Through the years, we have visited much about writing letters as well as the joy of receiving such missives. Although such correspondence has been taken over by various electronic inventions, some of us in the over-the-hill gang still like to use real paper, to walk to the mail box, and to retrieve letters from our friends at the end of that walk.
Recently, an Aggie friend called to do a bit of visiting and began to complain about lack of personal letters in his life. He asked when I had last written such a letter. He seemed a little surprised when I replied I had written one about two hours before he called. He then asked when I had received a letter, and I replied that I had retrieved one from the mail box the day before. He couldn't understand why I was receiving such letters when he wasn't until I asked when he had written one last. The question was followed by some silence as he tried to remember that long ago date. He then changed the subject rapidly.
Although I don't write as many letters as I once did, I generally average about four a week. That is way down from having written at least two letters a day for many years. Of course, as I have explained on occasion, I no longer write with a pen because neither the recipient nor I could read it. Actually, I miss that exercise more than I can say because puffing pen to paper provided a special feeling of comfort and relaxation. No amount of typing (processing) can take the place of writing by hand, but some of us have to change our habits as our ages change.
That change has also caused a change in the typing process because the speed and accuracy have almost disappeared. Of course, the accuracy as far as spelling and some grammar are concerned can be checked by the computer, but even those aren't always reliable. The speller gets excited when words of multiple syllables are used and is apt to incorrect many of those words. This computer and I fight at all times because it wants to incorrect both spelling and usage. On such occasions, I really wish for pen and paper so I could return to my independence.
Receiving letters several times a week gives this reader something to enjoy for as long as I want to retain those letters and to reread them. Just plucking a letter from the mail box is a pleasure, and reading it is always a great experience. I may eventually join the e-mail circuit on occasion, but I hope I never have to give up writing a personal letter. The writing hand may no longer work very well, but the fingers can still hit the keys in order to form a few words to send to friends.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 461-1952.