Week One of the Pearista Challenge

Posted on | August 20, 2010 | 6 Comments

To me, there is no means of corresponding that is more intimate than pen on paper.

Think about it. You get hundreds of emails in a week, maybe more. You get tons of text messages. Sure, they make you smile. They say “Hey, I’m thinking about you right this second.” And that’s great. But think about the last time you got a letter.

A real letter.

Not a typed out “here’s how the family is doing” at Christmas, but a real, honest to goodness letter. Handwritten. With ink smears. And maybe even with crossed out words or that tell-tale blend of letters that says “I don’t know how to spell this and oops that’s wrong so I’ll just muddle them up really close and maybe they won’t notice.”

Handwritten letters say “I am thinking about you right now. And you are important to me. So important that I’m going to get a wrist cramp and probably look like a loony toon with my tongue sticking out as I try to fit. one. more. word. at the bottom of the page.” Handwritten letters actually MEAN something. They’re the little notes you folded into stars and triangles in high school and then stuck in your back pocket, wondering if you would ever get the guts to give it to him. They’re the lists you wrote to Santa as you poured through the Sears Toy Catalogue for just the exact gift you never knew you totally wanted.  They’re the keepsakes, bound together with ribbon, that spell out a time lost… a loved one gone… a life remembered.

Handwritten letters are art.

And that is why, when Pearista announced their August challenge, I accepted with a click of my heels. I worship the written word. I kneel at the alter of libraries and bookstores and snub my nose at Nook and Kindle and all the other crazy ways of trying to say that pen to paper is a thing of the past. The Pearista challenge was to write one handwritten card a week for four weeks. And as a bonus, they sent me the cards to write them on, along with 4 additional cards to send to the person you chose to write. And you could write anything. Anything at all. To anyone at all. Four little drops of sunshine to send out into the world.

My first letter went out this week and she should have received it by now. It wasn’t much but it was something I really wanted to write. Because sometimes? Email doesn’t cut it.

I had this friend in high school. She and I were very different but we always had so much fun together. I have this fantastic picture of us from our graduation party where we’re apparently singing Karaoke but the song is now gloriously forgotten. She was just one of those people who always made you laugh.

We lost touch after high school. Actually, I lost touch with pretty much EVERYONE after high school. I wanted a fresh start… new friends… a new life. But I didn’t realize how much I would one day miss the old and wish I’d been better about holding on a little tighter to my past.

And then I got pregnant with J. And wonder of wonder, my friend from high school? Was pregnant, too. With her first child. A boy. And due only a month before me. We started emailing back and forth, sharing stories and asking questions. It was… amazing. It felt good not only to have a friend who was going through the same things, but good that it was her… because we had history together. We weren’t strangers, we were just… unfamiliar to each other. It felt like my past and my future were meeting together in the present and it felt… right. My friend from high school. My future son. And both of us there, pregnant together and making it work.

I wasn’t good about staying in touch after high school. I didn’t pick up the phone. I didn’t email. I certainly didn’t write letters. But I’m older now. And wiser. And it’s time to reconnect with people. I wish I could go back and be better about remembering people and be better about taking the time to just say “hello” and “how are you.”

So my first letter in the Pearista Challenge was mailed this past Tuesday. And it was a long over-due “hello” and a “thank you” to an old friend. A handwritten thank you. For being there way back when, for being there now, and for hopefully being there in the future. It couldn’t have gone any other way. It had to be handwritten…. email just wouldn’t cut it.

What about you? Are YOU up for the challenge? Are there people out there you owe a Thank You to? People you need to apologize to? People you just miss and want to say “Hi” to? Say it. Or better yet… write it. And then drop it in the mail and smile, knowing that you did something meaningful.

Pearista is a group of bloggers, sponsored by Pear Tree Greetings, an online stationary shop with fantastic cards, paper, invitations and more. They will even personalize stationary! Each month they offer challenges and giveaways and this month is the letter writing challenge. I’ll be blogging about the challenge each week as I send out a personal letter to four different (VERY different) individuals. Pear Tree Greetings will feature one blog each week and that featured blog will win $50 towards buying fabulous Pear Tree Greetings stationary… or Christmas cards! Stay tuned… 

And in the meantime, wanna cash in on the fun? Throughout the month of August, enjoy 15% off anything and everything BABY! Birth Announcements, Baby Shower Invitations, Baptism Invitations and more!

Use code PEARAUG10. Shop Pear Tree Greetings’ Baby Collection


6 Responses to “Week One of the Pearista Challenge”

  1. Jess@StraightTalk
    August 20th, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

    I absolutely love sending mail. Love it because it really does say, hey I was thinking of you more so than an email sent while stuck waiting for your oil to be changed.

    I hope you win! And you look be-au-tiful in the new pic!

  2. Anne
    August 20th, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

    I love getting/sending snail mail. I actually have Noelle send her great grandma letters quite frequently because it feels so nice. Love the challenge and the idea.

    I also love your new pic! Nice 🙂

  3. Caitlin
    August 20th, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

    I LOVE this idea.

  4. KLZ
    August 20th, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

    I write my grandpa handwritten letters since he can't hear me on the phone and doesn't email.

    Although I've been terrible about it since having a baby and going back to work. Fail.

  5. MamaOnDaGo
    August 22nd, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

    Hello. New visitor/follower via Twitter. Wanted to stop by and leave a comment.

    I miss hand written letters. I used to be so excited about checking the mail. Hoping there would be something there for me. Instead, my mail is usually filled with bills & junk mail. I check it every other day, because there isn't anything special.

  6. Susie B. Homemaker
    August 28th, 2010 @ 4:58 am

    Great post- very well written. I'm sure your friend appreciated the hand-written note. And congrats on winning the week 1 challenge. 🙂

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