Friday, January 11, 2008

Pen Pals

Home recovering from a hospital stay, the daily mail becomes a big high point in the day (one can only watch so much TV!). When today’s mail brought just another pile of bills and credit card offers, I started thinking of the old-fashioned hobby of pen pal letters. These were so popular when I was a kid — I wondered if this hobby had survived heightened concerns about privacy and wariness about strangers that are part of present day life.

I found a neat site, Friendship by Mail: Snail Mail Friends, that seems to be comprised of women who like to write to each other and really enjoy making envelopes, thinking of imaginative tiny “tuck-ins” for the letters, and just generally chatting with others. The group also publishes a snail mail newsletter called Inky Trail News, to match pen pals with similar interests or birthdays; and a Pen Pal blog with ideas for making one’s own stationery, tips on how to write a good pen pal letter, etc. As with anything online, certainly be cautious, but this sounds like a fun group for those who would like to write and receive more letters.

Today’s mitzvah: Drop a postcard or a real letter to a friend or relative. For those who are more ambitious, consider joining a targeted group like Chemo Angels, or find a “birthday twin” or other writing pal at Friendship by Mail.

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