The Letter Writing Revolution

Revitalizing a Lost Art One Letter at a Time

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to School

I hate to say it but it looks like autumn is sneaking up on us here in rural Ontario. Can't quite put my finger on the subtle differences between a couple of weeks ago and today but I do know that my desire to sit on the beach has diminished significantly. The weather is still gorgeous.........lots of sunshine and high temperatures but there's a "feeling" that comes with the end of summer. The trees and grass are taking on a golden hue as opposed to that bright limey green of spring and early summer. I had to put a long sleeve jacket on this morning when I came downstairs as there was a chill in the morning air. Maybe the "Back to School" commercials and advertising in the stores contributes to this looming realization that summer is coming to an end. It's not a bad thing, I suppose, but it does mean that after the fall comes the snow and well, I just don't want to think that far ahead.

I have always considered September the start of a new year. Traditionally, January 1st is the beginning of the new calendar year but for me, the fall signifies a new beginning of sorts. I suppose that since children start back to school this time of year, it is the beginning of a new grade, a new classroom, new clothes and shoes (hopefully!) and the beginning of new goals. This time of year, has me reflecting on my own school days and how a large part of those days consisted of exchanging letters with my best friend, Krista, and then later on with my boyfriend.

Krista and I on her wedding day~ May 2010
Krista and I saw each other every day. The school bus would travel to my town, pick up the handful of children who had to be bussed all the way to the next small town where the Catholic School existed. Krista lived about 10km from my house and I always saved a seat for her. Once she got on the bus, we would hand each other the letters we had written the night before. And then we would spend the rest of the bus ride reading the letters quietly and then stuffing them into our school bags to begin another day of classes and learning. Seems a bit weird now that we did this daily ritual of letter writing when we saw each other in person every day but then I suppose if we had other means, we would have been doing what I see a lot of young teenagers doing today....texting one another when they are in the same room. Now that's weird.

In a previous post, I wrote about some of the love letters I received in my life and in particular the ones from my first serious boyfriend who I started dating the summer of 1987. As I was reading through those letters in preparation for that particular post, I realized that he and I also exchanged letters almost daily when we met up at school. He did travel on the same bus most of the time but sometimes, if he or I missed one bus in particular, we wouldn't see each other until we got to school. Then we would promptly exchange letters and read them in our separate classes. It was the only way to 'stay connected' until you met up again during the breaks.

Honestly, I don't get the whole texting thing and this is partially due to the fact that I don't know how to text nor do I intend on learning. I understand that a lot of parents my age have been forced to learn how to text as it is their only means of staying in constant contact with their kids at any given hour. I find it extremely aggravating to have a conversation with someone (usually this someone is under the age of 18) while competing with the constant buzzing of their blackberry notifying them that someone has sent a text. One day I was chatting (in person not on MSN) with a friend's teenage daughter and she was constantly being buzzed. I could tell she was trying to appear intrigued by our conversation but I knew she was dying to check her phone to see who was sending her a text. Our conversation was interrupted regularly by her glancing downward and announcing, "Oh, it's just my boyfriend" followed by, "Oh, it's just him again" followed by, "He's so cute. It's him again." Finally, I had to say that had my boyfriend been calling me or dropping off letters as often as she was receiving texts, my father would have had a restraining order against him for stalking.

Okay, I am starting to go off track here.

With summer coming to an end and autumn gradually moving in to take its' place, I am thinking about the months to come and where I am going with this revolution. There is a field trip planned for the week after Labour Day weekend which includes a wonderful give-away! Stayed tuned for that!


  1. There was a teenaged girl sitting behind me at the movie theatre the other night, texting DURING the movie. What the...? I have so many looon notes from childhood friends, exchanged during Gr. 7 Science. Today's kids would think it was weird that instead of engaging in conversation with Krista, you spent your bus ride reading letters...haha! Guess we're becoming "old folks"...

  2. I agree fully with your thoughts on texting...I finally learned how to do it but only to keep in touch with my girls because it was cheaper when travelling in the U.S. I don't enjoy it as I am so slow at it. I know kids are texting each other, sitting side-by-side. What! What a treasure trove of letters you have Julie...

  3. Traci and I used to write letters to each other, too, even though we saw each other every day. It normally only happened when there was something big to tell, or an apology to be made or something that you didn't want to talk about in the hallway where others could hear. I still have them!
    On the texting note, John and I had to laugh when eldest child told us how she and her boyfriend got an awesome cell phone deal with unlimited texting and talking to each other..not unusual except that THEY LIVE TOGETHER.

  4. isn't it telling that you had to specify that you were chatting in real life.

  5. I personally love September the most because it's not to hot or to cold. The weather is prefect. I would just call people on the phone even if they don't want you to call them because you'll just going to get frustrated trying to text them otherwise.

    -Zane of ontario honey


I need to know that this revolution is growing and impacting the masses. Your comments motivate me! Please take the time to let me know how TLWR is working for you.