Does anyone write actual letters anymore? I mean the newsy, chatty, keeping-up-with-people-we-love kinds of letters.
One of my greatest treasures is a collection of letters from my grandmother. She was from a generation that hadn’t given up paper and pen for the telephone and certainly not for e-mail. I doubt she ever sat down in front of a computer, although she marveled over the laptop I carried to her house a time or two.
Not only do the letters resurrect memories, they also remind me of the way people back in French Creek, WV, talk and the things that are important to them. Weather and family being at the top of the list.
Here’s a sample from May 17, 1999, when we still lived in SC. I kept her choice of capitalization which I see not as incorrect, but as a way to emphasize what’s most important.
Just a few lines along with pictures of Bessie’s Birthday. There was three that didn’t turn out very good but the ones that I’m sending you were pretty good. Bessie survived it all pretty good. Her son in law Elmer (Carolyn’s husband) got his Big Toe and the one next to it cut off in a lawn mower accident 2 weeks ago on his job. He is getting along O.K. He worked at the High School so he won’t be going back to work the rest of the school year.
It is beautiful here now. The Honey Suckles* are Blooming real pretty and some of the other flowers are Bloomed and gone. We haven’t had much rain. But I heard that you had and your water was up. Hope it has gone down now and you are both doing O.K. Will write more later. Love, Grandma Burla
*In WV we called the wild azalea honeysuckle. When I moved south and encountered a true honeysuckle vine I thought the rest of the world had it wrong.
We visited Aunt Bess several years after this letter and Elmer was at her house. He showed us his foot with the toes lopped off!
I miss getting letters but I miss my grandma even more.