Friday, April 17, 2009

Handwritten Letters: A Dying Communication Tool

I received an invitation to join Facebook a few days ago. I decided to take the plunge.

I was nervous about trying it, but it was easier than I thought. As you know I have already entered the world of blogging, having been pushed into it by my young writer friend. I don't have a website, nor my space, or twitter. Those may come along later. I also don't text yet. I guess I should because my grandchildren gave up email long ago. Email went the way of the telephone.

The good thing about all these new ways to communicate is you can do it anytime of day and not worry about bothering people. They'll get to it when they can.

The bad thing is you can't hear their voice or hold a written page to read over and over.

I have letters my mother and grandmother wrote to an aunt of mine many years ago. She sent them to me when she was clearing out things. She died shortly after.

I have my mother's and my aunt's diaries written in their own hand. I also have a notebook with family history my grandmother wrote for me. I even have a couple valentines my dad bought for my mother signed "Love, Eddie". It sounds abrupt, but she knew he meant it with all his heart.

I regret throwing away the letters my mother, grandmother, and two aunts wrote over the years. When I moved and was young, they didn't seem important. I threw my husband's and mine away after I figured out the kids were reading them.

I do save birthday cards and mother's day cards, and even some Christmas cards. I have a folder full of cards people sent me when I had cancer. Those were important to show me I mattered to others. I didn't know that, really.

As fun as modern technology is, I think it will be sad when, in later years, today's young people want to look back at their memories. Where will they be? Someone with more skill than I may know they are all saved somewhere in cyberspace to be retrieved and enjoyed once more. I don't know.

I miss a good old fashioned letter and hearing the voice of my loved ones, but an email, computer card, or facebook contact lets me know I'm not forgotten.

I may have to sign up for texting after all and learn lol, imo, etc to keep in touch with those I love. Love often forces us to learn new things.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ready-Made Family by Cheryl Wyatt

I subscribe to Love Inspired books from Steeple Hill, One of their April books is Ready-Made Family by Cheryl Wyatt. This is the third book in a series about Refuge, Illinois, a small community determined to live out God's command to help the helpless and needy. Ben Dillinger responds to a small child's request to help her mother. After discovering Amelia North unconscious in a wrecked car, Ben and the local community offer help and a sense of belonging to a young woman who believes no-one cares.

The town reminded me of the book In His Steps I read many years ago. In it a newspaper writer challenges a town to live out their faith.

I'm looking forward to reading the next books in this series. I'd suggest ordering the book online or look for it at your favorite bookstore. Besides being an entertaining read, I think it encourages me to remember to be on the lookout for opportunities to lend a helping hand.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Too Busy to Read

My favorite thing to do is read. I used to read a lot when I worked as a way to relax and wind down from a busy day.

Since I've retired, I've kept busy with several volunteer activities that I enjoy doing such as being a member of Friends of the Library to promote reading and supporting the local public library. I work with Adult Literacy as a tutor and am very active in various church programs. This past year I've enrolled in several online writing courses as well as a two year writing program with Christian Writers' Guild.

A few weeks ago, I realized I hadn't read a book for pleasure in a long time. So I've decided to read each night before I go to bed instead of watching the series of news programs I'd been watching.

I'm enjoying reading again and sleeping well at night. The Friends of the Library had a used book sale last week, which gave me an opportunity to stock up on my favorite authors as well as some new authors I'd heard about. One thing about book lovers, we were busy suggesting books we've read to each other.

Now I'm thinking maybe I should revisit a few other things I used to like to do before I let myself get so busy. I just may get out those oil paint brushes up on the closet shelf.