Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Jeannie and me ( Just a few years ago.)

When my sister, Jeannie, and I were young, people often asked if we were twins. We were close in age and size but she was prettier and didn't talk as much as I did. And she could actually sing!

Eventually, we grew up and I moved away. We stayed in touch via long "gossipy" letters. I lived for those fat envelopes in my mailbox.

Then, at Christmas we'd swap our letters back again so she'd have the ones she'd written and I'd have mine. Which means that we now have a pretty amazing record of a certain period of our lives, including cute things our toddlers said, arguments with husbands, and major emotional setbacks.

I've been grieving the loss of those letters lately.

No, I didn't toss them. They didn't burn in a house fire or fall off the back of a truck. I have them in a plastic tub in my attic.

It's just that now, when we write, our letters fly through cyberspace.They zoom into my Inbox along with FaceBook comments, Twitter messages, and inquiries for author visits. Only the username marks them as special sister stuff. And I can't find Jeannie's beloved handwriting in there anywhere!

But what worries me most is how quickly I read them and click on to another message. And how they scroll out of sight so I can almost forget they existed. It's easy to miss important details like the particulars of a medical procedure, the name of her friend who died unexpectedly, or the emotional tone behind her words.

And of course, we can't indulge in the old easy "gossip" of the handwritten letters. If hubby and I just had an argument I am so not putting that in an email!

At the moment, I have over 4,000 letters in my Inbox. They're not all from Jeannie (or my other sisters) and I do use a folder system (sort of). But still...

I tend to keep emails because I might need to refer to a phone number, recipe, or some sentiment. They aren't nearly as desirable as my sister's handwritten letters but they're all I've got and I'm hanging on.

Tomorrow Jeannie and hubby are coming to spend Christmas with us. I'd give anything to have a cardboard box of letters to swap. But, at least, I won't have to settle for a cyber hug!

Jeannie enjoying her 4 wheeler. Don't you know, she's a fun grandma!


  1. Awwwww......makes my day.....love that pic of us when we were kiddos.....can't wait for tomorrow's visit and the "girl talk".....of course we'll enjoy some conversation and hanging with our hubbys too. One of these days I'll just have to surprise you and send a real snail mail letter. I know mom would love to get one of those too.

  2. Can you guys make a deal--a letter a month? Except that would lose the spontaneity... Well, you get to see each other--you'll probably come up with a great idea!

    When my sisters and I were young, we were mistaken for triplets...many times. This did not always make my big sister, who was 5 years older than my little sister, too happy--especially as she got into her teens! Still, there is a closeness there that doesn't get duplicated anywhere else! Have a wonderful time together.

  3. Aww, loved the pic and hearing about your sister stories!

    I was in a group discussion recently centered around why the now generation is so obsessed with texting and social networking. My answer was "we're trying to connect in the ways we know how" but it sounds like you girls knew a better, but less convenient way. Maybe the fast-food world we live in has some of the stuff backwards..

  4. I exchanged letters with a college roommate during our children's younger years, right up until email. For a recent birthday, she made a beautiful box for me and returned all the letters. A huge box, tied with satin ribbon! What a perfect gift. I miss letter-writing also, but not enough to give up my email...

  5. Jeannie, I do think it would be fun to swap snail mails occasionally as Becky suggests. Hmmmmm - once a month? In spite of our fondness for the good old days we find it so easy to buy into convenient ways of doing things.

    Amy, you are very good at reaching out, responding to me and others. Not sure about what is better or worse. I love my email and like Augusta, I don't see me giving it up anytime soon! Augusta, that was a lovely gift your roommate gave you.

    Thanks to all of you for your comments throughout the year. I suppose that cyberspace will save them all for us. Forever.

  6. Oh, Joyce. I know what you mean about those letters. What a wonderful idea to swap them back so you each have a record. I have some dear friends in Ireland, and we used to keep in touch via the post, but lost track over the years. We have recently reconnected on FB, but we're swapping addresses once again so we can share the fine art of letter writing and savor those connections again.

    Merry Christmas!

    Mary Ann

  7. beautiful picture of the two of you and sweet blog. I know what you mean about the loss of letters- I treasure the ones I still have from various folks in my life.
    Enjoy your family! We're enjoying sunny, warm Florida- 70 degrees plus and lots of biking!