Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This afternoon as I addressed an envelope with notes, drawings and some stickers that one of my younger children was sending to some friends of hers in a nearby town, I thought to myself 'why don't I surprise their mum with a note'? After all, the kids are enjoying receiving mail in the mailbox; why should they be the only ones to enjoy this? Of late, my children have been receiving mail from friends who live in various states and that satisfying rip of the envelope simply can not be reproduced by clicking the mouse and seeing a number representing how many emails you have. Then I thought why stop at one friend, I have a few friends that might enjoy that nice feeling of a thick envelope that does not bear the address of the local utility company. And why, I asked myself, should my pretty snowflake stamps be wasted on only bills? Why not also use them to grace an envelope bearing good cheer and happy tidings?

I pulled out a stack of unlined paper and searched my desk for the pen that had just been there and began. There was a very satisfying feeling as blue letters flowed across the page and I found myself writing:

"I decided to write to you the old fashioned way, with ink and paper" and as I wrote that a thought struck me. How can this actually be so old fashioned when only a few short years ago this was still the principle means of communication, after the phone of course. Following this was another thought - will it soon come to pass that relatives will no longer find bundles of letters tied with a faded ribbon, forgotten in an old desk that had belonged to Grampa? Will instead our descendants find lost and damaged hard drives kicking around in the dusty corners of attics or basements, with only the most intuitive relative thinking that there just might be communications saved on that ancient piece of machinery. And, if they are able to retrieve anything at all off that hard drive - will they be letters, or saved emails and chats?

I love this era of emails and instant messaging, as well as the ease of being able to backspace when I realize I have left off an e, or missed a word entirely. I was not able to easily remedy these mistakes as I wrote my notes to a variety of friends this morning. But while I appreciate the wonder and practicality of this modern means of communications, it has dawned on me that if I do not make an effort to send the occasional "snail mail", and unless I save and print off most of my emails to my children, extended family and friends a valuable piece of family history will be lost.

Not even this blog is assured of perpetual existence. Thankfully I have saved most of my articles that I have written, but already this piece of our family history is divided between two hard drives. Should I print them off, tie them with a ribbon and stick them in the far corner of a desk drawer? Or perhaps I should download them onto a CD and carefully preserve them this way? And unless I label the CD and the jewel case carefully; should a great granddaughter find what will surely seem, to her, to be an 'ancient' means of keeping information, she might decide throw this useless old CD out.

However, if I print off the essays and articles I have written, even if the ink has faded and the paper yellowed and the dust causes her to sneeze uncontrollably; that faded ribbon will signify to her to that something of value is wrapped within. Read more!

Mid Week Post!

Elsa: "Heavy breathing as she reaches up and grasps mummy's neck. Grunts with effort to heave herself up onto mummy's lap. "
Mummy: "Feels like Mount Rushmore, eh? Getting up here!"
Elsa: answers with a breathless "Yeah!"
Mummy: Wonders if skipping the bike ride this morning was such a good idea after all, given Elsa's quick yes! Then quickly comforts herself with the thought that a 22 month old does not know, after all, what Mount Rushmore is. Read more!