What Happened to Handwriting?

Early summer, when I settle in my lake cabin in Maine, I buy several books of stamps and boxes of colorful notes that I find at Reny’s, Maine’s store department. Then every week I send one note to my parents and friends. This is my way to remember that, once, people sent letters and postcards instead of texts and e-mails and received mail besides junk and bills.
I have taught my children to mail thank you notes, birthday cards and letters to their friends and grandparents who live in France. They have done it for years and in exchange have also received regular mail. More recently, with aging grandparents who don’t write as much, they have switched to phone calls. Of course, texting and Facebook have replaced snail mail with their friends. My sixteen-year-old daughter has sent a lot of letters and postcards and in return has received some mail. Less however than the bunch she sent.
As for me I only received one postcard. Sign of the times.
Besides writing postcards, I try to keep my blog updated. But since there is no internet access in my cabin and that taking my computer to the nearest café a few miles away takes some effort, I’ve let days go by without posting anything. I’m afraid I’ve become one of the people who consider internet access as a necessary utility besides water and electricity.
Not so long ago I could write on the beach watching my little kids play. I always took pens and paper along the towels, sunscreen and snacks. I remember how I had to protect my papers against the wind and shade my eyes from too much sun. I remember finding grains of sand stuck between the pages of my notebook weeks after I had gone home. I also remember how sometimes it took me minutes to decipher my scribbling. And of course I remember how much pleasure I took from writing on scraps of paper on the beach.
But I can’t exactly remember when I quit doing it on a regular basis. I’d like to think this is when my kids preferred their rooms to the outdoors but I know it happened when I started using my computer on a daily basis instead of a pen and a notebook.
Yesterday I sent a last card to my daughter who stayed in Berkeley this summer and one to my parents. Meanwhile both have called and left kind messages on my answering machine.
I was away, posting my blog.

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