Thursday, July 5, 2007

Piratey Goodness and How Blogging is The New PenPal

Its been a grumpy day and a grumpy week. So instead of grumpfying, I thought I would share a bit of a smile from this week, and a memory it brought back.

A few weeks ago, I participated in An Island Life's gift swapping theme. It was really a neat idea. You joined up and then got matched with someone who also joined up (and likely a perfect stranger) and "bidda bang, bidda boon" a blog buddy to swap a gift with.

What I liked about this is that its given me a chance to correspond with my gift buddy and I am now starting to know someone who is really great... Vader's Mom.

She found out that I love pirates, and Johnny Depp *sigh*. Donc, this is the really kwel plunder she sent me :)

This picture is of me goodies ... *aarr, that ther pirate squab has eaten some of me booty, arrr !!! To the plank he be !! He's now in the bathroom with his two cousin mini ducks.. a fate worse than the plank, granted.. arr.. me bathroom, I mean.*

Anyways.. isn't this great ?.. I just love what Vader's Mom sent and her thoughtfulness.

But this blog gift swap made me think.. (oh,oh !!)

It could be seen as a twist on the "old" pen pal theme (actual blogging and the like as well) ,where people used to correspond with strangers via snail mail *yikes !!*. E-stuff makes it too easy and almost instant, but it still is a form of pen palling and what pen pal writing was about - learning about others, forming friendships in a bigger sphere.

Pen pals..

I had one for just over 13 years - 13 to 26ish. A girl in Scotland, a total stranger (at the beginning), but we wrote to each other through all of our teen years and into our early working years.

It was amazing how different we were, but how much we had in common.

Besides letters, we sent gifts.

I can still remember writing letters to her on onion skin paper (this is so hard to find now, if at all, and the stuff available isn't the faintly green crinkly stuff either), and using airmail envelopes and writing with with my fountain pen (I just liked fountain pens (still do, but not totally practical for the real world anymore)).

At my age then, getting postage was a loving chore (tween age anyways). I didn't want my folks to help me out because it was my adventure. The hamlet I lived in, to get to the post office, if I didn't have the postage already or didn't hit the post office close to school, I walked to the local post office, which took there and back nearly 60 minutes to buy a 60 cent stamp (WINTER !!!! HOT SUMMERS).

Babysitting money came in handy for mailing both letters and buying and mailing the annual Christmas parcels.

But the letters between us were regular like clock work - monthly.

I loved getting the letters as they were small presents in the mail box each time and a glimpse into a world I had not yet explored.

I've kept all the letters and I re-read then all for the first time, five years ago.. a flood of memories of who I was then, and what I talked about came back so clear; all of the things that I knew but which had become hazy or even lost memories. It was like turning on an old home movie or the link between memory and scent; it all came back.

I think we stopped writing because we hit our early 20's and life was different at that point.

I wonder what she's doing now.


Fidel said...

Well, it's not too hard to find out: Try another letter :)

MedStudentWife said...

another letter to whom ?