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braumeister 06-21-2018 04:33 PM

Got a letter today
Picked up the mail today and found an actual letter in an envelope with a first class stamp on it, addressed by hand to me. My first thought was that it was one of the standard scam mailings from a local car dealer telling me how badly he wants my trade-in.

But no, it was a real letter, handwritten on letter paper, from an old friend I haven't had any contact with in years. Just two sides of one sheet, filling me in on his life and simply making contact.

I suddenly realized that it has probably been at least a couple of decades since the last time I received such a letter from a friend (or sent one, much to my shame). It's email or phone or nothing these days.

How long has it been for you?

Walt34 06-21-2018 04:47 PM


Originally Posted by braumeister (Post 2065147)
How long has it been for you?

Wow, had to think about that one. I'm sure I haven't sent a handwritten letter since my junior year in high school, because I took typing in the senior year (1968) I can type faster than I can write, and my handwriting is so bad that even I have trouble reading it.

I have sent computer-printed letters to congresscritters over various issues a couple of times in the last few years, figuring that a letter lying on the desk is harder to ignore than an E-mail or phone call.

And I do remember writing typewritten letters to friends in the military while they were in Vietnam right after high school.

Sunset 06-21-2018 04:48 PM

Got a thank-you note yesterday in the mailbox.. Otherwise probably about a year.

street 06-21-2018 04:50 PM

It has been maybe 15 years or so for a hand written letter. My mother would write me every so often and everything was hand written. I loved to get those letters and I have keep a lot of them to this day.

It is a thing in the past any more which is a shame. Thank you for bring back some old memories from my mother.

braumeister 06-21-2018 05:04 PM

Email just isn't the same, is it?
When we wrote actual letters to friends, it was because there was no other means of communication over any distance. So we thought about what we were writing and put something of ourselves into it. I honestly try to do that with emails, but it's just not as good, in my mind anyway.

Makes me think of one of my favorite Mark Twain (I think) quotes:

“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

USA 06-21-2018 05:18 PM

No it’s no t the same. Reading a “real letter” seems to put the writer in my mind. I know I was “in their mind” when they wrote me. It is a different thing. Text is quick communication, an email just bursts, erased, cut and paste. Although my hand writing (cursive, a thing of the past) was never a strong point, I do like sending a letter to certain people, knowing it makes a difference in their life. A letter is sitting with thoughts and sharing. braumeister: you got the real deal today!

UnrealizedPotential 06-21-2018 05:20 PM

Believe it or not, I write letters all the time. It's so easy to ignore emails and phone calls nowadays and most people do. However, a letter takes more effort to write and sticks in the mind of others for longer. They do not ignore it as readily and might be more willing to respond.

Not only that, but most people won't say too much in an email. But in a letter, if they write one, will write much more, including details. So yes, I still feel there is very much a place in this World for letters .

Lets be honest, how many people have you called and they don't pick up their cell phone? You wonder if they just don't feel like talking right now to you.

I do get letters back quite often from others I have written and I love reading them. There is something so permanent about them.

Moemg 06-21-2018 09:26 PM

My late husband used to write me letters all the time when we were dating . I still have some of them . My other favorite letters are from my daughter from Girl scout camp .Last winter when I was sick I got a note from my youngest grandson "Get better grandma morning I love you " .I am a sucker for letters or notes .

Texas Proud 06-21-2018 10:14 PM

We get different cards all the time... Christmas, birthdays and my oldest sister will even send some for holidays...

I used to know someone that would do that end of year story of their life for the year... it was an interesting read as he did a lot of different things and also traveled a lot.. last I heard he was up to 150 countries...

Dawg52 06-21-2018 10:25 PM

I got a handwritten thank you from the sales lady I bought an suv from a few days ago. My sis in law sends a message on a postcard when she travels but that's about it.

scrabbler1 06-21-2018 10:27 PM

I have gotten some handwritten thank-you notes and letters related to my school Scrabble volunteer work. I know a few of them were mailed to me together by the teacher-coach who ran the school's Scrabble club. The last of those I got back in 2009 or 2010. I also get some handwritten thank-you notes and cards from my nephew when I send him a birthday present.

But in terms of an actual handwritten letter from someone, I'd have to go back at least 15 years to a minor friend of mine who had become nearly impossible to reach by phone and who had no email. Our only successful way to correspond with each other was from letters, and they were handwritten. Those letters went on every so often throughout the 1990s until we finally drifted apart in 2003.

I am also not counting some unsolicited handwritten letters from some local Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who are trying to get me to join them in bible studies classes. I find these letters offensive, especially because I am an atheist and object to their proselytizing. I write them angry letters back.

gamboolman 06-22-2018 01:00 AM

30 years I imagine
Really can’t remember

Alan 06-22-2018 02:53 AM

I still communicate with a first cousin of mine in Australia by letter, several times a year. Have done this since about 1969 when her family moved there. I send and receive a letter from her mother every Christmas and have been out to visit them 3 times, the last time was 2014, and they still don’t own a computer but my cousin does now have a cell phone.

I love her letters which are long and informative and I adore the bad grammar and spelling errors because she writes like she speaks - wonderful really, as I can just picture her talking to me.

I confess that my letters to her are typed as my handwriting is a bit difficult at times, unlike hers.

harllee 06-22-2018 06:37 PM

I can't believe people don't get handwritten letters. I receive handwritten letters frequently, especially thank you notes, get well, etc. I also send out many handwritten notes and letters. I go through packs of stationary/notecards every few months. To me, handwritten note or letter is a much more personal and heart felt than an email or text.

I just received the nicest note from my niece, who just graduated high school thanking me for a graduation gift. A young person like her who can write a nice letter is going somewhere.

cbo111 06-22-2018 07:09 PM

My DW sends hand-written letters to grandson and granddaughter a couple times a year. They are under 10 years old and really get a kick out of the mailman bringing something addressed to them!
She also sends birthday cards to about 100 friends and family members. Seems like we are always at the Dollar Store buying more cards.

athena53 06-22-2018 07:15 PM

I don't get many (although I recently got one from a friend thanking me for contributing to her political campaign). Every year, though, every Christmas card I send out (25-30 of them) includes a hand-written letter. It's something I started the year I got out of college and every year a few people write back and tell me how much they enjoy them. My family doesn't have a big gift-giving culture. We're all doing well and if we want something we buy it. So, while everyone else is buying gift cards, I'm writing letters.

FIREd 06-22-2018 11:45 PM

I receive (and send) handwritten letters all the time. I have several friends with whom I correspond via letters regularly. I love taking the time to handwrite 3-4 pages and then wait a few weeks for a response.

I stopped using email a while ago. For quick communication, I prefer text messages now.

EastWest Gal 06-23-2018 04:18 AM

It’s been years. In 2002, my husband got a handwritten letter and a small package with a handwritten journal with a similar letter inside. The letter was a few pages in somewhat large writing. My husband was adopted.

The letter was from his birth mom,?explained the 20 year search she had undertaken to find him, the last seven on the internet. She was careful to allow him not to respond if that was his choice. The journal contained musings about her long lost son. She told him about the name she gave him, which was changed upon adoption. It turns out we named our son the same name that his father had for the first 3 weeks of his life.

My husband responded by letter and phone. Letters are powerful. Sometimes they are magic.

Koolau 06-23-2018 06:10 AM

I do actually receive hand written letters from several people - from as far away as eastern Europe. Most of my letters are typed as I struggle with penmanship. YMMV

iloveyoga 06-23-2018 06:13 AM

We received a nice hand written note from our granddaughter for her birthday and graduation gifts.

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