I may be in Hudson, Ohio, U.S.A. cooped up in my home because of the corona virus and you may be hundreds of miles away but through letters our souls will mingle. I’m writing a letter from me to you. Of course I’d rather be hand writing a “personal” letter on stationery I design, but until we become penfriends this post will have to do.
I’ve been asked why I bother to write people I don’t yet know. That could possibly be you. Well, my hope is that one way or another I will get to know you. You could write me a real letter. Here’s the address: Carol Ann, Lady of Letters, P.O. Box 1075, Hudson, Ohio, 44236, U.S.A. I would be thrilled to hear from you. Of course you could also simply leave a comment or note at the end of this post. Either would be delightful. Maybe you and I are already pen friends. That would be lovely too.
There’s nothing more wonderful than friendship and these days when we can’t go visiting or out to lunch with friends and family the next best thing to my way of thinking is visiting and sharing through letters so I’d like to share some of my letter fun with you in this post.
Everyday I reach out to a few of my letter friends and every day when the postman arrives I’m delighted to receive a few letters in return. On good mail days I could receive seven or eight letters. On sad mail days only one or two letters will make an appearance. How many letters do you find in your mailbox each day? That number does relate to just how many letters you send away each day.
You can never be lonely or bored when you have a number of interesting letter friends. These days people have a lot of time at home and some people struggle to find things to do. Not me. This is a great time to catch up with my letters. People from all over the world pop over via letter to brighten up my days and I delight in answering their letters.
Our Easter holiday will be very different this year, but receiving Easter cards from friends and family is a great way to mingle souls and share joy. How many Easter cards did you send away? It’s not too late. The Easter season continues for quite a while.
The children’s church choir I direct has been shut down, but how delightful it was to receive these three letters from choristers Teresa, Gianna and Luke. They told me all about the things they were busy doing at home, including cake recipes they were making. I had a lot of fun writing back to all three. You see, as a child I was always interested in getting to know adults who would introduce me to new and lovely things in the world of art and music. Now as an adult I have the chance to share some of my favorite things with young people as they share their vitality and enthusiasm for life with me. Children help us reconnect with the child in us, the child that may have gotten lost over time. For that reason I love to write to children.
Of course I love to write to people of all ages. Some of my penfriends are 6 and others are 96. Age means little. It’s the spirit of a person that matters and in letters we can connect those spirits very nicely. No bodies are required. Our words transmit love, caring and great feelings if we reach into ourselves and share deeply.
Jenny is one of my penfriends who lives in Louisiana. I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting Louisiana, but Jenny is telling me all about life there. She says it’s a strange state – how South Louisiana is a country in and of itself and the northwest is no different from East Texas. Quite a dichotomy exists there. She tells me all about the Red River and how much she loves gumbo even though she lives in the north. Having been a teacher for years she loves educating me on the culture and religion of the Louisiana people and I love learning all about it. These days New Orleans is having lots of trouble and I for one am praying for its people and for people all over the world. You too?
Speaking of Texas being like some parts of Louisiana, Pamalee dropped in to visit with me via her letter from Texas. It was a long letter too and I love long letters, don’t you? Pamalee is a member of The Letter Exchange as I am. The Letter Exchange is a wonderful organization for letter writers. I’ve been a member for years. If you’re not already a member you should join this international group. Just contact http://www.letter-exchange.com and if you do join be sure to say Carol Ann sent you.
But back to Pamalee – she told me she has enjoyed writing letters since she was a little girl. She talked about how excited she was to learn cursive in the 3rd or 4th grade and how sad she feels that some children today are deprived of the pleasure. I feel sad about this too. Hand writing is such an art. Typing has its place of course, like in this blog post, but a personal letter needs a person’s “personal” touch. We’re all unique and no matter if we’re all taught the same style of cursive our handwriting will develop differently in each of us. Pamalee and I agree on that. Do you? I hope you take the time to hand write every chance you get. Like a lock of your hair your hand writing is a little bit of you.
I must answer Pamalee’s letter and then there’s Maria who also wrote to me. Maria is a new member of The Letter Excjange. She lives in Brooklyn , New York. I’m often in New York because I have a son living in Manhattan. I don’t often meet my penfriends, but sometimes I do and it’s always great fun. Maria was very interested in writing to me because my recent ad in the Letter Exchange magazine consisted of a quote from Rachel Carson. Maria’s mother was a fan of Carson and of her book, “Silent Spring” which talks all about the environment and pollution in air and water. I love nature very much and like Maria and her mother I think Rachel Carson was an important voice for the environment. I wish Rachel Carson were still among us but she would not be happy with all the environmental protections being lifted and I’m not happy about that either. Are you? Well, Maria and I have a lot in common so our letters will write themselves and I do hope I can meet her in New York some day for a nice lunch or maybe a coffee in Bryant Park.
Tami is another of my penfriends who also lives in the great state of New York, but Tami lives in the New York Finger Lakes region rather than in New York city. Have you ever been to the Finger Lakes? It’s a beautiful part of the country. My husband grew up in that area of the country and we have great friends who still live there. I love visiting the lakes, especially Lake Skaneattles where there is a charming old inn called The Sherwood Inn. You can google it.
Well, Tami’s letter was delightful. She used pretty paper and a variety of ink colors – green, turquoise, and strawberry. She told me all about her cats and how she loves them. Tami visited my blog once before and if she visits again she’ll be surprised to see I’m writing about her. Fun! Tami and I share an interest in country inns and bed and breakfasts. She dreams of owning a bed and breakfast and she told me just what it would be like – a white house with yellow shutters. It would have a big wrap-around porch with a swing and rockers. She’d have a huge kitchen with an herb garden right outside for easy access. Sounds great to me! If she ever opens such a place I’ll be there. Tami and I both enjoy the subject of houses and decorating so you can imagine the fun we have writing each other.
And then there’s Frances. I love to meet people who are a lot like me, but I also love to meet people who are very different from me. That’s Frances. Francs is amazing, another friend I met through The Letter Exchange. I can’t imagine how I could’ve ever met Frances without the help of The Letter Exchange for our paths would never have crossed. Frances lives way out in the middle of nowhere – “off the grid” as she likes to say. She feels the world is moving too fast and she needs to slow down so she moved to Bigfork. You can google Bigfork, Montanna too.
Frances grew up on a farm 3 miles out of town. She always felt she wanted to prove herself so she joined the marines. Wow, that never occured to me at all. Not only that, but she was a paratrooper. Frances is no shrinking violet. That’s for sure. She is tough but tender, a wonderful combination in a human being. She not only could keep up with her husbands (yes, there were a few of them) doing physical work around the homestead, but she also played the piano and loved Doris Day films. What a girl! I think Frances will encourage me to be more than I thought I could become and don’t we all need people in our lives who can inspire us? Of course we do.
Well, I could go on and on and on and on. You saw just some of the many letters in my basket waiting to be answered. There are more baskets like that one. Am I bored staying home with the corona virus in the air? Hardly. I have so many lovely letter friends to keep me company and you could have just as many too. Sharing doubles the joy and divides the sorrow. Letters mingle souls.
So if you’re a little bored write someone a letter – maybe me, or join The Letter Exchange and meet lots and lots of people all over the world, people you can write who will write back to you. You’ll never feel alone and you’ll certainly never be bored. I promise.
It’s been fun sharing my joy for The Art of Letter Writing with you. Truly.
And as my dear”dead friend” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow would say,
“Look in your heart and write. I will answer.”