Saturday, February 19, 2011

Snail Mail + 44 cent stamp = Smiles

I love getting things in the mail. Okay, I lied. I don’t like getting bills in the mail or the random pizza coupons (but I do love me some coupons!) However, I-big-fat-squishy-heart-it when I get something that has a hand written address on it. I’m giddy when I tear open the envelope and there is a whole page of that delicious mix of print and cursive that we all fall into when we long-hand a letter. I’m sure our English teachers are crawling out of their skin right now, but I digress.

Beautiful, soul-filled letters are getting fewer and farther between. It’s just easier to send a text message with everyone and their Beagle walking around with a smart phone or to fire off an email. We get digital messages with sentiments of “Happy Birthday! Happy Graduation! Congratulations on your marriage! Welcome New Baby!” How…..sad. Aren’t the life-changing moments our friends and family experience worth five minutes, a piece of paper and a $0.44 stamp?

My husband’s grandparents spend their winters in a warmer climate. We don’t get to spend much time with them because of that, but luckily for us, twice a month we open the mail box to find a letter that Grandma B and Grandpa J have sent. They tell us of their latest adventures – mostly of tours of a historic landmark they visited or the local flea marketthey spent the day browsing. Not anything that will be made into a movie, but to us? To us, it is a precious piece of our day. Over a thousand miles away, our family is sitting down and sharing their day with us. They’re not recounting the tale on a computer screen but telling a story. You can see the tempo of their writing change during the parts that are exciting and you can see the words slow down and become deliberate when Grandma writes how much she loves and misses us. It’s a gift to receive something so filled with the love of the person who wrote it.

Take the time so sit down and write a letter or even just a short note to a person you care about, or perhaps have lost touch with, today. It will take less time than what you just spent reading this but I can guarantee the smile will remain on your face for much longer. Bonus: in 3 days (give or take) when the recipient takes it out of their mail box, you can share that same smile with them.

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