Wednesday, August 20, 2008

On Headers and Letters

At least the header finally fits the frame. That is all I can manage for now.

Yesterday involved more cleaning out over at Laddie's. More pictures discovered...the pictures have been the most rewarding discoveries so far. Lots of letters, too, but no time yet to read them (oh, OK, I have taken time to read a few; just can't resist).

Speaking of letters, that record of relationships has almost disappeared from our lives, hasn't it? The telephone was the first destructive influence on letter writing. It is easy to make a phone call and actually hear the individual's voice; immediate, easy, personal communication, but telephone calls leave no record of the conversation.

Today, email is probably used more frequently than the telephone. Although email can be saved and/or printed, emailing is quite different in style from letter writing and lacks the personal handwriting, the postmark, etc. that snail mail has.

Two recent reads made liberal use of letters:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (I'm still recommending this one highly) is a story told through letters written shortly after WWII. I do love epistolary novels and this one was so well done.

On the nonfiction side, I just finished a biography of Alice Roosevelt Longworth, and the author made liberal use of letters Alice wrote and received -- covering over half a century.

I'm going to take the doll quilt off the wall today and work on it. I'm an expert at neglect.


  1. "I'm an expert at neglect."

    for some reason I seriously doubt this! instead, I expect you are human and have that love-hate relationship with procrastination going on that most of us have....

    the new header is looking nice!

    it is a shame about how letter writing is now such a lost art. on those rare occasions that I receive a letter my level of delight is intense.

  2. Your new blog look is "cool", a term we both would remember from our 60's teen years ;D

    Love, love, love the doll quilt...makes me want to run to my sewing room and play copy-cat. So cute!

    I'm with you...the delights of a hand-written letter are mostly gone with our electronic age. I still love to receive something hand-written, they're such treasures.

  3. kimy - Oh, yes that "love-hate relationship with procrastination" is certainly common around here.

    Odd how much most of us enjoy receiving real letters, but how we procrastinate when it comes to writing them (there it is again - that love/hate relationship).

    Connie - :) Thanks, Connie, and yes, I still succumb to using "cool" regardless of how out-of-date. Hard to keep up with current expressions!

    The doll quilt is coming along nicely, now, and I'm pleased with it. I've made some additions and have the quilt sandwich ready to go!

    Letters are treasures, aren't they? I tried last year to write Mila every week or so, but somehow that went by the wayside. Need to try again to correspond semi-regularly.

  4. we know so much about history and the people who shaped history from the letters they wrote. makes me wonder what future generations will know/think about us, given the nature of emails. gonna' have to find the guernsey library/potato peel pie society. i have been away from fiction for way too long. am reading a good one now: the family tree: a novel by carole cadwalladr. spanning 3 generations of women, the story is told by a creative woman who wrestles to reconcile her notions about human relationships with her husband's behavioral geneticist scientific dogma. very cleverly done and with wit and intelligence, too.

  5. jeanne - Emails just don't provide the same insight as letters, do they? Letters reveal much about both correspondents and are such an intriguing way to glimpse history.

    I'm making note of The Family Tree and will look for it on my next library trip. Thanks, Jeanne.

  6. I agree that the letters written in the past are a great source of insight. But I think the blogs of the present are going to provide future researchers with an even greater treasure trove.

    I would like to share a women's hostory learning opportunity that features Alice Roosevelt with your readers.

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    This is no boring history report.

    Two beautiful and extremely powerful suffragettes -- Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan, Alice Roosevelt and two gorgeous presidential mistresses.

    There are tons of heartache for these heroines on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, they WIN!

    Unique sequential e-mail series -- each exciting episode is about 10 minutes -- perfect to enjoy during coffeebreaks, or anytime.

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