Friday, 27 January 2012

Connecting across the miles, and the years

When you move across the country from friends and families, it is a challenge to stay connected. The three-hour, time difference makes it difficult to connect in real time either by phone or a newer technology like skype.

There is the convenience of email which allows you to read and respond when convenient at your end. The speed of this is addictive. Yet, my children delight to receive letters in the post. No doubt novelty is a factor in the hand-clapping glee with which they receive the news, "you have a letter."

And so it was yesterday when my son received a letter from my dad, his favourite person in the world. In the letter was a newspaper article Grampie knew he'd be interested in (and Grampie is on side with me encouraging my reluctant reader to read- thanks Grampie!). In addition, was a handwritten note from Grampie. Since I know this is a rarity, I was thrilled until I saw my son's face fall as he realised he could not read this cursive writing.

In our school system, at least in my children's experience, reading and writing cursive is a lost art. Hence, a lost connection with the previous generations. Thankfully, our grandparents are using the new technologies so we can stay connected.

 It made me nostalgic for all the great letters I have received in my life, and that thrill of recognising simply from the handwriting who the sender is. When I first moved across the country years ago, a friend and I corresponded almost daily- yes the letters passed each other in transit, but this commitment to friendship helped me navigate my new city without feeling I had lost connection to the old. It was a like a shared journal of our lives and that bag of letters has been read a few times.

 I never find myself sitting and rereading emails- they seem so much more transitory in nature. I have spent many hours rereading "real" letters whose connection seems more solid to me.

Does anyone else miss letter writing?


  1. I do, I have a shoe box full of letters. Emails really aren't the same. The shoe box also has stickers all over it, decorated by a thirteen year old me. Getting a letter in the mail used to make my whole week!

    1. Makes me think I might write a few to some special people.