Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

The written word


A runner friend of mine has an elderly friend who lives in an assisted living facility. She used to meet him regularly, not so long ago, for breakfast and conversation.

I went to a park one morning this week to see the sunrise.

Now she can’t do that and she’s worried about him being lonely during this scary time when he can’t get out and visit. So she posted a request on Facebook that some of her friends send him a note. And of course she has received many offers.

His mailbox should be overflowing any day now.

A lot of clouds and not much color, but still stunning.

But that, and other pieces I’ve seen on the news and online, has me thinking.

Some years ago one of you, I can’t remember who — maybe Robin or Katybeth or Kathy or Beth Ann — proposed we write letters to friends every day for a number of days, maybe 30, one letter to one friend each day.

Looking west, the hills waited to glow.

It was a way to reconnect or stay connected to people in our lives who maybe had drifted away. Maybe we were the one that drifted, maybe they were. Maybe it was a mutual drift.

Back in the east the sun was creeping up.

I remember that I wrote, some long letters, some just quick notes, for several days. I don’t know that I made it for thirty days, but it was a good long time.

Interesting things hugged my feet while my eyes were fixated on the sky.

I remember that I worried I might not have 30 friends to write. I was wrong. And I remember getting a few letters in return.

It was so good to be wandering in the hills at sunrise.

Do you remember the days of letters? The excitement of going to the mailbox hoping to see a handwritten envelope hiding among the bills and junk mail?

I do.

As the sun rose the grasses turned red.

When I was in college my mom wrote to me every week, and I loved seeing her handwriting on a postcard or envelop. When I worked at a job far from home she continued the practice, right up until emails took over, and then we stayed in touch more frequently but somehow less connected. As if emails were easier and commanded less respect.

Not to say I wouldn’t love to get an email from her now you understand. But there’s something special about old fashioned snail mail, as she called the kind of connection that comes with a stamp.

A place to sit and breath.

So I’d like to propose that during these times of social distancing we stay connected and perhaps accept the challenge of dropping a note in the mail every day for a month. Imagine the surprise. The smiles.

Time to reflect on the new day.

Maybe start with a friend you might have who is isolated now, maybe elderly, maybe with a compromised immune system, maybe just overwhelmed with kids home from school.

My favorite row of trees.

And if you’re not into paper and pen and stamps….well…an email a day to someone you can’t hang out with in person right now will work just fine too.

Deep breath. We can do this.

Stay home if you can. Stay home even if it’s inconvenient. Stay home even if you’ve run out of your favorite coffee or bananas. Stay home and stay safe.

We are strong.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

23 thoughts on “The written word

  1. Sweet idea. And one that is such a throwback. I used to love seeing my weekly letter from my mother in my college mailbox, too. I hadn’t thought of that in years, so thanks for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, so far I’m 2 for 2 days…two letters (cards actually) sent out. We’ll see. I don’t have a lot of cards here and I don’t want to go get more. But letters to many people on plain old paper will do. And I have some other ideas too. I see, in comments, that several people had moms that wrote while they were away from school. I don’t have any letters from my mom from that period but I have some from when we were both adults and I lived far away. After she died I found most of my letters to her from during that time all tied together in her desk. Made me cry.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this idea. ♥♥♥
    Your photos are beautiful. So peaceful. Thank you for that.


    • It’s a good idea, and somehow I think it might have been your idea back in the day. Or maybe I wrote to you during that period, could be either. I really enjoyed my morning climbing the hills waiting for the sunrise. Will do it again if it ever stops raining.


  3. Even though I recently retired, my work buddies and I text almost every day. They are all working from home now…and being micromanaged from afar by our supervisor. We chuckle at the familiarity of it all. They go back to working. I go back to ……retiring. Staying connected is such a blessing. You and Katie be careful out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember this suggestion, too, and it was a good one. Thanks for resurrecting it, Dawn! Those of us who aren’t sick would do well to cheer up others around us, whether ill or not.


    • Exactly. I sent out a card this morning to a friend of mine who had surgery this week. I hope it cheers her up. I know getting something personal always does that for me. I have some other friends who are struggling with illness…they are so susceptible. It’s scary.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Dawn – I do remember the thrill of snail mail. My mom wrote to me regularly when I was in University. I still have many of those letters! I love the idea that you are proposing here. Staying connected at this time is incredibly important.
    Stay well!!
    xx Donna


    • Thanks Donna, you stay well too. I don’t have any letters from when I was in school, but I have a few from when she wrote me after I was an adult and settled down here. I wish I had kept the ones from school too.


  6. A couple of weeks ago, I was pawing through a box of “stuff” thinking I should just throw it all out, when, oh my gosh, there were a whole bunch of hand-written letters to me from my mother. I didn’t know whether to cry big wet tears or sing with joy, so I probably did some of both. Seeing handwriting, knowing it was written by someone you love, and it was written just to you … boy, that’s the best!


  7. Oh for those lovely snail-mail letters of days gone by. They were treasures. I still have a box full of letters from my mom after I left home until she died. Her voice lingers on their pages even after 27 years.


  8. I think that’s a lovely idea. So many people, particularly elderly, are left without social contact these days. For those an old fashion letter would make a big difference. I will take up on your challenge. Stay healthy!


    • You stay healthy too, Otto! Thanks for stopping by. I have sent two cards now, I intend to do one a day for as long as I can. I think these days a small surprise like that in a mailbox might make all the difference to isolated people. It will help me from getting so depressed too!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have several people who I send cards to every few weeks…I should write a few more cards during this rime. Good idea! I have cards to use up anyways:)


    • Yes you do have cards! I looked today and I don’t have many, though somehow I seem to have a lot of envelopes. Hmmmm…. I’m thinking of making some cards, I know you do that and I am inspired! Yes, send more cards during these days…everyone needs some cheering up!


  10. I love writing letters. In the summer I write to my nieces and grandchildren in camp. I was happy to hear when my grandson said he saved them all. I corresponded with my grandmother as a child and still take those letters out and read them. It’s a wonderful feeling


  11. Pingback: How to make a note a day | Change Is Hard

  12. You captured the bleakness and loneliness so many are feeling right now. Excellent photos.


    • I’m not feeling that bleak, at least not every day, though some days are sadder than others. I’m trying to stay connected through this blog and of course FB, and now I’m sending out cards, one a day to people I haven’t talked to in awhile.


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