Tuesday, December 11, 2012

And she's off!

When I was about 10 or so, one of my sisters sold Current items for a school fundraiser. I fell madly in love with the stationery and notecard sets offered by the company and my mother happily indulged my obsession. She was and still is a letter writer and although the juvenile clowns and frogs of the Current line didn't appeal to her, a daughter who shared her love of paper and writing instruments did. I still remember the design of the items she bought for me and they've long since been written upon and mailed to cousins and now deceased grandparents.

The truth is that I love paper, pens and pencils, inkwells, sealing wax, staplers, paper clips, post it notes and any item that might be considered "office supplies". I have a collection of notebooks, binders, and writing instruments that would enable me to start a small store of my own. Over the years, I've added to the collection and taken away from it, giving items to friends or local shelters when the stash got to be unmanageable. I pare it down just to build it again when I find something that strikes me as a 'must have'. I know I really don't need the item but I indulge my little addiction and also control it by actually using the items I acquire.

Each week I make a menu plan and lists of groceries I need to buy, tasks I need to accomplish, and things I need to remember. When I'm angry or sad about something, I put it all on paper then burn it or throw it away. And I write letters, most of them to people I've not met and probably never will meet. The best part of letter writing is that most people respond in kind and in this day of digital communication few things thrill me like opening my mail box to find hand written letters. That's a sad commentary on our society but it is what it is. Fortunately, there are still some letter writers and we're slowly finding one another via blogs and social media. How ironic that we use technology to indulge a passion for an almost lost art. 

Letter writing can be very intimate but one of its beauties is that when I write a letter, I can pour out as little or as much as I like. To someone I've never met and haven't corresponded with yet I write very general stuff. I tell them a bit about who I am and what I like and ask pointed questions to learn about that person. To a beloved aunt, the writing is more intimate. She hears the good and bad that are happening in my life. I recently wrote my first letter to an adult nephew who eschews the phone and doesn't do social media. We aren't close but I find him to be an interesting person and want to learn more about him. He writes letters to his grandmother so I think a written dialogue with him is a good place to start. I asked questions to find out what's going on in his life and told him a bit about my job and the stereo I purchased for his grandmother. It wasn't the most interesting letter I've written but he'll reply and we'll go from there. I see it as a new beginning to an old relationship.

A few days ago I decided to blog about letter writing and my love of the tools for it. So prepare yourself...the words and photos are coming!

To start the ball rolling, here's a photo taken in June during a de-cluttering session I had. I found these in a dresser drawer and they're just a small part of the stash. Most of the items have been donated to a local women's shelter but I've kept a few because I'll use them later or find someone who has a genuine need for one of them.

So, let the letter writing continue, shall we?


  1. Of course you do, Sarah. It's genetic! :)

  2. Welcome to the happy and civil corner of the internet. I look forward to seeing upcoming posts!