The return of a long awaited pen pal

Published 2:15 pm Friday, February 8, 2019

When I was about seven years old, my best friend, Josie moved away with her family to Kentucky. Not only was Josie my friend, but my neighbor as well. We did everything together, and I needed a way to tell her what was happening in the neighborhood gang and fill her in on how school was going.

We didn’t have a great way to contact each other. I could call her landline of course, but there was no texting on my mom’s old Motorola flip phone and usually my parents needed the landline to call and talk to someone else. I didn’t have my own line, although I did have a really cool Bratz light up phone in my bedroom.

That’s when we decided to become pen pals. I needed handwriting practice anyway, and it was always exciting to send her pictures and get a piece of mail in the mailbox.

My mom let me get some cute stationery so I could write to her, and my love for handwritten letters and correspondence with out of town friends began.

My cousin, Jenny recently took a job at Manor Vail Lodge in Vail, Colorado. With the time difference and our constant changing schedules, phone calls have become a rarity and texts go long unanswered. That’s when we decided to write each other. We could explain everything in our letter and respond at our convenience. If we needed more details, that’s when we text.

I check the mailbox every day once she tells me she is writing back. Yesterday, I went to my box and surprise it was there! There’s something about getting a handwritten piece of mail that is not a bill that just makes the day exciting.

Sometimes in a text message you feel rushed to respond, but with writing you can take all the time you need to tell even the smallest detail because no one expects anything instantaneously.

Of course, the waiting game can be frustrating; you want to know what they are going to say or what’s happening in their life today, but that makes it all the more interesting when you read it.

Sometimes I enjoy going back and rereading what we were doing at that moment in our lives, so I keep all my letters and cards I’ve gotten in the mail over the years. The difference in handwriting and inside jokes has changed tremendously, but my pals still haven’t.

The art of having a pen pal is not lost on me. I love it, and I think every 50-cent stamp I buy is well worth it. If you’ve never written a long distance friend, I highly suggest it. A good piece of mail can make your day.