Do people send letters anymore? What do you keep?

In my now much greater wisdom, being a year and day wiser, I couldn’t remember how much it costs to mail a letter – Forever stamps have erased that memory. I’ve gone postal, different symptom.

Stamps from cheaper letter sending days.
Stamps from cheaper letter sending days.
Bins of cards, stationary and random snail mail options.
Bins of cards, stationary and random snail mail options.

I have some old stamps, some that you actually have to lick. The ones that people with fish allergies shouldn’t lick (factoid). The question is how many of those would I have to affix to actually mail an envelope. You see I also have all this unused stationary, I’m thinking of just randomly mailing things to people to support a dying tradition.

When was the last time you actually got a letter with real information specifically for you? Not marketing, not a bill. Not the annual Christmas letter summary. And more than, “I hope you are doing well, happy……merry….love”

But, OK, social media has replaced letter writing. Really…like, awww, beautiful, gorgeous, LOL, smiley face…Or sharing some quote on a photo that someone else created?

No, it hasn’t.

(I’ll take a second out of my RANT build up, to say I do like social media and the ease of offering nice sentiments to people I probably would have otherwise forgotten to…now back to the rant).

NO IT HASN’T! Most of the stuff posted is less than a snapshot. And not too personal, we know what can happen if it is “too personal”. Heck I have liked several hundred other pages in FB, wished happy to people I haven’t seen in real life for years. Yes there’s a trend of information if you’re a marketer. Are you? And sometimes I like things for odd reasons, not necessarily the obvious ones. And it’s easy, kind of, but it’s also a time suck for maybe not much value.

I think my mind, eyes and body are suffering because of it. I’m feeling imbalance here. If I do WordPress, especially if I practice writing daily which seems much more worthwhile, some of the other stuff has to go.  And even though I’m intending to continue to use a keyboard there is more and more data relating complex physical processes to mental health/memory… so maybe the fine motor skills necessary to produce small even beautiful cursive straight lines in letter writing had more benefits than we realize. My Grandma Brooks could write cursive clearly in about 12 font, no waste of paper there. The schools are/have been removing cursive writing as a core competency, another loss of a standardized art form that doesn’t need electricity.

Barn across on Castle, circa 1920s being torn down. The foundation still looks good but the roof wasn't maintained.
Barn across on Castle Road, circa 1920s, being torn down.They’re taking the wood that’s still good for repurposing. The foundation still looks solid but the roof wasn’t maintained. Photo by:  Canon PowerShot A710IS

I have in my possession boxes of my ancestors’ letters, saved from 1840 – 1936, transcribed by my mom into chronological order,

Letters, photos, geneology collected from one side of a letter writing family
Letters, photos, genealogy collected from one side of my letter writing family

copied and typed with photos as available. They tell stories of life, work – farming, planting, money lent/needed, interactions. One of the best told of watching a surgery, kidney removal, in a bedroom of their house and my ancestor survived it. I also have letters my dad typed on his manual typewriter (he had pretty crappy handwriting) weekly, when he was young and first away from home, to my other grandmother (she saved them all) . He was a good writer, interesting  and told good anecdotes.

I’d much rather leave that kind of history than – wow, cool, LOL, too funny, like, like, like, like…

Do we have a good foundation of the tools available, but aren’t maintaining the roof because it’s easier and cheaper not to? What if the electronic apocalypse happens and all the digital stuff disappears? Have you noticed that brief ambiguous quotes get the most likes … politicians have noticed. Do you have a family member who is the archives?

The related articles offer very different perspectives and one both sides perspective.


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