Old ways still work fine

Lynn Moncus

While many people these days communicate via email, this woman from Ima continues to enjoy writing letters and sending them via snail-mail. Obviously, a number of friends still use that venue because I can look forward most days to receiving letters from them and can just sit back to read at leisure and to reread several times before sending answers.

Yes, I know that I could print their email and read it over, but there is something about retrieving a letter from the mail box, tearing open the envelope, and collapsing in a chair to read that simply does not compare to staring at the screen or looking at something that just spewed forth from the printer. Knowing that a friend took the time to put pen to paper or to process a letter on the computer, then to fold he pages, put them into an envelope, place a stamp thereon, and mail it is pleasing as well because they took the time to share their thoughts and to send them the old-fashioned way. They spent some of that time to think about what they wanted to say and to include many words to describe their thoughts and feelings without seeming to be in a big hurry to punch a send button and then to wonder if their words arrived or just how many other people might be breaking in to read their private thoughts.

Although I share some special letters with others, I surely keep the ones with private thoughts on this corner because I respect the senders and know they won’t be sharing my private thoughts either. I also share those special letters with friends so they can have the experience of holding each page and savoring each word because not very many of my friends choose to write letters and need to know that the art is still alive in some areas.

I did receive a letter from a distant relative in England this week and was a bit puzzled by the information about all the DNA tests she had been tracking in order to trace her relationship to people of the dim, distant past. Going back to the 1500’s stretched my imagination just a tad, but she seemed most pleased to talk about Sir Richard Clough and his mistress. Apparently, she thinks I need to know a lot of family history, and I probably do, but I don’t get quite as excited about that as about knowing a little more of the writer’s history, and she didn’t choose to give much of that. Now, I’ll answer a few of the questions she asked about my knowledge of our family history and then ask more regarding her life in England and why she is there. At any rate, we may learn a little about each other as months pass. Of course, she had called some time back to get my email address and was a bit testy when I told her that I still like to walk to the mail box. Our communication may be limited.

Receiving other letters from friends was really more satisfying than receiving hers because they caught me up-to-date on the news, and several even included a lot of humor in order to make the reading more pleasant. We’ll just keep playing with words and staying in touch in our own ways and will avoid much confusion by following our own trails of keeping each other apprised of our latest thoughts and actions. When we can no longer do that, we may have to lower selves to playing on the Internet.