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Hey, Mister Postman

When’s the last time you wrote a good old-fashioned letter?

I don’t mean e-mail. We all do that, likely many times a week. I’m talking about something for which you pull out a blank sheet of paper and a pen, sit down at a table or on the couch with, and write by hand.

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It’s a lost art, letter writing. I’ve heard that more than once, but it doesn’t have to be.

My girls and I each have experience with penpals.

Biggest writes an occasional letter to someone we consider an honorary uncle, he lives in Texas. He’s exceptionally good at sending stuff back. And Biggest recently connected with a girl just a couple years older than she is. They live only a town apart, here in Missouri, but how cool that they make use of the USPS? No texting (yet) for these two.

Littlest has received printed letters from a classmate at school, and a long-time friend of mine, who in the past has sent sweet thoughts and curious questions from out-of-state.

They’ve both written to a girl in Maine. And have traded letters with my boyfriend.

I like to send my girls notes and poems when they’re at their dad’s. I imagine (hopefully not for naught) their pleasure in opening an envelope from me, especially when we aren’t together.

Too, I have a penpal from overseas. After connecting online through a writers’ forum, and later Facebook, we started penning true letters, sent halfway around the world. Just as exciting as receiving heartfelt correspondence from her is knowing how many hands our mail has touched, across how many borders it’s roamed.

And who doesn’t love to read something written just for them?

There’s anticipation when you open the mailbox and find a letter with your name on it—and it’s not a bill. Or junk mail. There’s a tangibility not evident in e-mails, there’s a certain romantic spirit, an intimacy. Knowing you were thought of, that a few minutes’ time was spent contemplating and expressing thoughts for your benefit. That’s awesome.

Do you agree?

When’s the last time you wrote a good old-fashioned letter? Or received one?

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