0 In Fabulous over Fifty

The lost art of letter writing

Sunday,  I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours roaming around the downtown core of Oakville. I was a bit surprised by the number of empty storefronts. Don’t get me wrong, there are some beautiful shops to visit and aesthetically it is such a beautiful street. I think I just expected more.  Anyway…onward, I was looking for some inspiration – something to blog about.  Coffee in hand and totally ignoring everything on my ‘to-do’ list I meandered aimlessly through every store that interested me. One of the perks of shopping alone….it’s all about you!

My good friend Ray is celebrating his birthday this week and I decided I would look for a birthday card for him. Notta!!!  Not only is writing a lost art but apparently so are the stationary stores. This prompted my blog.


Once I determined that there really wasn’t anywhere that sold stationery I headed back to Burlington to our local Indigo store. It’s a new store and really nice!! They do have a beautiful paper section and there was no shortage of birthday cards to choose from.

I was really determined to buy some pretty correspondence paper. This is the extent of their selection. Not much to speak of. It’s mostly thank you cards and invitations. When this Savvy snowbird returns south I am going to go to The Paper Source at Mercato in North Naples. They have the most beautiful cards, paper, stationery, embossers, stamps and note cards. I am going to stock up on some personalized writing materials for both Florida and here. If you are in their neighbourhood I recommend you drop by. You can check them out here at www.papersource.com

  (My grandmother’s 90th birthday)

Sometimes the best things in life aren’t actually things…. It can simply be something that brings back some of our warmest memories and Some of these memories come in the most unexpected places…like the middle of Indigo.

I remembered the many letters my grandmother in Scotland and I would write to each other. We wrote to each other off and on for years. I would write to her in my very best handwriting and tell her all the important and not so important things that were going on in my life. I loved coming home from school when my mom would hand me a letter that had my grandmothers writing and the little blue ‘air mail’ stamp on the envelope. I would wait for the perfect time to open it. I would go into my bedroom where I knew I would have the privacy to read every single word with no interruptions from any of my six brothers. I would re-read the letter over and over until it looked like it went through the wash..and who knows….on occasion, they may have! LOL, I wish I had of kept some of those letters. My grandmother passed away a few years ago at the age of 93!

(Adorable right…and explains a lot about me doesn’t it?….)

In an increasingly tech-savvy age, with the ease of Facetime, texting, emailing and Skype, I love to make time to do the same with my own granddaughters. I found the sweetest hand-painted cards by a local Bonita Springs (Florida) artisan that I stock up on. I love writing to them each individually and talk about the things we have done together and things that we will do and see on our next visit. There is nothing in this world sweeter than getting an over-sized envelope in the mail filled with pictures that the girls have drawn for me and letters filled with their own stories. These letters I cherish and keep. I wonder if my own grandmother felt the same way when she received my letters…I hope so.

Technology has made it so that we want and expect things instantly. Sometimes we need to slow down as they say….smell the roses. Part of what makes a letter so special is knowing that someone sat down and took time out of their day to write a message to you. They probably have a to-do list as long as your own, but they made you a priority if even for a few minutes.

A few weeks ago I received a handwritten envelope in the mail. I was excited and anxious to open it. It was from my dear friend Suzie who just wanted to tell me that she enjoyed my blog. It would have been so easy for her to text me. I was absolutely thrilled that she thought I was important enough to take the time to write to. It for sure made my day.

Truth is, there’s nothing quite like deciphering someone’s handwriting, receiving a letter or card that you weren’t expecting, or laughing out loud at messages from a friend. There’s a lot of love in a letter – personality, detail and depth; all shine through. This is exactly why texting or emailing doesn’t feel as special as letter writing — it’s less personal and more rushed, we write in short form…LOL, BRB, and add emojis to convey what we feel because it is so much easier and quicker than actually spelling it out… but handwritten letters, however old-fashioned they may be, send warmth and meaning exactly because of the detail you put into them — it’s almost as if seeing someone’s handwriting brings you closer to them. The simple composition of a letter allows you to express to someone how much you truly care about them – and that’s something not to be taken for granted

Savannah and Lilah went on a trip to a small museum when they were in camp. They got to write a letter to anyone they wanted to using ‘old fashion ink pots’. Of course, Lilah wrote to her mom and Savannah wrote me a “top secret” love letter. I have it on my bedside table so that I can look at it before going to bed…eventually it will go in my special box where I hoard all our little keepsakes.

Savannah and I keep a journal in my desk drawer. When she isn’t with me I fill it with pages of letters to her, dried flowers and photos. When she comes over she loves to look at it and writes back to me. Sometimes we forget about it and love when one of us is surprised to find the other’s letter.  It looks like it’s been through the ringer….3 years of stories so far in this book:) I am hoping Lilah will want to do the same thing one day…so far she is way more interested in collecting bugs and keeping them as pets. LOL

(of course, some letters are pure necessities especially after you loose that first tooth)

On that note…lol…no pun intended…I am inviting you all to pick up a pen and some pretty stationary and take the time to write to someone that is special to you. Maybe just let someone know you are thinking about them, share a memory with them or just wish them a wonderful week.  Can you imagine how this will make their day…not only will it make their day but you can bet that it is going to make you feel pretty happy as well.


Have you received an unexpected letter in the mail? Didn’t it make you feel amazing!!?? Celebrate something every day!


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