Letters have my stamp of approval

Raelene HallMidwest Times
Receiving a handwritten letter by post can be a nostalgic experience.
Camera IconReceiving a handwritten letter by post can be a nostalgic experience. Credit: Raelene Hall

Letters in the mail (other than window ones) have become a very precious thing to me these days.

I have totally embraced social media, but getting an envelope with my name handwritten on the front and the sender’s name on the back makes me realise how much I miss “real” mail.

One glance at the handwriting and I knew who it was from.

I should do, given this friend and I have been exchanging letters for nearly 50 years.

It’s hard to believe, but we started out as pen pals when I was just 10.

We connected through a children’s section in a rural paper — which one I can’t recall but I have a vague recollection it was known as “Cousin Ann’s Corner”, but maybe I dreamt that one up!

I was a bit shocked to hear my friend thinks she still has my original letter somewhere.

How I’d love to read that!

Unfortunately, I was more of a clean-it-out person. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait 50 years to meet face-to-face.

That happened at my 21st birthday when she and her husband came to my party.

Since then we have only seen each other a handful of times even though we both live in WA.

Somehow our planned catch-ups just never seem to eventuate.

As kids we were both farm girls, so there was always something in common but also plenty to share that was different.

Our lives took different paths but we both married, had three children and survived their school and teenage years.

I taught my kids in primary school, while hers went to the local school.

Mine went to boarding school, while hers came home each night.

Over the years the letter writing dwindled as our lives got busier, but we never lost contact altogether.

If at no other time, Christmas was always the time to put that letter in with the Chrissy card to update each other on our previous year.

Our parallel lives continue, with both of us, planning retirement.

The only area I’m getting left behind in is the grandparent stakes.

She has one and one on the way and I am impatiently waiting!

In the immediacy of the social media world we live in, I’ll always be grateful I’ve had the opportunity to connect with this special friend over sheets of paper and an envelope.

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