When I was younger and email was not even a thing yet, I wrote letters to loved ones, especially to my grandparents. Before cell phones became “the thing,” my boyfriend and I wrote letters back and forth. I’ve saved them all, by the way. Throughout most of my younger years, my parents almost always sent my siblings and I either to summer camp and/or to spend a few weeks with our grandparents; my mom always sent cards to us. We were the only ones who actually received mail every day.
Soon after my husband and I moved to Missouri in the early nineties, faxing was the thing. My mom and I faxed letters back and forth at least once a week. I still wrote to my grandparents, but letters between my mom and I became faxes instead. My college friends and I completely lost touch as we moved into the digital age as we had never exchanged email addresses and never thought to do so because we simply quit writing letters.
Throughout the past 8 to 10 years, Facebook has become one of the two main means of communication with texting via cell phones the other. And I love Facebook. I am “friends” on Facebook with many of my friends from elementary school, most of whom I haven’t seen since the 6th grade!!! I’m currently “friends” with almost every single student I had during my first two years of teaching, almost twenty years ago. It is so wonderful being able to connect, by any means, with so many beloved friends and family.
But….you knew it was coming….I miss getting letters in the mail. Every so often, my mom and my sister both have sent me cards and letters and I have loved and appreciated every single one. Another pastor’s wife sent me a very sweet card a few weeks ago and has done so every so often over the years. (Thank you, sweet Nancy.) The other week, I received a very sweet card in the mail from a friend of mine. (Thank you, Dr. Laurie!!!)
It is simply so incredibly wonderful to open my mailbox and actually have a LETTER (or card) HAND-WRITTEN from a loved one. Do you remember that thrill we used to get when our computers would ding “You’ve got mail!”? I feel that and then some whenever I see a letter in my mailbox!
Kevin Costner did a movie in 1997 called The Postman. It was panned by critics and did not do well in the theaters, but from the first viewing, it’s been on my list of one of my all-time favorite movies. I simply love it! In a nutshell, it’s a futuristic movie about the importance of letters. My favorite scene in the movie comes when one of the main characters, as he is standing in line to be shot, holds his hand high in the air with a precious letter held tightly between his fingers while his dying scream rings loud and clear: “Ride, Postman! Ride! Do you hear me?! I said, ‘Ride’!” (Even writing this I’m choked up.)
I will readily admit that I do love the ease and wonder of using modern technology as a means of communication, but I sincerely miss the incredible thrill of receiving a letter in the mail……
So, to my beloved friends and family, keep a weathered eye on your mail in your snail-mailbox for a letter and/or card from me. I can not possibly write to everyone at once, so please be patient….your letter/card will come.
And if you decide to write to me, that’s okay, too! (Please, no junk mail and don’t sell my address to places that send junk mail.)
Polly Anna Watson
75 Donald Rufty Road
Taylorsville, NC 28681