2.01.2011

Write Image

Since becoming a parent, I’m slowly learning that children do as their parents do. That’s why if I leave my computer keyboard exposed for any length of time, I will find this when I return.


My daughter may be the youngest blogger in history, but hey, she’s just trying to express her thoughts, right?  My son also loves the computer, and he begs to type e-mails.  If I write down what he wants to say, he will type it in an e-mail to his grandmothers.  He loves to communicate verbally, and very loudly I might add, but, he does not share my love for communicating on paper through handwriting like I did when I was younger.

Writing was one of my favorite activities.   Could it be because typing was so HARD back in the 80's when I was growing up?

Smith-Corona Electric Typewriter

Typewriters were electric in those years, but there were ink ribbons, and unfortunately, you could not hit the back space button when you messed up.  Instead, you needed those little bottles of white out.  Typing class in high school was probably my worse grade. I received spanish and journalism awards, but yet, could only type less than 30 words per minute. 

What a nightmare! So, I personally turned to an ink pen and monogrammed stationary as my preferred tools to express my thoughts. 
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

My Grandma Powell lived six hours away from me, and she wrote me a long letter each week by hand.  She was a very descriptive writer, and in some ways her letters perhaps resemble a e-mail I would send today to a close friend or relative. Grandma would write a little bit of her letter each day then send it at the end of the week. It was not uncommon to read something like this that she penned with her blue inked ball-point pen while watching CBS soap operas.  

Dear Leigh Anna,

I miss you. We’ve had a good week. Papa is working on that old stove in the shed. I don’t know when he will finish it. My corn is about dried up from this hot weather so I don’t know if I will have much corn this year. I hope it rains soon. I have been watching the Young and Restless.  Nikki and Victor are on the outs again. Those two just can’t seem to stay together. I guess you are still watching those other ABC shows. What’s up with Erica Kane, and that Luke and Laura? Are they still on the run? 

She would end her letters by telling me to tell my parents hello. They didn’t get her letters. Just me! I would write my grandma back almost immediately and then I would look so forward to my next handwritten note from her that my dad would bring home from the post office.

Besides writing grandma, I also wrote pen pals, and anyone that gave me gifts just so I could pull out my stationary.  This brings me right to the topic of thank you notes. 

Princess Diana, circa 1983
 
In my early teens, I read somewhere that Princess Diana of Wales, handwrote her notes to her dinner hosts as soon as she got home in the evening no matter what time she returned. Apparently, she was a big advocate of writing thank you notes in a timely manner. Several of these notes now have gotten top dollar on the auction circuit.

One note to fashion designer Bruce Oldfield, who is currently rumored as the designer for Catherine Middleton’s wedding dress, raised 800 pounds for a charity last year.





Diana and note photos courtesy of Princess Diana Remembered Blog

In the handwritten note above, Diana thanked Oldfield for the Christmas sweater he had given her in 1988. At my young impressionable age, I, too, decided to become prompt with my thank you notes in hopes of emulating the style and grace of a princess.  I still aspire to that goal, but I must admit that having children in my life has slowed me down a little. I’m not as prompt at writing notes like I was in 2002 when I wrote a few notes on my wedding night so they could be mailed before we flew out to London the next day. In my “Hines-Sight,” that may have been a little nuts, but I did get rave reviews from my husband’s side of the family and was labeled as the fastest thank you” note writer they had ever met.

I am hoping to pass that  infamous “thank you note” title to my children, and teach them the importance of handwriting a note to anyone that was kind enough to give them a gift.  For the past five years, I’ve written all of my son’s thank you notes, but since he is slowly mastering the art of handwritng, I decided he had to write his own notes to thank everyone for his Christmas and Birthday gifts this year.  It’s expected of him. No excuses! Also, he needs the handwriting practice rather than wanting to type of my computer keyboard.

I made it easy for him this year by buying fill-in-the blank thank you notes that can be found locally or at Paperbuzz.  My son doesn’t have the skill level yet to write an entire  formal note. His fine motor skills are still too weak. He tires easily so these fill-in-the-blank cards meet my expectations now.

He had to write two notes a day until he was finished with the project.  Some days he didn’t want to do it, but he knew it had to be done and if he skipped a day then he had to do more the next day.  It was a very slow process, but we have now mailed all his notes.  I think he was proud of his accomplishment, and he showed my husband each card  when he arrived home in the evening.  Now that his thank you notes are complete, we’ve moved on to some love notes.  He has seventeen valentines to send this year.  We better get busy if we are to seal them in time for his class party.




Until next time….I’m off to get a cup of tea!



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