• Keeping Friends

Making time for friends: Snail mail or email

Published: August 17, 2007 | Last Updated: April 2, 2016 By | 1 Reply Continue Reading

Now we call it “snail mail.” For those of us who were born in
the slice of time after telephones and fax machines—and before email, IMs,
and text messages—writing a letter was a common way to stay in touch with
family and friends across the miles…

My father sent my mother regular love letters while he was a
soldier in Europe during World War II. I sent
regular letters to my son while he was away at summer camp for what felt like
eight very long weeks (even though I didn’t get many back). But now with newer
technologies, the tools of communication have changed so radically that even
the moniker “snail mail” makes letter-writing sound so passé.

That’s why the AP story that appeared in the Wichita Eagle
caught my eye. It was an enchanting tale of two young girls in different
continents who first became pen pals at the ages of 10 and 11, respectively,
and who continued to correspond with each other two or three times a week for
46 years.

The friendship started as an English assignment in Beth
Krasovec’s fifth-grade class in Prairie
, Kansas
1961. Beth was assigned to write to Margaret Marshall, a student in Scotland. From
there, a close and lifelong friendship took root. The girls who became women decided
to meet for the first time in the US in 1980. Last June, 27 years after
their first letter, Beth went to visit her friend in Scotland. The two women have shared
the joys and sorrows of their lives over the years—remaining extraordinarily
close to each other.

Now because letter-writing is somewhat of a lost art form, a hand-written note comes
with special meaning, albeit more slowly. I cherish the letters and notes I
receive from friends who take the time to write, despite their busy lives,
because I know they have placed my friendship near the top of their to-do list.
They could have sent an email more quickly but I wouldn’t have had the fun of looking
at the return address and opening the envelope with great anticipation. Also, they probably wouldn’t have spent as much time thinking about what they wanted to say to me.


reluctantly understand that maybe there wasn’t enough time, this time, for lunch or spending a day
together. In our frenetic, multi-tasking world, friendship is often
about making time for friends a priority in your life and sticking with it—whatever
the mode. Ask Beth.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for posting the article and reminding me, I missed lot of friends but i can see my friends in the form of letters. It is a good experience, receiving letters from our own members.

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