There is something intimate and special about handwriting. It’s as unique and individual as a fingerprint. It takes more effort than typing, and at some point, each handwritten note will convey the physical presence of someone who’s passed on. In the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe—
Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.
For both of my daughters’ bridal showers, we asked our guests to bring a handwritten recipe to share with the group and to gift to the girls. I know that today most of us go to the internet for recipes, and my kids can go to our family cookbook to find many of our favorite dishes. But I also know that I treasure the handwritten recipes from my mother and grandmother and family friends, even the ones I rarely make.
It’s not just handwritten recipes I love. I’ve saved almost every letter or handwritten note anyone has ever sent to me. But the flow of snail mail letters has declined over the years as we’ve transitioned to a texting and emailing society.
In the early days of the COVID pandemic, besides throwing myself into evening embroidery projects, I decided to write letters. One of my writing class participants had given me a set of handmade notecards and I used them to write letters to several of my elementary school teachers.
A former River Styx colleague was selling her photographs on postcards so I bought a set and am using those to send notes periodically to my mom and dad. And I just bought some new postcards from The New Territory (one of my favorite magazines).
It’s getting darker earlier in St. Louis and once again I’m thinking about the long winter evenings when I’m tempted to just watch TV until bedtime and then tuck in for late-night TV (meh). Time to prep some embroidery projects and plan some letter writing.
And if you have pen recs for me, send ‘em. My latest favorites are the Sharpie S-Gel pens I received for my birthday and which I’ve added to my gifts-for-writers list! My friends get me.