Last week I had what was perhaps a once in a year occurrence. I had 2 handwritten letters appear in the mailbox on the same day! I don't get real letters all that often, so to get 2 in one day - wow! :)
One was a card from a friend from high school. We were in the same small tight group from I think grade 9 on. She lives up in the Yukon now, and while I don't think I've seen her face-to-face since maybe second year university, we've kept in sporadic contact during the years since and more so in the past 3 years that we've both been staying in the same spot for more than a couple years or less at a time.
She had some exciting news to share, and while her note wasn't lengthy, I've been reading her hand writing since high school. I knew who the card was from without reading the return address, without reading her signature at the bottom. While I might know more details via facebook about the lives of people in high school or university that I was barely friends with even back then, compared to what details I know about her life right now, for some reason the hand written letters we send back and forth mean something more significant, more tangible and meaningful. We have made the effort to keep in touch, and while I haven't seen her in years, I can only hope that these brief notes will keep our friendship going until we manage to see each other again. Real mail is such a treat, not only because it is rare, but because of the effort it means. She made the effort to write to me specifically, and I love that.
The other letter was from one of my aunts. She updated me on the lives of my cousins, the farm, all those little gossipy life updates that I often miss out on being all the way out west. We'll hopefully see her this fall when we venture back to Ontario for a visit, and get to do some catching up in person, but in the meantime, her letter conveyed a bunch of the important goings on in her life back there. We try and send christmas photos back to my extended family, and include a brief note, but with my mom being one of eight, and having a good sprinkling of cousins (and almost a second cousin for Madison, any day now - I can't wait to meet the newest addition this fall!), all of whom live within a 6 hour or so drive from each other, the distance out here really makes us quite separated from the clan - we're our own little pea pod sailing on our own across the vastness of the continent.
Anyway, I've got one more day at a conference tomorrow, then I'll be heading back home to be reunited with that little pea pod of mine. These past several days has been the longest I've been apart from Little M ever (three whole nights away!), and while the time apart has been so great for me, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing her little cuteness when I come in the front door tomorrow evening!
I still have to decide whether she would appreciate a stuffed animal or a tshirt from the small gift store in the conference lodge. I suspect for her, seeing me will be enough reward, but as I have fond memories of my dad bringing home small gifts after being away for long trips, and later of picking things out for my mom and sister with my dad when I started accompanying him on kayak and canoe trips, I really want to have that tradition for Little M, so a stuffed salmon it may be tomorrow!