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I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, Write.

That's from the book of Revelation in the Bible.

I once read in a novel, I can't remember the title or the author, "Finding a handwritten letter in the mail is like spotting a cardinal in the bird feeder."

What's so amazing about a cardinal in the bird feeder?

I couldn't resist that. Thank you, Charles Addams.

Here's a cardinal caught by my brother, Rob, at his birdfeeder.

But enough about birds--I really want to talk about letters.

This collage is from 1998, in my early days of decorating my datebooks. On the right is the envelope for a birthday card from my friend, Doug. I remember the lift I felt at finding it in the mail-- seeing his distinctive writing and the Georgia O'Keeffe stamp.

My grandmother was a letter writer. Dad told me that when he was in the army, in training at Camp Hale in Colorado, he got a letter every day.

A man who worked in the mess hall said to him, "How's Janet?" Dad realized he had been reading the letters Dad threw in the trash. I so wish we still had those letters--they must have provided a lively picture of life at home. Uncle Dan told me that each one of her children, and she had five, received a letter every day when they were away at school. She had a laundress and a cook, but still.

I love getting letters. When I was teaching at Trinity School and Robin Lester was the Headmaster I would frequently find a handwritten note in my mailbox--"Great job!" "I passed a group of kids admiring your pictures in the hallway!" "Congratulations!"

I wasn't alone-- my colleagues said they got notes as well. I've kept those notes and read them over once in a while, to bring back those days. Robin believed that teaching is a noble profession and he made his encouragement real--he put it in writing!

I've also kept letters of condolence and I sometimes re-read them. Yes, it makes me sad, but it also brings back my lost loved ones and reading that someone else knew and loved them is a lovely thing.

My mother used to say, "To get a letter, write a letter." So I try. I'll never live up to MomMom

but I try. If I could send you each a handwritten letter every Friday--Wouldn't that be nice?

October 3, 2019

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