Even with the chicken-scratchiest scrawl, there’s something treasurable in a handwritten letter.

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Isn’t that why we box some away, impossible to relegate them to trash?

I still have letters from my Jennie Arnold Edwards Y Camp days, some likely 40 years old.  And remember those creased and folded notebook paper letters passed from friend to friend in class?  Why would I save those?

Closing my eyes I can see their writing on the page and it’s as familiar as their faces–Mandy’s handwriting was my favorite and it suited her; full and cheerful, each letter a stroke of happy.  Kimberly’s had a sophisticated, artistic flair; Lee’s slanted backwards, tell-tale mark of a left-hander; Suzanne’s, delicate and smart.

I think I tried to copy each of them, but my handwriting always looked  disappointingly like…Robin’s.  Penmanship must be an extension of thumbprint, as unique as the person to whom it’s attached.

And the boys…I still have those old love notes from boys.  Jeff–we broke up and got back together eight times in the eight grade, Dennis who spelled like a fourth grader, Bryan who didn’t mind telling me what he thought; and my college sweetheart-turned-husband.  (I liked his best.  In fact, one registers as a Favorite Gift of All Time!)

I could probably identify their penmanship quicker today than picking them out of a police line-up 25 years since I’ve seen them.

My aunt’s…my sister’s…my mother-in-law’s–their letters and cards flash before my mind’s eye and I see encouragement and love; not just in the words themselves but in their intention and deliberateness of writing.

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Don't stop now!!  Please keep reading Love, you at (in)courage today.  It ends with me bossing you around…. 😉 :).


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