...or email can set the tone for the day. Here, Mother has run out to the mail box in her sweet little nightgown (needlepoint Alencon lace forming enchanting triangles in primrose pink) and found a letter which she has already opened. When I wake, I usually check my email to see if anyone has sent me something nice and newsy or sent me best wishes. Every few days or so, I also check this blog to see if anyone has left a comment or two. I received a few on my last post for which I thank you. If you ever feel we have had a shared experience and you want to chat, feel free to email me too. I promise to respond because I don't believe in unanswered letters.
My first love wrote me only one letter which I received on Christmas Eve day. My mother, knowing how happy I would be to hear from my silent summer love, hand-delivered it to my bed and says she only recalls the manicured hand that shot out from the depths of the bedclothes to snatch the envelope from her. The letter simply read, "I hope you have a Merry Christmas" but the words held the promise of summer when we would see each other on Cape Cod again. But alas, when school ended I was in love...with someone else. I don't think I was able to forgive his silence.
My next beau wrote prolific, endearing, and funny letters from his lonely college dormitory. They came two and three pages long - both sides, in thick envelopes. He embellished his writing with sketches and cartoons of professors and roommates. They were charming missives but instead, I wanted to find affection between the images and words and in the end, he was only a joker and we were not sympathetic partners. I saved his letters until the week before I wed and tossed them out intact with the ribbons still around them. I didn't want to temp myself into re-reading them - it seemed like a betrayal just to hold them.
I am easily swayed by the written word and have been known to fall head over heels for a man who can write. Somehow, I see beyond the words and phrases to the writer's soul. And no one is safe - be it brother, boss, or new son-in-law. If the man writing has excellent command of the English language, I am regularly beguiled by simple turns of phrases. Such was the case with a recent correspondent who instead of writing, "I'm going to bed", wrote, "I'm hitting the rack". Suddenly, I saw him as the handsome young Marine he once was, bunking down on a primitive cot after a hard day of soldiering. He had me at, dare I say, "rack"?
Letters are hard to come by these days. I cherish the ones I am lucky enough to receive and keep them cloistered in a box under my bed. More often than not, I am the happy recipient of regular morning emails. However, if one of those were in the mail box outside tomorrow morning, I would gladly run to fetch it in my nightie.