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  • Shelagh Clancy

Faraway Friends Are Pen Pals


Imagine walking to the mailbox to pick up today’s letters. Imagine sifting through the credit card offers, oil change cards, and bills. Now imagine discovering a real letter, handwritten by a friend, addressed to you.


June 1 is National Pen Pal Day and it’s a day to write by hand. I’m trotting out my indecipherable chicken scratching to update friends who are far away. They’ll go through the mail and set my letter apart, something to really read rather than toss into the recycling. Once common, real bona fide letters are rare now, but always welcome.


Certain friends urge me to type these letters, but it’s just not the same. Younger friends struggle with handwriting—they weren’t drilled in school like older folks were. No matter your proficiency, the unique script of your own handwriting speaks its own language, a language those you love are waiting to hear.


Maybe I’ll even include a photo, a glossy 4x6 printed out at Walgreens, just like in olden days.

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