Here is our first Guest Blogger here at The Letter Writing Revolution!
Welcome to Stephanie of The Knitty Gritty Homestead
One of the many joys of rural life is the humble mailbox. Ours is plain white aluminum, purchased at the local hardware store on the day we moved in. I have been intending to paint it for the past 2 years, but there it sits, white and anonymous. We can barely see it from the house, so it takes a stroll down the laneway to see if the flag is "up", which brings that little thrill: MAIL! Mostly, we get flyers and bills; however, I am a dyed-in-the-wool letter writer (being Julie's sister and all!), and am often gifted with a coloured envelope bearing familiar handwriting, addressed to me.
My son is now five, and old enough to ride his bike to the mailbox to collect the day's postal booty. He loves this task, and always delivers the mail to the house with pomp and pride.
|The long and winding road that leads to our mailbox
(see that little white rectangle in the distance?)
A few weeks ago, he created a letter/card for a friend from his Junior Kindergarten class. Forget about the fact that she lives about 7 minutes from our house. He wanted to MAIL this little piece of creative artwork: a picture of himself and K, bellybuttons and all, with lots of invented "letters" telling her a long story about his summer adventures. It sat in the van for a few days, then lay on the damp lawn for a few more. After a twist of his baby sister's hands and a few scuffs across the kitchen floor, it was looking well-loved, like a much-read letter in a war-zone.
He found it and looked a bit downtrodden, but I assured him we could still send it. He was ready to plonk it into the mailbox, when I explained the beautiful ritual of mailing a letter: finding a virgin envelope, carefully writing the destination and origins on it, then choosing a stamp. He danced with glee as I looked up K's street address in the phone book, carefully printed it on the front of the envelope, then pulled out my stamp stash. I had bought some decorative stamps depicting Canadian tourist attractions, and he chose the picture of "Happy Rock".
He headed down the laneway on his bike, and carefully placed this token in the mailbox, remembering to put the flag up to notify the mail-lady that he had something to send.
This morning I got a message from K's mom; K had received her first love letter from a boy, and had placed it under her pillow for safekeeping. Jude's ready to write the next installment; now it's time to teach him the art of wait-and-see...maybe someday soon the mailbox flag will indicate that a letter has arrived for him! And thus will begun his first give-and-take dance of writing and receiving letters.