How can a blogger, especially one who blogs every day, forget to blog? That's what happened to me yesterday.
The painter was here to put the finishing touches on the kitchen and dining room, and then Jerry with the snow blower arrived and when the painting was done, I was eager to get the rooms back to their normal condition, pictures hung, furniture replaced, etc. It all took longer than I would have imagined and well - next thing I knew it was nearly dinner time and I had no story written.
Life just gets in the way of the blog sometimes, so here's a quick take on something we elders may be the last generation to know about.
When was the last time you wrote or received a personal, hand-written letter? Not just a birthday card. Nor an invitation with a note appended. A real letter chatting about life. In my case, it has been decades. Perhaps not since my great Aunt Edith died in about 1985.
So imagine my delight when I found this in my mailbox yesterday.
And it's not just any scribbled address – look at the gorgeous calligraphy. It is a letter from a young friend whom I met when we both attended Chris Pirillo's Gnomedex conference in Seattle in the summer of 2007. Stan, who blogs at wanderingstan, has visited me twice here in Maine and he is currently living for a year in Berlin.
Stan has a number of esoteric interests, such as calligraphy, and he didn't stop with the envelope. The entire letter is written in his beautiful hand.
He was kind enough to mention that he isn't, as he put it, “trying to shift our discussion to a new medium,” and I'm grateful for that. Since I took to computers full time in the mid-1980s, my handwriting has greatly deteriorated, so much so that sometimes even I can't translate what I've written. When it must be readable, I print.
In fact, I think I've lost the fine motor skills needed for reasonably clear longhand and when I have occasionally tried to write more than grocery list, I'm annoyed that my writing can't keep up with the speed of my mind as it can on a keyboard.
I'm sure most of you remember the hours we spent in grammar school practicing script – aiming for perfect Os and Ls and Qs – all those flourishes on capital letters. When we were kids, beautiful handwriting was still an admired skill.
There isn't much use for it these days. Kids learn to type pretty much while they're learning to read and who knows how far that will be carried as voice recognition software improves. I wonder if schools will stop teaching handwriting.
It was a delight to receive Stan's letter yesterday. It's almost worth framing as an example of an archaic art.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Johna Ferguson: My Favorite Job