The other day I came across a pad of notepaper I had forgotten I had. It came in handy because Gerry and I started playing a new game called Qwirkle and we needed a pad of paper to keep score. (It’s a simple game–so simple that children can play–but strategic enough to satisfy both of our competitive natures. It’s know as Extreme Qwirkle in our house.)
This simple pad of notepaper took me back in time to when I was a child and my parents used to write letters to family and friends who lived far away. Dad, especially, was a prolific letter writer. In the years just before he passed away I received at least one letter from him every week even though Mom and Dad lived just two hours away and we talked on the phone often. Dad just enjoyed writing letters.
The notepads of yesteryear came with a piece of lined paper meant to be put under the unlined sheet that the letter was to be written on, and a piece of carbon paper that could be used to make a copy of the letter while writing it–kind of like a low-tech “sent” email folder.
When I was a young woman I bought pretty floral notepaper to write letters on. Letter writing was an event. It meant deliberately setting time aside to sit down and put pen to paper to fill family and friends in on what was going on with my life.
I have bundles of saved letters tucked away in a box in my attic–treasures like the first letter I received from my birth sister, Wendy, and from my birth brother, Frank. I even have a stack of love letters written by Dad to Mom in their early years. Those letters give me a glimpse into the character of my dad that I would never have seen had it not been for those saved letters.
I don’t write letters of any kind these days. None. I don’t even send Christmas cards anymore. Being somewhat of an introvert I’m not much of a phone person either. The vast majority of my communication with others is done via quick notes sent via email. I suppose it’s just another symptom of this fast-paced life we live these days.
Yet I felt a twinge of nostalgia when I thought about notepads and carbon paper from yesteryear and I suspect the twinge of longing was for more than just a pad of letter writing paper.
Is there anything that you remember fondly from days gone by?