Monday, January 15, 2007

Letter Writing

Just a brief note to say that I'm not blogging (much) because I'm writing an honest-to-god letter today.

I think it's been about fifteen years since I've mailed anyone something that is more than a quick thank-you note, get well card, holiday greeting, or a paragraph on a scrap of paper included in a package. I used to regularly send long angst-filled letters to my grandfather (and he sent long rambling replies in return), but it's been sixteen years since he died. It doesn't seem like that long.

I also used to send long letters to my significant other, usually when I was doing archaeological fieldwork for eight weeks somewhere far away from him. Although this was after the advent of e-mail, it was before laptops and solar batteries and wireless networks were common and cheap enough for a college student to afford. We actually wrote in addition to talking on the phone. Now, living together, some weeks we hardly even get a chance to talk.

Do you think that old hard drives will take the place of boxes of correspondence in our archives some day?

Meanwhile, I'm off to do my letter to an old friend from high school. She sent me a card out of the blue, after not speaking to me for several years, and I was actually glad that she didn't give me a phone number or an e-mail address, because it gives me a chance to write a genuine letter again.

Below you see sunrise from my bathroom window as it was a few weeks ago, framed by the dead elm tree that has since been reduced to a pile of mulch and some firewood. It's a good thing it wasn't still standing last night, because I don't think that the heavy coating of ice on all the branches and twigs out there today would keep all of that increasingly brittle wood up in the air. I should go take some photographs of all the picturesque ice, but the freezing rain makes indoor activities (like letter writing) infinitely more appealing.


Jennifer (ponderosa) said...


I used to write letters, too. For me the blog has taken their place, actually.

That was funny, about you and your husband talking less now even though you live in the same house. That happens to me too. One of my new year's resolutions is to combat that tendency!

hbl said...

It happens...talking less. We tend to take each other for granted while we go on about the business of making a living.

It helps to stop once and a while and give each other a good hug.

purple_kangaroo said...

What a gorgous photo! I find I do a lot less letter-writing now that I'm blogging, too.

Roy said...

I actually just wrote two letters to friends last night. More than blogging, the easy access to e-mail and cell phones has killed my letter writing. Which is a shame- I really love getting letters. There's something really special about getting a letter in the mail.

Julie said...

Hubby and I have the same problem. We're like ships passing in the night sometimes. It's not so much that we take each other for granted -- we're just so busy!

I haven't written or received a "real" letter in years. Probably because the people I used to write to (grandparents, great aunts, etc.) have all died. I don't even make long distance phone calls any more.

I meant to go out and take pictures of the ice, too, but it was so cozy inside. Sure was beautiful, though, with the sun shining and the ice coating everything.