It has been nice finally getting caught up on some of the lovely mail I’ve received over the past couple of months. Life gets so busy, but I think it’s always important that we make sure to schedule in the time to do the things that just make us smile. So, in between work, studying, volunteering, networking…I’m trying to get back into also just being creative, reaching out to those I love, and having a good time with this bright little life we all get the chance to live.
This letter arrived in my box back in June, and was in response to the following Question of the Week: Tell me about where you live or where you are from. How does it look, feel, smell? What are the people like? What do you love about it? Is there something you would change about it?
Wren had a wonderfully detailed response to this question. Here is what she had to say:
June 15, 2012
In response to “Tell me where you live or where you are from…”: Those are two different places; very different! I live in the deep south where I enjoy the greenery and warm weather. I am very cold-blooded and this prevents me from living where I grew up.
I was born in Connecticut, but moved to Rhode Island when I was about 2 years old. My father’s family is from Rhode Island, and have been living there since around 1780. I miss the formality of New England. I think it’s nice to get out of the jeans and t-shirt and go out in a dress or a skirt and a blouse that actually has a collar! Of course the fall foliage in New England is a highlight. My most fond memories are of my birthday (late July) when it’s a comfortable 85 degrees (at last!), having steamers and lobster seaside. The best time and place to be is at the ocean in September, just after all the “summer people” have left. How does Rhode Island smell? Salty! Like low tide! Sometimes there is too much dampness and you need to turn on the dehumidifier. In the winter, the snow will come in January and maybe leave in March. Look out the window and count the birds in the birdfeeder: cardinals, chickadees, blue jays, tufted titmouse — lots of nature in R.I. — chipmunks live in the stonewalls that the pilgrims built. Rabbits and field mice are living in the backyard. You can see foxes, woodchucks and raccoons, too.
The people are quiet and reserved and dead honest. If they don’t like you, they’ll look you in the eye and tell you so! Nobody pretends to be friendly; not even salesmen. There’s no second-guessing, and I like that!
My thoughts about my first home; thanks for the opportunity!
I think that was such a beautiful description. I could see what Wren described and feel myself there in the different seasons. Thank you so much for sharing with us where you grew up, Wren. I love how letters can make me feel like I’ve traveled the whole world!
This project is about promoting handwritten letters (which, in turn, promotes all sorts of other goodness, like kindness, connection, and cheer). So, no matter how you choose to be involved—whether you’re responding to the questions of the week, requesting a handwritten note from me, or just sending a little “hello” yourself—you’re doing just what you need to do.
This little hello to the project came from Qatar.
Hello from afar,
Came across your blog via a retweet from another fan of letters. I’m glad you take the time to do this for folks (and keep the USPS chugging along). I travel a lot so am very happy to write a postcard though at times it’s difficult to determine who would want such an item! Whenever I visit a city I seek out a post office and request 10 stamps to make it easy on the clerk, especially if we don’t speak the same language. Acquiring these Qatari stamps the 1st time around was easy but accents were so strong I didn’t try to make conversation. The stamps were of old world cup (soccer) posters — quite bland for a foreign country stamp. Upon return to make mailings I purchased more and got these unique “creatures” of Qatar. Much better, though I need to decide who will get a postcard with a stamp of an earwig. Haha.
Take care and hope this reaches you warmly…
This was such a fun and unique note to receive. I can imagine this writer traveling the world at the same time that his or her handwritten notes also travel to and fro. It makes me happy to think about the many ways the many places of this big world are brought together.
Allison is a pal of mine residing in Colorado. We met in New York when we were both counselors at a summer camp. She is fantastically crafty and perfectly creative.
In this lovely card she made, she responded to the past Question of the Week: Have you ever received a letter from another country? Where, and from whom? Do you remember what it looked like? Had you yourself ever traveled there before, or did the letter make you want to? If you haven’t received one, have you ever sent one to someone while visiting another country?
May 3, 2012
I’ve been thinking about the latest “Question of the Week” and thought using this little detail from a map on the card would be appropriate.
I have been fortunate in receiving and sending mail from far off lands. I guess as you know from my Facebook postcard album, I received many postcards from my mom as she went from city to city on book tours when I was a child. One was a European tour, and reading her accounts of different countries solidified those countries as real, accessible places for me. When postcards from my mom became quite a collection, other family and friends started making sure to send me postcards from their travels too.
One of my favorites my dad sent me from Brazil. It didn’t arrive to me in Los Angeles till six months later! I like to imagine it traveled from post office to post office all over the world before finding me.
Until next time,
I loved reading Allison’s response and thinking about the far off lands where her postcards have traveled. It makes this big beautiful world a little more connected. It takes places with different environments and cultures and brings them to your mailbox to learn from.
Thanks for the letter, Allison!
Lovely Handwritten Notes is still small right now and trying to find its place in this big beautiful world, but each day, it is slowly growing and taking root. I have to send out a big thank you to Andreia who runs another great Tumblr account called Pens&Envelopes that is also dedicated to the wonderful art of letter writing. Andreia helped open my project up to other countries by mentioning it in one of her posts. I’m jumping with joy now, as I prepare lovely handwritten notes to send to new letter-writing pals in Portugal, the Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom.
The emails I received from these letter writing enthusiasts were filled with touchingly kind words and encouragement. The feedback I receive from others about this project makes me realize its potential value more and more. One thing these letters seekers mentioned, however, was along the lines of, “I hope I’m not too far away for a lovely handwritten note.” This thought brings me to the topic of today’s post — letters from other countries!
I assure you now, you are never too far away for me to wish to send you a lovely handwritten note! In fact, letters to others countries are some of my favorites. The above photo is from the letter I received just a couple of days ago from my friend currently residing in Germany. It’s just so much fun to think of the letter’s journey across all of that land, air, and water simply so it could arrive in my mailbox to brighten my day. Letters from overseas are filled with such beautiful thought and care and they teach us the valuable act of patience.
In addition, there is so much history in letters sent from country to country — whether it was during a time of war where a letter was all a loved one could count on to know their beloved was safe or whether it was a pivotal political announcement. Great moments of news did not arrive in a hasty text, but rather a timeless, thought-soaked, handwritten note.
Letters traveling between countries are a way to share and learn about other cultures, to taste the sweet tang of world travel without even leaving the house. It’s a way of showing that no matter the immense distance, a piece of your heart still rests in that far off land where you fell in love.
Dear movers and shakers and dreamers of this project, please know that the earthly reach of my lovely handwritten notes will know no bounds.