Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to make the most of your 60 cent stamp

I know Mrs BG would have been a letter writer. Can you just imagine finding her penmanship on an envelope in your letterbox at the end of your driveway with flowers nodding their heads in the afternoon sunshine? It's another era, and personally I have done nothing to wind back time.

My family is not known for its letter writers. My mother can fill an enormous box with treasures and ship it off without blinking an eye, but I cannot tell you the last time we exchanged hand written communication. My brothers have each sent me a letter, I think…maybe.

On the other hand, my paternal grandmother, despite having I-don't-even-know-how-many grandchildren sent me a beautiful letter each birthday. And my step mother's cards seem to arrive magically on the precise day required. I don't know how people do that.

So, it was a shock to marry into a family of inveterate letter and post card writers. My dear mother in law pops us a note in the mail every few weeks. Her handwriting is virtually illegible, but she'll also send along something of interest, something we've left at her house or something someone wants to give us. But her sister, Aunty Pat, is a legendary letter sender.

This last missive just had to be documented and shared. So here is what she sent;

Here is the actual post card, the central communication. But it must not have fit the envelope because it had to be trimmed. Not much content has been lost.

Here is a card for my mother. It also was trimmed. Aunty Pat has enclosed it because she says, 'mail is flowing back and forth' between me and my mum. And she assumes I will just pop this in the next one I send off. I haven't posted my mother anything in months and months… She's been great with the packages lately, though…

Here is a Dolce and Gabbana perfume sample card. It has no writing on it, but smells nice.

Here is a Chloe perfume card, with writing.

Here is a page from her newspaper about poor Michael Douglas. He looks really unwell.

This is an article about a man who was washing his car and heard two male koalas fighting. He went to have a look, came back and found a female inside his car. She has a baby in her pouch and was released in the bush.

This is a riddle. Not written on a perfume card. Anyone know the answer?

Here is a magazine article about Halloween. In Australia it's not really celebrated, so this is particularly interesting.

And finally, the back of the envelope is not just to enclose the letter. It is for last-minute thoughts or instructions. Neither she nor her sister has ever sent us an envelope with only the two addresses on it.

As you can see, my dear Aunty wrings every cent of value out of that stamp. She even asks us to pass it on to her sister.

The two sisters (my MIL and Aunty) are very similar. Getting a letter from them is like sitting at their kitchen table. You look at their photos and thumb through that little stack of paper they have by the napkins. It is not quite the same as zapping off an email or text.

So, I encourage, no, challenge you, dear readers, to send a card or letter to someone this week. Do it for Mrs BG, do it for my dear Aunty Pat. It's hard, I know, for some of us digital folk. Sixty cents is a significant amount of coin, and putting together a letter, bits and pieces, envelope, stamp and address is time-consuming. But it is worth it.


  1. I absolutely love this post. How adorable. I'm actually in favor of going back to the basics. No one may believe it...but it's simple things like this that actually (NATURALLY) take wrinkles off your face and add years onto your life. (Well..if you're not smiling too hard!) Just loved it... So thanks for this. I needed to turn a few wrinkles around:-)

  2. sweet post. i am a letter writer. well, i used to be. it doesn't take that much time really, but i always get so distracted and i look up and the day has passed.
    i love to write letters. and i think most people love to get them.
    i will make an effort to do it more often.

    and yes, i know the answer to the riddle.

  3. DeLynne: This brings back such great memories of my grandmothers and one particular aunt-- Since, they are gone I don't write letters anymore but I have every letter I've received since I was a toddler-- I can reread them and hear their voices clearly. Our letters were always full of little lagniappes too-- and cute stickers and writing on the back of the envelope-- I miss my loved ones-- you are so lucky to have your MIL and Aunty.

  4. That's so sweet. My mother's aunt always enclosed two sticks of gum for my sister and me in every letter she sent to my mother while we were growing up. We lived far from my parents' families because my dad was in the Air Force. The gum was always hard and brittle by the time we got it, but delicious and treasured nonetheless.

  5. I would love to have an aunt and a mother who writes to me! Love this post.

  6. +JMJ+

    I joined an international postcard swap recently and sent three cards abroad: two to the US and one to Costa Rica. I'm supposed to receive three cards in return.

    The first one arrived yesterday, from the UK. The lady who had been assigned my address said she hadn't expected to send a card to the Philippines, where she happens to have been born (!!!) but which she hasn't seen in fifteen years. What a nice coincidence, aye? =)


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