I have long lamented the dying art of letter writing. My mailbox would be bereft if not for monthly bills not already set to paperless and copious amounts of advertising flyers. I rarely, if at all, even recieve a christmas card save for those sent by businesses.
The advent of cell phones with texting, email and social media, dealt a death blow to personal correspondence and even these have decayed into inboxes filled with spam, forwards and cheeky shares but deficient in intimate communication. Even texts have become minimal abbreviations of actual words!
A few weeks ago my grandson, Ezra, called me and asked me if I would write him a letter! You may recall him from my posts, Prayers For Ezra and 8 years blessed. Ezra is autistic and more than anything, he loves books and reading. Before he could read himself, if you read him a book only once, he could repeat the entire thing back to you verbatim! Now that he reads, he’s ravenous!
I sat down straight away to write him. I asked about his school work, encouraged his best behavior, discussed how much I love him and my hopes that he’d come see me this summer. Having packaged my letter together with a self addressed stamped envelope, I realized that his younger sister may feel left out so I set about writing her a personal letter as well.
Here in the US, not only is letter writing a lost art but schools no longer teach cursive writing! In fact, if a student signs their name in cursive on an assignment, they get in TROUBLE! I’m wondering who will sign their checks in the future and who will be able to read historical documents or letters from the past….what information will be lost?
I’m so proud that my young grandson has been taught to read both print and cursive, preserving knowledge in at least a few of the next generation.
The kids were so excited to receive their letters, reading them over and over again and dictating their own letters back to me that I knew I’d have to up my game. Clay took me shopping for supplies. It is unbelievably difficult to find pretty stationary but I did find a colorful notepad, stickers, blank bookmarks and a coloring book.
Their letters were so sweet and little Adalie’s was just hilarious. She wants to come see me and butterflies. Ezra is looking forward to going swimming and helping PawPaw drive the big boat.
The next letter I sent I included a decorated bookmark for each, a coloring book page, butterflies and a rhyming story I wrote when their mom was a little girl, Grandpa And The Snake…. a huge hit!
We’re enjoying being pen pals so much that my granddaughter from Texas has joined in as well. What I love about this idea is that it’s teaching my grandchildren the art of personal communication, of written correspondence and the joy of receiving something in the mail that someone else took the time to personally craft, just for them. It’s a treasure worth sharing with our younger generations and memories they’ll treasure for life.
Grandpa And The Snake
Early in the morning,
even before the sun woke up to shine,
my grandpa tiptoed out of bed with fishin’ on his mind.
He grabbed his lucky fishin’ cap
then to the kitchen he would go
to fix himself a picnic lunch
then off to his fishin hole
An apple, oranges and peanutbutter sandwiches he made
and to wash it down, he packed a jar
of grandmas famous lemonade.
Grandpa headed to the pond
as the morn’ was getting late
and got down on his hands and knees
to look for fishin’ bait.
Grandpa found a big green frog
and place him on his hook
and reached back to cast his line
but it seemed that it was stuck!
Grandpa turned to free his line
and exclaimed “Well I’ll be dogged!”
when he saw a sneaky snake
was trying to steal his big green frog!
Grandpa tugged and the sneaky snake pulled
till grandpa had a thought
and reached into the basket
for the lemonade he’d brought.
He poured it down that sneaky snakes throat
for the lemons were so tart
he knew that snake would drop his frog
and take off like dart!
sometime later as grandpa fished
much to his surprise
He looked to find at that sneaky snake
a tappin’ on his thigh!
A big green frog was in the mouth
of that sneaky snake
to trade for another drink
of grandmas famous lemonade!
Now I don’t know if this is true
but it’s what the people say
put the famous in my grandmas
famous homemade lemonade
©Laura M. Bailey, All the shoes I wear & writing down the Bones, 1990–Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Laura M. Bailey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.