Now let’s compare that to when I was a kid. Other than talking on the phone, here’s how I communicated with friends.
I passed notes during study hall. I wrote letters over summer break. I corresponded with pen pals from other countries.
I think my kids are missing out.
Call me old fashioned, but there’s something special about seeing (and reading) someone’s handwriting. Everyone has their own unique style. It’s kind of an art form. A lost art, I’m afraid.
For example, how do you space out your letters? Do you make narrow or wide loops? How do you dot your i’s and cross your t’s? Are your letters rounded or pointed? Do you use heavy or light pressure? Are letters slanted to the left or to the right? Or not at all? All of these factors create a distinct writing style that's unique to you.
Here’s an example. Patty and I have been friends since fourth grade. To this day I can recognize her handwriting with only a glance. It’s unique to her.
I can’t tell you the number of notes Patty and I passed from grade school to graduation, but thanks to my pack-ratty ways, I can tell you what we wrote about. (I recently dug out a few from storage!) Here’s a brief summary of our most popular topics during our junior high years.
Boys. Shopping. Volleyball. How much we hated our hair. School dances. Stuff other girls said. Boring classes. Difficult tests. Unreasonable parents. And whatever plans we were trying to make for the upcoming Friday night.
Obviously our letters didn’t include any deep, philosophical discussions. But that was life in seventh grade.
Here’s a nice one from Patty:
Don’t get me wrong. I love technology. I like the convenience of texting. I enjoy keeping in touch with folks on Facebook. I would NOT want to sit down and write my blog in longhand each week! But with all of our digital options, we’re losing the personal touch.
My friend Brenda knows the value of a handwritten note. Not only does she like to send cards (yes, through the U.S. Postal Service!) she also takes the time and effort to write something inside of her cards.
Twenty-one years ago, my grandma gave me several handwritten recipes at my wedding shower. I refer to her recipes often. I love seeing Grandma's signature - the same familiar signature that signed my birthday cards year after year.
This past week I had the opportunity to look through Grandma’s old recipe boxes. As I flipped through the cards, I pictured my grandma, standing by the stove with an apron around her waist, stirring a big boiling pot of something yummy.
One card had dried specks of frosting that had probably splattered from her mixer. Another had a dark spot from opening a can of chili beans nearby. Grandma's recipe cards are a small piece of her that I can hold in my hands. I know it sounds strange, but it all feels so … personal.