Erica Juhn and I both wore the gray and blue uniforms at Rolling Hills Country Day School. We both recited the pledge of allegiance ever morning right after the Lord's prayer and went swimming in P.E. with Coach Don and Coach Theresa. But in fifth grade my family moved and I started going to public school. Erica became my first pen pal.
I can't quite remember when Erica and I stopped writing each other. I think it slowly tapered off in high school or early college. I remember hearing that she went to UC Berkeley, but it's been years and years... Still, she was a good pen pal. She had what it takes.
So does my good friend Claire. Last week I got a surprise package in the mail from her.
I was absolutely giddy as I opened it. The contents: a letter, a Canadian leaf (she lives in Vancouver), a couple of mix CD's, a hand sewn pouch, and an incredible handmade picnic quilt!
Claire also has was it takes to be a good pen pal: the absolute love of sending and receiving mail, the persistence to keep it going for years on end without seeing one another, and as with any friendship, some common interests and a good rapport.
Although I love email, blogs, flickr, etc... I think it's sad that people don't write many letters these days. How about you? Do you have a pen pal? Do you lament the decrease in correspondence by snail mail, or do you fully embrace modern technology without regret?
p.s. Did you know that one of the few circles where traditional pen pals are still flourishing is in the prison system? (Inmates are not allowed access to the internet.)