Monday, November 08, 2010


Do you get letters--in the mail--anymore?

I don't. Or seldom do. And, I'm bad about writing them too. I need to write to my mentor, and my first supervisor, Ruth. She retired over 20 years ago, and I used to see her regularly, but I haven't seen her since her husband's funeral 2 years ago. I've written twice, but should write more. Does it count that I think of writing her at least once a week?

My Grandma Woodruff was a great letter writer. She's send a letter to all of her kids every week. If she'd seen you in person during that week, then you didn't get a letter, otherwise, you could count on a letter from her every week.

As a kid, I looked forward to her letters. When I was going to school at Texas Woman's University, I enjoyed them even more because they were a symbol of my roots and I knew that Grandma loved me enough to make sure I got mail every week.

Grandma typed her letters, and we all got the same letter. She used this typewriter for years and years and gave it to me when I was in High School, and when she upgraded to an electric typewriter. She's use carbon paper (remember carbon paper?) and onion skin paper. Onion skin paper is very thin paper. Since she usually had 7 letters or more in the typewriter, she used the onion skin paper to keep the bulk down in the typewriter. Typo's and all were still there...she'd try to correct them, but we'd just have to interpret what word she'd messed up. Typo's didn't matter!

Sometimes, she'd add a small short note to us at the bottom of the letter. And she always signed each one by hand. I still have a few letters saved. They are a very special memento.
Grandma's typewriter didn't have the letters printed on the keys. It was a manual typewriter. Pica type. Your fingers had to be very strong to type on this old iron, manual typewriter...
When I quit using it, we stored it in the basement. It's got some rust on it now. I've tried to clean it up as well as I can. And, it now sits as a decoration in my office. I like to think of it as a weapon...if anyone tried to hurt me, all I have to do is heave this 30 lb typewriter at them. It would drop an elephant!
Besides, every time I look at this old antique, I think of my Grandma Woodruff. She was a special lady and I miss her very much.
So...take time to write a letter to someone you love. Me, I think I just might actually get that letter to Ruth written this week. There's nothing better than getting a letter in the mail.

1 comment:

Karin said...

Send me your snail mail address and I'll write you a letter! I love getting letters in the mail and I agree, letter writing has become a lost art. Admitedly, I'm not as good about it as I should be, but I'll take your post as a reminder that I owe my aunt in Germany a long, overdue letter! I have a couple of friends who still write letters and it never ceases to make my day when I receive one!
I love that you have your Grandmother's typewriter! My Dad wrote to his sister a letter every week, even though he apoke to her on the phone each week.