Pleasantville, OH, Postmaster Peggy Arthurs is doing her part to celebrate the card and letter writing portion of April’s celebrations by encouraging customers, relatives and friends to write letters the old fashioned way.
Arthurs calls her recruitment Project Real Mail.
"Electronic messages can be convenient and useful, but they lack the personal touch that comes from holding a hand-written note or card in your hand," says Arthurs. "Even the most heartfelt message loses some of its effectiveness when the recipient has to read it on an electronic screen.
"The idea of Project Real Mail is to bring back the feelings of joy experienced from receiving cards and letters from friends and family members," she said.
Arthurs asked participants to sign a pledge saying they would send at least one letter or card every month to a loved one.
Already 25 have signed up. "They’ve mailed more than 120 letters so far," she said.
Create your own memories
Remember the last time you got a card or letter in your mailbox? There, among the magazines, catalogs and advertising mail was an envelope with a handwritten address — a greeting card, birth announcement or letter perhaps.
When I was growing up in Ohio, my mother corresponded with her mother in Minnesota. Every Monday my mother mailed a letter to her mother and her mother mailed one to her. On Wednesday they each received a letter from one another.
Sometimes my aunts would slip a note in with my grandmother’s letter, or there would be a newspaper clipping about a mutual acquaintance. If they were sewing, they’d put a swatch of material in the letter. And, once in awhile, they’d enclose a photograph in with their correspondence.
We visited my Minnesota relatives once a year; the rest of the year, everyone kept up with each others’ lives through the mail.
Going through my mother’s possessions after she passed away last year, I found evidence of a lifetime of letter writing: stationary, return address labels, envelope seals, addresses and, of course, the letters she received from others throughout the years.
Letters can be a window into history; they can also be a window into the heart.