A blog for anyone who understands the joy of writing and receiving handwritten letters.

Monday, October 18, 2010

101 things I love about letters: #8 The life they have afterwards

"... and by the way thank you for the cheesy postcard :). It funnily enough looks even more cheesy with the hole in it. A poor snail took refuge in my letter box during a deluge and snacked on the card, luckily it had the decency to eat the address part first, heh."

Huey is an old friend living in Melbourne who I send little notes and postcards to often. I loved hearing about that snail in Huey's soggy letterbox. South-east Australia has been having a deluge lately... real drought-breaking stuff because the rain has been going on and off for months... snails in letterboxes is one of the side-effects. Did the snail like the taste of the postcard, or did he just sample it before deciding to move on? I hope that snail has gone on to live a long and happy life.

That's a fun if flippant example of the life a letter/card/whatever can have after it leaves us... but sometimes letters have much more profound lives. Sometimes our letter arrives at just the right moment and creates such an impression on a person that it changes things.

It's important to me to keep looking around me, at the people in my life, and sending a letter when it seems right. I have a couple of very good friends, Chris and Sally, that do a lot in the local community... they are both amazing though it's usually Chris who gets acknowledged more because he has more of a public role (he's on the local council). The other week I decided to write to Sally and thank her for some things she had done that I had noticed... and I talked about how grateful I am to know her... and a few other personal things. They both helped me a lot when my marriage fell apart last year, without even knowing it.

A few days later, Sally and I bumped into each other and she hugged me with tears in her eyes because my card had meant so much, arriving at a time when she needed to really hear it. .. and the affect seems to have been lasting on our friendship, creating a special bond between us.

Sometimes letter-writing is just a bit of fun and sometimes it's profound. And to tell you the truth I like both kinds.

Love from Kaz


  1. I just found your blog from a link on another blog - The Letter Writing Revolution, I think...? Lovely, lovely, lovely! I adore sending an unexpected little note to someone saying, "Hey, thanks..." I even send notes to my own 12 year old son! He loves getting mail and he thinks it is funny that I mail him stuff instead of just saying, "Hey kid, I love you" while we eat our cereal in the morning. But, these are things that build memories and relationships, right?

  2. This is such a moving post... I think I will start another postcard attack on my friend, she might need some distraction right now... I like sending a card a day for a period of time, this is something people enjoy pretty much and oh, we can't stress enough how much people mean to us!

  3. I used to keep ALL my letters. They had a way of cheering me when I was down, or letting me mope when the mood struck.

    LOVE the snail tale!

  4. Wow, your blog's really growing - good to see :-)

  5. Malea - I love that you send notes to your son. Awesome. And thanks for the nice words.

    Tanuki - sending a postcard a day to someone (a postcard avalanche) sounds like such a wondrous and amazing thing to do for somebody. I am going to tuck this one into my bag of tricks and unleash it on someone unsuspecting one day.

    Hart - Yes, I keep all mine, too. At least I do for now... there may come a day when I have to choose what to keep and what to... upcycle? Papier mache anyone? That would certainly give letters another life!

    Charmaine - thanks Mum. ;-)

  6. I keep all my lovely letters too....

  7. Nice to find another snail-mail aficionado. In the United States, post offices are probably on the way out. I give them another decade at most. Many have closed down their large buildings and now "mail" for those who still use it, is being handled at small kiosks set up inside other businesses (like stores). From there, it's taken by area mailmen to some larger sorting station before leaving for its final destination. It's a pity that our younger generations dont engage in letter writing - not even much in email communication anymore. Seems the twenty year olds (and younger people) only send cryptic text messages using just their phones ... Very sad. There is nothing like sharing a thought with someone on the back of a card, or working through more complicated issues by writing about them to a friend, and how about the sheer joy of finding something other than a bill in your mail box?
    I hope some day to mail you a card, Kaz.
    Greetings from a Florida letter writer and mail lover.