Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Hand Written Letters

       A columnist in my local paper had as a topic writing letters by hand.  It started me thinking.

       When was the last time I wrote a letter by hand? I can't remember. I've had a computer in the house since 1997. Before that, I can't remember who I would have written to. When I first left home in 1957, my Mom wrote me every week and I replied. My Mom and Grandma exchanged letters every week. There were many friendly letters in our local rural mailbox. The letters were newsy and always exciting to receive. Mom would read the letters to us many times. Am I about to sit down and write someone a friendly letter? No!  

      Now I know I receive at least one written letter per year. My sister-in-law hand writes every Christmas. She writes a very good letter.

     Because of the absence of personal letters in my mailbox. I'm not the only one who's quit writing letters.

    In a slower time it was pleasant to sit down and write a  letter to tell people what was going on in my life and to inquire what was happening to another person.

     So why don't I write? Well you can guess. Email has made it easier for us to make contact quickly  and easily. Why we can phone all over the place in an instant. In the 1940's, to phone Grandma long distance would have been very expensive and I can't remember if Grandma and Grandpa had a phone.

    Now I also have to admit that my cursive writing skills have disappeared. I could probably write in cursive form but I would really have to think about it. I've printed for more than twenty years and the printing is also getting rather rough. I've been through some old mementos here and found a couple of letters I had written. It gave me a rather strange feeling to see the evidence from my hand. So the keyboard has limited my cursive writing and printing.

    Now all this comes from a retired teacher. We taught cursive writing to the kids in the 1950's and 60's. I know these kids don't use cursive writing any more. 

    So have we lost something that is a necessary skill? Do we have something that will adequately make up for our lack of cursive writing? What's next? How will technology influence our handwriting or printing? How will our letter writing be influenced?

    There's been  an unbelievable change in the last twenty five years. 

Now I have to admit that my talented daughter wrote my poem beautiful lettering