Writing Letters and Pen Pals?

Writing Letter

Do you write letters anymore? I mean literally "write" letters? It's a rare occasion for me. Just this past holiday I hand wrote one Christmas letter to a friend that types an annual recap letter and sends it to me. I prefer to type, these days, as my handwriting skills have been deteriorating over the years. As a rule I type nearly every form of communication I practice, save for talking on the radio daily and speaking to friends and family in person or over the phone. When I scribble notes here at work my brain works faster than my hand and the result is part printing, all caps, and part cursive that only I can decipher. There's blog submissions like this and emails that require typing and frequent texting which lends it self to poor use of grammar and generally talking in phrases. Basically I'm a messy combination of all.

I'm of the age that I grew up using an actual typewriter. I took a typing class in high school. I never was really fast or accurate and as a result I became quite proficient with White Out and correcting strips. I loved the advancement of typewriters to word processors which made correcting mistakes so much easier. Auto Correct now fixes almost every error to the point you don't even have to try anymore. Still, through my young adulthood, I would hand write the occasional letter or special note in a greeting card.

I'm hearing that some school systems want to phase out the teaching of cursive writing. I hope not. How are today's kids going to read letters, notes, stories, recipes and more from the generations that came before them? I wondering if I need to print when I leave any additional message in a greeting card for the grandkids or they might never know how much I love them or how proud I am.

People my age and older may have, at one time or another, had a Pen Pal. Pen pals seem to be making a comeback. According to a recent article in Glamour magazine, the old tradition of exchanging letters with a pen pal is experiencing a revival during this pandemic. The idea of having a pen pal is to write back and forth with someone you previously didn't know. Yes, actually hand write letters. Glamour writer Lauren Maxwell said “Having a pen pal changed quarantine -- it was like my door cracked open and new light beamed through. Visiting the mailbox became a source of joy, and I was reminded that a little connection can go a long way.”

Maxwell's suggestion? Just visit pen pal exchange penpalooza to get your very own pen pal. The site has grown rapidly to over 7,000 members from over 50 different countries.

My suggestion is to slow down and learn (or re-learn) the art of handwriting your thoughts and messages. Kids, your personal diaries and journals don't have to be digital. Buy some nice pens and pick up some stationary (you might have to check a dictionary for that one is, depending on your age) and write something nice for your Mom and Dad, a love letter to your sweetheart, your to do list or that new pen pal. You'll be glad you did.

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