Thursday, January 20, 2011

Letters 1 and 2

I'm on track so far for my 52 letters in 52 weeks, granted it is only the second week but I like to give myself kudos occasionally...

Good for me!

Last week, I eased into the project and sent a birthday card to my friend, Pam. Last week I also ordered these pretty flat notecards on Etsy and bought some real-life notepaper from Chapters in preparation for what is to come.

By the by, it took me a coon's age to actually find any decent writing paper. I scoured Etsy. There was almost none to be had that was worth paying shipping for. I happened to be in Chapters picking up some SillyBandz for Hope (a reward for relearning how to go to bed and stay there) when I found some nice writing paper. They had one design. They had three boxes. $10. Done and done but wow, it really drove home how rare letter-writing has become. That doesn't come as a surprise of course. In fact, the back of the box of paper reads: "Designer letter sheets add flair to your correspondence, as you keep alive the fine art of letter-writing."

Yikes. The pressure! "Fine-art"... I doubt anyone will describe my letters that way. I am making an effort to sit down when I have no distractions and give my letter some undivided attention. This will be my once-a-week quiet time. I think that's something I could use.

This afternoon I sat down during a quiet moment and wrote a real-life honest-to-goodness letter. I haven't done that since.... I honestly have no idea how long it's been. I used to write letters all the time. And then email took over and it was probably circa 1994 that I last put pen to paper in a disciplined effort.

I chose to write to my friend Ferne today. Ferne is around 80 or so, maybe just shy of that. She visits the cottage right next to ours and we became fast friends during one of her early visits. Ferne worked for years in the maternity ward in one of the hospitals in London, Ontario and LOVES babies. She never had any of her own but you'd never know - she knows all the tricks and talks to babies like she had 40 of them herself. She also is just the hippest, most interesting 80-year-old I've ever met. I hope we cross paths again this summer. I don't see her every year but we write Christmas cards with short notes and she calls me occasionally.

Everyone needs a Ferne in their lives.

In fact, we've actually named her The Ferne because she's that awesome.

Anyway, I wrote to Ferne today for a couple of reasons: (1) she's a good friend and (2) she and my mum really liked one another and today is the anniversary of my mum's death and I just really wanted to be in contact with someone who knew and liked her but wasn't family.

From the side of self-serving, I also know Ferne will write back which is an added bonus to this project; I'll likely get some letters back!

In fact, I was triple-super-over-the-moon-excited to receive a letter from one of my soul-mates and best friends, Marnie, today. She wrote me a real letter. For real. On paper. With pen.

And I didn't write her first.

What surprised me most was how much joy I got from reading the letter. Not because of what it said necessarily but just because she took the time to write. It felt really special. I hope that's how people feel when they get mine. Because making someone's day a little brighter is something I would like to do more often.


Marnie said...

Yay! You got it. It felt just as good to be the sender of the letter. You're on to something...

Shan said...

This is such an awesome project. Love that you are doing this.

Pam said...

Thanks for the b-day card...warmed my heart!