Real Mail

A while back, I came across a stack of snail mail letters I had written to my parents years ago (back when the only mail was snail mail.) My mom had saved them, and when she passed away, I brought them home.

Some of the letters were from my college years, from dorm room 543 in Centennial Hall.  The letters often began with, “I’m sorry I haven’t written in so long. I”ll try to write more often.”  I’m sad to say I didn’t improve much on frequency, but the letters are entertaining.

snail mail on cute stationery

Many of the letters I found in the stack were later ones that I had written as a young mom, with funny little bits about my kids and things they said. “I love PUDDY!”  (My then two year old daughter loved chocolate pudding, with an intensity that only two year olds have.)  And,  “I’m having so much fun, I forgot all about my hotness.” (She popped out with that on a hot August day at the zoo, when she was five.)

In one of the letters, my son wanted me to make sure my mom and dad knew that he and his sister had been playing king and princess all day. (I don’t remember them ever playing king and princess.)  The letters are like little journals – reminders of forgotten things (and a forgotten me.)

love real mail. I love pretty stationary, handwritten letters, and actual photographs that are tucked inside. (But then, I was once a 12 year old with 7 penpals!)  What if those college letters I sent years ago had been emails instead?  I guess my mom might have printed them out to read and re-read. I know they would have still been special to her. But there’s just some sweet anticipation about the chance of getting real live mail, isn’t there?

Texting and email are easy and fast, and I love blogging. I can communicate with a lot of people at once.  I just hope personal letter writing doesn’t disappear.  Maybe I’m just getting old (well, yes…), but I hope real mail will endure.  Don’t you?

This post was originally published in 2013 and updated in 2023.

Linking to:

The Answer is Chocolate, Esme Salon, Mostly Blogging, Wonderful Wednesday, Fluster Buster, Linda’s Lunacy, French Ethereal, Life as a Leo Wife, Thursday Favorite Things, Building Our Hive, The Cottage Market, Jenerally Informed

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  1. What a treasure! It really has become a lost art form. I try to write letter and send cards as often as I can. I have saved cards and letters from friends and family as far back as the 5th grade and I, too, have letters my mom saved that were from me. I call them cherished memories from the past.

  2. My grandfather has beautiful penmanship and I love getting letters from him. That said, I always type out my replies on the computer and print them out. Whoops!
    Is it a good enough excuse to say that I'm mildly ashamed of my penmanship? Mostly it's just so much faster to type. I agree that letters and mail are wonderful. It's so nice to receive something handwritten by post!

  3. I love cards in the mail, too. I agree with Suzanne about typed being faster and looking better.
    So long Saturday delivery 🙁

    1. Dawn and Suzanne,
      I have to admit—my later letters as a young mom were often typed on the computer. (We got our first computer when my now 22 year old son was 4, when the internet was the world wide dirt road.) Much faster, and my parents still loved them.

  4. There is something just lovely about receiving a card or handwritten letter in the mail. It means someone took a little extra time to think of you.

  5. A few months ago my cousin found a stack of letters I had written to her back in the early 70's, when we were preteens. She found one where I had written that I didn't have a postage stamp (approx. .08). She paid the postage when the letter arrived and I enclosed the eight cents. The coins were still encased in the letter when she found it. Oh, I miss the days of snail mail! Enjoyed your post!

  6. Hi Pam..thanks for stopping by my blog from SITS! I love that you have all of these letters..what a wonderful reminder of your relationship with your Mom and how she kept all of those letters close to her heart..just precious..

  7. I can't even remember the last time I wrote/received a handwritten letter. I love modern technology with it's e-mail and text message and instant access, but it's nice to get an old fashioned letter. How lucky you are to have such treasures!

    Stopping by from SITS

  8. I definitely agree with you, paper letters are such great keepsakes! I have some letters my cousin wrote to me when we were in elementary/junior high [we're one year apart in age], but we stopped writing real letters back then & started communicating by email & other social media. I still have those old letters, but I don't have the communications from high school. Even if you print out the emails, they aren't as pretty as stationary & handwriting. I really do hope they never disappear, even though I can't really think of anyone to write paper mail to!

  9. I had the same thoughts! We need to write more. My mother-in-law was the receipient of hundreds of letters from the 1850's through early 1870's that are filled with family history and news of the Civil War. They are such a treasure. I hope you keep yours to pass on to generations to come. (Hey, when did you update the look of your blog? It looks great! I guess I have been bad in visiting.)

  10. There is something very special about a handwritten letter! So amazing that you have them! Stopping by from SITS!

  11. I feel the same way about real physical mail. I love getting a hand written letter or card. It seems more personal.

    Thanks for your kind comments at my blog! Have a good day!

  12. This is a sweet post Pam. It just reminded me that I too have a stack of hand written letters from my mom from years ago. I need to re-read them. As for the Saturday mail, we truly will be missing out on the pleasures of writing hand-written letters. Everything is so conveniently available with technology. But there are special feelings we get from actually receiving letters in the mail and the process of thoughtful writing, enveloping, stamping and walking them out to the mailbox for the mailman to pick up. Love this post and thank you for dropping by my blog. Have a wonderful Sunday.

  13. I too love writing letters. And I especially love sending cards. I think I personally have put several Hallmark executive's kids through college! I know that more people e-mail, and we all think that it's so much better because it's "quicker" and "better", but sometimes, with pen in hand, our mind slows down and we actually think about the words and phrases we are creating. Thanks for blogging about a great subject. Have a blessed day!

  14. "I'm having so much fun, I forgot all about my hotness." That is hilarious! And so worth saving… I check my mailbox like an eager little kid. Every. Day. Especially on Saturdays because it comes early that day. It's mostly always junk or bills but I always hold out hope for the occasional check in the mail or handwritten card. And I do get rewarded every once in awhile. I'd hate for a world in which that no longer happens. Thanks for a great post.

  15. so nice to have these letters. And I'm sure your daughter will get a kick out of them, as you pass them on to her. {:-Deb

  16. I agree with you! Though I struggle with writing real mail (email, Facebook, etc. are easier and faster), I still love a good letter and heartfelt message. 🙂 I think that's why I love blogs because they feel a little like diaries or letters for some reason. *shrugs* Maybe I'm just odd. 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by Natural and Free and being a part of my SITS Day! 🙂

  17. Pam, I just love this post! I still write letters and it came in handy while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. He even has all of my letters I wrote him from when we were dating. It really is a lost art and my husband and I discussed teaching our son how to write and mail a proper letter when he gets older (he's only seven months). If you like receiving mail, you should join our Karing Card Club. You can visit it at http://kreativecreationz.com/blog/karing-card-club/. Thank you for stopping by Kreative Creationz! You now have a new follower.

  18. How awesome to have all these letters.
    I haven't written or mailed a letter in a long time. I don't like my handwriting and I'm a fast writer so I am always erasing. I use email for everything. I like to send cards. Thank you for sharing this it has me wanting to get some cards to send out, just because.

    Have a great day!

  19. I used to love to write letters. I did in college too, and had some pen pals, when I was younger. It is becoming a lost art.

    Thanks for sharing & stopping by my blog 🙂

  20. I love real mail so much. Everything about it just days you describe. I hope it stays around too! Email is just not the same.

  21. I love the snail mail! When I was younger I wrote to mu grandmother, few friends end even some love letters 🙂 It was considered a little strange as other teenage kids used a phone and later the email to communicate. I have a personal treasure of about fifty snail mail envelopes which I cherish and bring with me to every new home since my early university years…

  22. Sadly, I think writing letters is becoming a lost art. I used to do it all the time…I seldom do it now. I usually write a letter to my husband's aunt once a year, because I know how much she enjoys getting them. But it seems kind of sad to say that I only write once a year. I had pen pals when I was a kid…now I just pick up the phone.

  23. I love the hand written on paper letters too. Somehow feeling and touching gives me loads of memories…
    Stopping by from SITS, congrats on being featured and have a super blessed day today!

  24. i treasure old letters that i've found, and wish i was better at writing them today. emails just aren't the same!

    happy SITS day! 🙂

  25. I love snail mail too. Although I don't always feel like sending it, I LOVE getting it. I am always a little excited when in my stack of catalogs, bills and credit card offers there is a hand addressed envelope from someone. I always hand write thank you notes, but not much else other than Christmas cards and cards for birthdays. I should do it more often! Happy SITS day!!!

  26. I love mail! When I was a nanny, I started the kids on Letter Writing Wednesday. We would all write and mail letters every Wednesday. It could be to anyone. We wrote to the local police and fire stations, to celebrities, to our favorite authors, etc. The best part was when people wrote back so the kids got to get their very own mail! "Snail Mail" is WAY better than quick, easy email!

  27. Dear Pam,
    Greetings from Calgary, Alberta Canada. I do hope your SITS day has been incredibly grand! I love your eclectic vibe and all your creative paths your blog travels down, but I especially liked this post on 'real mail.'
    I am a bit of a paper/stationery junkie myself. In fact, I am huge advocate for the lost art of letter writing. Call me crazy but I blog about just this topic. There is something to be said about sitting down with intention, taking the time, and writing someone a letter. Not to mention being on the receiving end as your mom was of all your gems of letters.
    Barb from ritewhileucan.com

    P.S. I love your doodles on that green letter! 🙂

  28. Wow! How sweet it is to come across memories past and have a chance to 'relive' them in a way. I love real mail too…I am not good and keeping up with them sadly. It is so much easier to text a quick hello but you're right the pretty stationary, someone's handwriting and the emotions behind them is a lost skill.

  29. I recently saw someone put up a request for a penpal, so I told her I'd love to and now we've exchanged letters. It's fun getting to know someone in that way! And I love getting mail!

  30. There's really nothing like snail mail! It always brightens my day to see a letter or postcard from my mom in the mailbox. Happy SITS day!

  31. Like you, I hope letter writing never goes away. I found a stack of letters from my nieces recently and it brought back a host of beautiful memories.

    Stopping by from SITS!

  32. I love this! Yes, I hope real letter writing never disappears. The kind of thing you experienced here just doesn't happen with texts and emails–we never GO BACK! And going back is so important. It's one of the big themes of my own blog (lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com) This is a great post! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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