Monday, March 9, 2009
I really enjoy email, and would be lost without it now. Yet there is nothing like a handwritten note or letter. I am not sure how many of you know that Neal and I come from a big family...there were 8 of us children. So by the time I could remember, three of my sisters had left home, and then another one left before I started school. If I remember correctly, I was in about 5th grade before we got a phone--it was a party line at that. (More about that later.) Anyway, even after we got the phone, we just did not make long distance calls. Money was too tight. So letters was our means of keeping in touch.
Anyway, the rural mail did not come to our area till later...so we had to get our mail at the post office. When we were in school that was fine since we passed right by it every weekday and could pick it up. But in the summer, a special trip had to be made....sometimes one of my brothers road their bike down to get it, others another brother would pick it up if he was down there. The post office was about a mile away...not far. If walking, we walked the railroad cause it was an even shorter distance.
It was almost like Christmas to get a letter from one of my sisters, or even Neal after he left home. If I picked one up after school, I flew up that railroad as fast as I could go. Soon as mom got it, she would take time from whatever she was doing and sit down and read it aloud to all of us that happened to be there, with all of us hanging on to her every word. Such joy that just a few written lines could bring.
I mentioned being on a party line...there were four of us families on it. I can remember who two of the others were, but I cannot remember the fourth. So maybe I am wrong and there were only three....but that is not important. What is important is this. One of my best friends was on it. I cannot remember the exact way we were able to call each other...if we called each other the way you normally do, we would get a busy signal. I know we dialed a number, not sure if it was the right phone number or some other number, and quick hung up our phone and let it ring, and then when we thought it was picked up by the other, then pick our own phone up.
You might ask was was special about that...there were 4 or 5 of us girls that had went through grade school together and we tended to stick together in high school. Well, if there was something we were working on in school, Becky and I might talk. We would hang up and she would call one of the other girls, I would give her time to get them called, and then I would pick up on my end and the three of us could talk. We were ahead of the time!
Even with the phone, some of us girls wrote letters back and forth...and I still really enjoy getting a letter. Even if it is typed, there is just something about holding it in my hand. Maybe somehow I am unconsciously thinking about the fact that my hand is holding something that a loved one's hand has held. Not sure. I just know I still enjoy getting a letter, but that does not happen often these days.
So I eagerly await Christmas cards, and the ones that have a note in them add something to the season. But do I write notes in the ones I send--no. It is usually a hectic time and I don't...though there are always one or two that I write in. People that I don't hear from except at Christmas. I hope it adds as much to their day as it does when I hear from someone.