it that with all the of conveniences of today, we still have so little free time?


The conveniences are, of course, part of the problem. There’s no down time. You can be reached by phone 24/7. No more blissful time in the car when you are incommunicado with the rest of the planet. Now, your boss or pesty neighbor can reach you at any hour.

And “taking care” of our “conveniences” takes time – or at least, effort! You must charge your cell, sort the good email from the spam, perform computer updates, scan for viruses, shred mail and papers that could lead to identity theft. And don’t even get me started on our ability to snap photos, willy nilly. Digital cameras are a good thing, for sure. It’s fabulous that there are no more processing fees to develop our pix, but the TIME to sort, delete, and organize can be overwhelming, especially if you are an incurable shutter bug!


It’s all enough to make you cry “uncle”. How ironic that we may have less time because we have more conveniences!

I won’t pretend to have the best answer. It’s something I wrestle with and have blogged about several times in the past. I know one thing though. I’d like to make 2011 the year I get closer to finding the key to the luxury of time.

How about you? Do you feel you have less time now than you did a decade ago?