Friday, February 09, 2018

February is National Letter Writing Month

(All graphics today are from Pinterest, for those of you who don't view Pinterest)

Good Day, Dear Friends,

I thought I would begin this greeting with a cup of hot tea, pictured above. Today two ladies came to visit for the Ladies Class, and we all enjoyed hot tea. 

February being letter writimg month is not a rule, but a suggestion. February can be whatever you want it to be. I see online that March and April are also observed as letter writing months, so we can choose as we like. Apparently you try to write and send one letter every day that the postal service is open.

Since Februrary is National Letter Writing Month, I am including Vintage Post cards of scenes I like.
When I start painting seriously, these are the kind of scenes I want to portray. I like the background picture surrounded by florals. It is so nostalgic and sweet. 

One thing I know about mail in past times is that not everyone had a street number the way they do today. Mail was addressed with a first and last name and the town they lived in.
Apparently the postal carriers knew where these people lived.  As the streets added more residences  and businesses, it became necessary to include the street address. 
Victorians and people before their times were as dedicated to hand writen correspondence as you and I are to mail technology. In fact, mail was so prolific, it was delivered twice a day to keep it from stacking up. 

The letter-writing tools and boxes and tables with all the categories and storage areas seem similar to our computers.
This one has a letter writing pad included with the box for papers, pens, ink, envelopes, stamps, address book and enclosures, those little  things you might in the letter.

It was not so long ago that ball point pens came on the scene, and many of us were still using dip pens or fountain pens. I still remember the ink on my fingers.

Letters often included clippings from magazines, recipe cards, and photographs. 

As for paper, we would write letters on anything that had a blank area. Business mail with one blank side would be re-used, as well as wrapping paper, white side up. Another source of writing materials was the blank side of greeting cards, after cutting off the greeting part. The picture was still useable and there was room to write on the other side.  When packages came in the mail with blank paper wrapped around the contents, we ironed it to get the wrinkles out and used it for art paper or letter paper. 

Mr. S. clings to his old frugal office hobby of clipping the unused half of a business letter or a sales letter, then staples all the pieces together in a stack,  although uneven sizes,  and uses it for notepads. 

I hate to buy shopping list pads, even at the dollar store, when he has an ample supply of these hand made scrap pads in his office.  In fact, that is what I want for my birthday: hand cut notepads stapled together.

The Grands like to joke around about Papa and his office supplies, but who is it that can ALWAYS come up with a pen, a pencil, eraser, paper clip, a twist-tie, glue, elastic bands, paper, envelopes, boxes and all those things everyone else has stopped saving! Ever since his student days he has appreciated fine paper and pens, and one of his favorite fountain pens is the Cross pen, which you can still buy. He browses the Goodwill and reject stores for unused office supplies.

Sometimes we made our own dipping ink by diluting colored chalk in a liquid (not sure what it was) or diluting white glue and adding food color. Fountain pens had a lever which, when pulled opened, refilled the barrel with ink from a bottle. As the fountain pen became modernized, the barrel was replaced with ink cartridges, but we teenagers learned different methods of refilling the disposable ink cartridges to avoid buying new cartridges. 

When in my teens I wrote pages and pages of letters, and thought I would do so all my life. However, as time progresses, life gets busier and responsibilities multiply!  Time is filled with so many things and letter writing gets pushed aside, but as this is National Letter Writing Month, I will try to do better!

Now I would like to clear up a rumor I have heard off and on involving writing letters in ancient times. Some people ignorantly state that people "in Bible times" could not or did not write letters. The evidence points to the opposite, for all you have to do is use your E-Sword tool on your computer and type in the words "letter" or "letters" to see how often letters were written.  Notable among these, is the letter written in Ezra 4 to the King of Persia, and the apostle Paul writing in the New Testament: "See what large  letters I write."  Letters are a very ancient form of communication, and not only in the Bible, but among people everywhere.

Ah, I see Mr. S. Has brought me tea:
As he made such a big deal about bringing me flowers last week when he brought the tea (see a previous post), I laughingly asked him where the flowers were.

"Right here", he said as he handed me this sheet of postage stamps:
I said if I didn't know better, I would think he would do anything to get out of bringing me a real flower. As it is winter here and we have a few more months to go, I can understand but I think he is ever so clever finding flowers this way.

Now I feel I should explain about Mr. S. and his current practice of bringing me things.  He has a wonderful Doctor, a true health-care practitioner who is a Naturopathic physician. 

 As Mr. S. is now in his 70's, Doctor prescribed a certain amount of activity mixed in with his office work. He must get up and walk and be active often throughout the day.  As I am mostly at the other end of the house in the sewing room, he walks all the way there and asks if there is anything he can bring me. Then he walks all the way to the kitchen or office or wherever, and gets the item for me. It does not bother him a bit if he gets the wrong thing or does not bring every item, because it enables him to make more trips.

That reminds me of something he said to me. I had returned from the grocery store and was trying to bring all the grocery bags from the car at one time and my hands were not free to get the door opened. Coming to my rescue, Mr. S. opened the door and took the bags.

In a concerned tone he lectured me, saying,

"My dear, you should not be carrying all those heavy bags!  Make two trips!"

We are doing so much better now that we stopped using the cell phones to call each other in the house. When he is outside working on the lawn or fixing something, I go outside and find him,  rather than use the phone, and that way, I can be more active. He usually asks me to bring him something to drink when he is involved in yard work, so I get some excercise too.

Well now I must stop and have some of that tisane menthe poivre'e which Mr. S. has served.

More postcard art:


Janet W. said...

I really appreciate this post since not many people write letters any longer.
My big beef is that it's hard to find stationary these days. Perhaps you could do a post on making our own stationary.
Thank you for sharing.

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, via a comment on your blog ~smiles~ But writing letters always seem so lovely and personable. The pictures of the boxes for letter writing were beautiful. I love to collect writing note cards, pretty pictures and nice quotes. I actually have written several note cards to friends during this last week. I find I seem to write in spurts.
May you find some Happy Mail in your mail Box soon, and remember do not carry such heavy bags in from the car, instead make two trips (Hilarious)
Love, And Happy Valentines Day...

Dawn said...

"My dear, you should not be carrying all those heavy bags! Make two trips!"

Haha. I imagine this is another example of Mr. S.'s dry humor.

Those Victorian writing boxes are impressive.

The floral stamps are very pretty.

Shani said...

I love writing letters, and post at least one every week to my oldest son who is away from home for the first time this year. He writes back regularly, having set aside time every Sunday afternoon for that endeavour. I also write to many other people, but rarely do they write back.

I mourn the loss of civilised society almost daily.

Have a lovely and blessed Sunday.

Lydia said...

Dawn: yes, it still takes me a second or two to filter what he says, through his dry humor.

Roxy, I really do remember that before filling my arms with merchandise and can't get the door opened, but it such a bother to go back to the car and ack to the house several times. I need to have my utility wagon nearby.