When I first moved to San Francisco at 22 in 1992, there wasn't an internet and there weren't cell phones. the only way to communicate with all the friends and family I left back in the midwest was to try and catch them on their home phones or write them a letter. And, if you remember (or know a little about history) back then, long distance calls cost money ... per-minute kind of money ... and being a very poor 22-year-old, I opted for letters.
I bought myself a pad of pastel paper and matching envelopes at the drugstore. Every month on the 15th, I would take my writing supplies down to the Horseshoe Cafe in Lower Haight and write a letter to each person I knew.
I loved writing those letters. It was great to look back on the last month of adventures and get them all down on paper. But, I almost never got a response from anyone. If my grandma had still been alive, she would have written back (she was a fun pen pal), but no one else seemed interested in striking up a correspondence with me.
Eventually I gave up and stopped writing my monthly letters.
Over the years I've taken advantage of any opportunity to send out hand-written letters. Never with the idea that'd get anything in return, though. Oh! In one lovely exchange with Andrew's grandmother I wrote to ask for her oatmeal cookie recipe and received a hand-written recipe card in reply.
But my lack of letter writing outlets hasn't stopped me from amassing a crazy amount of stationery (mostly of the totes adorbs Japanese kind) which I keep in this brief-casey container.
The package on the outside is the set that broke the camel's back. It wouldn't fit!
Why did I buy it? Well, it had clowns made of felt with random buttons and stitching all over it. How could I resist ?
What I didn't notice unti lI got it home (and can't explain) is that the set is titled "Skyser Craper." Under that, in the pink letters, it says, "Full of joy. I am in a good mood" Come on! It just keeps getting better and better. And there are 5 different envelopes and writing paper designs with the clowns. #winning.(Do you see the sheep on the right with the hearts-as-cheeks and bowtie saying, "I love you." OMG, this stuff kills me with it's cuteness.)
But with all this stationery, something HAD to be done. I can't just fill up our apartment with hilarious stationery that I'll never use. I'd just seen (but still haven't listened to ... soooon) the Craftypod Letter Writers Alliance podcast
(heres a link to the LWA
itself). That's the solution! Write letters to other people who want to write letters!
When you join online, your welcome packet and login come IN THE MAIL. The idea of this tickled me. The reality of this was ... terrifying. Is it on it's way? Has it been intercepted? Is someone enjoying my membership right now?! Oh, no!
It's one thing to wait for a login email. It's a whole other thing to wait for a letter with your password. Lessons in patience. :)
Once I was able to log into the website, I went in search of pen pals to find that the process was to mail them a request with some info about myself. I cheerfully mailed off my request and waited ...
... and then my pen pal card came in the mail.
Tonight I wrote my first letter to my first pen pal. It was a little surreal to start off from scratch with a person. I set a limit of three pages for myself and just wrote. It'll get posted in the morning.
Any of you members of LWA? Do you have pen pals? Do you like writing letters as much as you like getting them in the mail?