snuggling with words

Back in the days before the internet I was a letter-writing maniac.

I wrote letters to friends like it was my side job; letters on note paper, on stationary, on napkins, on balloons. I was all about the lengthy, hard-to-read handwritten letter full of details about what I’d been up to, how I felt, all that I hoped for, and on and on. I wrote letters to friends who lived far away and friends who I saw everyday in school. I wrote because I loved connecting and it felt good to share how I felt with my friends and because maintaining friendships required keeping in touch and checking in and I wrote because I loved the feeling of getting a letter in return.

I was one of those kids that ran to the mailbox everyday.

Now I just get bills. And election flyers. And Crate and Barrel catalogs. And more Crate and Barrel catalogs. And bills.

While digging around in the attic at my dad’s house a few weeks back I found a shoebox of old letters. I found a postcard my dad had sent me at camp, a note my mom wrote in her beautiful cursive to me while I was laid up in the hospital in Russia, a card my niece drew when she was just three years old, a letter my brother wrote to me when I was in high school and missing him. I found a letter that I had written to my grandmother when I was in first grade that she had tucked into a book that I kept when she died, a card from my grandpa in his scribbly handwriting, a letter folded into a tiny square from our dear Kerwin who died too young.


In this digital age, those tangible handwritten treasures are few and far between. We tweet, we text, we facebook, we email. We delete.  We quickly read and quickly dash off notes but we keep in touch. We cyber-snuggle. We share. We check in. Though I no longer have a shoebox full of proof, when my phone beeps that I have a text or I see an email from an old friend in my inbox, I feel that same   feeling I would get when I’d peek into our mail basket and see familiar handwriting on an envelope back in the day.

Happiness that someone is thinking of me. Privileged that someone chose me to share their thoughts with. Joy in connecting with another.

Letter, note, card, text, tweet, inbox message…connecting is what it’s all about.

It feels good to reach out and to be reached out to.

Nothing can delete that feeling.





15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marybeth
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 20:15:36

    And reaching out with hugs!! XO


  2. Michael McGlamery
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 20:28:38

    LITB & UBUNTU, alive and well


  3. amy bjork
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 21:12:30

    Friend-i have so many of your lovely letters in my shoebox and often reread them-little and lenghy mementos they take me back and I cherish those memories…love u!!


  4. Becky
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 21:35:39

    How DO you do it? How can you put your finger on all the right feelings blog after blog? I still have your letters from camp, Karl’s letters from a still-divided Germany, rules for a card game from Mum, Justin’s altered report card, sweet notes from Rayne, drawings from the other little guys…those, the ones that can be saved to look at again and again (or even only occasionally), are the best.
    But, then again, I’d hate to give up our regular emoticon layered texts. You’re right, it ‘s good no matter what the snuggle.


    • mcglam
      Nov 20, 2012 @ 22:22:13

      Mom, your handwritten letters and cards have their very own little box in my treasure chest. Love you and your crazy amazing handwriting.


  5. Elvis Guy
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 17:14:28

    I’m so glad that you are blogging again. I have that same feeling of excited anticipation when I see that you have posted a new blog.
    You are always inspirational and thought provoking. Which is refreshing when I spend a lot of time talking with folks that are selfish, demanding and self absorbed.
    A little reflection goes a long way….thanks for reminding me to reflect.


  6. Kelly B.
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 22:47:20

    So true… my family is big on thank you notes – one of the very few handwritten items that still land in my mailbox!


  7. kat
    Nov 17, 2012 @ 11:27:29

    Love this one. I still have my kids write letters every week! It was the only way I could get Jack to write when he was first learning-if he could write Nana then he would write, now Annabelle is the same way!!! the grandparents and greats get the letters as well as cousins! send us your street address and you may get one!


  8. Susannah
    Dec 08, 2012 @ 23:07:48

    Yes! Mee too! meeee tooo! I have often thought about how much I miss the days of handwritten letter writing, including the ones written to pen-pals who I never met in person. I continue to keep in contact (at least once a year) with a pen- pal from Stickers Magazine when we were 12 years old (anyone remember that gem of a publication?)–so essentially we have “known” each other for about 25 years, but have still never met in person. I was just realizing the other day that even though we have each other’s mailing and email addresses (I stepped away from Facebook over a year ago), we haven’t written to each other in a while. Your blog post has inspired me to look up her mailing address and send her a handwritten holiday card. And another thing: I just sent out a bunch of thank you notes to family for baby shower gifts, and although I originally was like, “oh man, gotta write those thank you notes,” it was a truly mindful experience and one I had missed without realizing it. Having to slow down and write from the heart without the luxury of a delete key–that’s where it’s at, man. Sho nuff, this not yet born baby of mine will be provided with opportunities to explore the fine art of handwritten notes. Even if they’re just scribbled on a napkin or a balloon.


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