Note Paper

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?


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. I have a box filled with old letters, memorabilia of all kinds, cards sent to me by friends and family. I just can’t throw them out, so I keep them. I was never much of a letter writer myself, except for love letters to a couple of old flames, and I have no idea whether they kept them. I doubt it.

    I also don’t write letters any more. And you know, I do miss the old days, but any specific thing, not so much. Just my loved ones who have gone to the other side.

    1. Ah yes, DJan. I miss those who have gone on too.

  2. Linda,
    This post really struck a chord with me. I too used to be a letter writer and I always loved receiving letters. Recently my Mom gave me a folder filled with letters I had written to my parents when I lived miles away in Missouri. Reading them was like reading a journal from the past. Handwritten letters and cards are a lost art these days and that gives me a twinge of nostalgia too.

    1. What a treasure those letters are, Kathy! They really are a slice of the past, aren’t they?

  3. Dear Linda,
    Like DJan, I sorely miss friends and family members who have died. Sitting with them and sharing stories of our lives together was such fun. I miss that. I miss their laughter and their “take” on life.

    I also miss early shows and stars on television like Sid Caesar and Imogene Coco and Jackie Gleason. I miss humor that was dependent on pace, word recognition, puns, facial expression, and situations rather than the humor today that is so often “blue.”

    Yes, I guess I miss a time that seems–I’m not sure it was–but it seems in retrospect to be a time of greater innocence. Do you think it was? Or were we just blind?


    1. Once in a while we find some of the old shows on TV and I enjoy them so much! Jackie Gleason was a classic! I do believe it was a time where there was more innocence. These days everything is “out there” and I’m not convinced we need to be bombarded with all that is put in front of us on a daily basis.

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