- one birthday card
- several Valentines
- several letters to people I know
- one letter to an InCoWriMo correspondent
- several thank you notes
- one sympathy card
- several letters left for strangers to find (fun to do and saved me some postage)
- one letter to myself (yes, this counts as a correspondence, according to the InCoWriMo organizers. I wrote it on the last day of February to sum up my experience)
The letter enclosed with the birthday card was a struggle to write, for it was meant for an old friend I'd stopped communicating with several years ago. It was all my fault, not my friend's, and for years after that she would send us a Christmas card stating she would love to see me again. But I never wrote back, and over time wondered if I could even patch things up between us. Frankly, I was afraid she'd be hurt enough to not consider me a friend anymore.
But I took a deep breath anyway, apologized, explained what had caused me to break things off, and then updated her on what's been going on lately. I mailed the card/letter off, having no idea what she'd think of it.
A few days later I got an email response from her, thanking me for the card and letter, and saying that no matter what happened, she would always consider me a friend. I actually cried a little when I read that. She's a better person than me, obviously.
Also got another very nice email response from another old friend, one I only keep up with here and there. She's always been very nice to touch base with though, so I wrote her as well. She said I was the only one of her friends who still writes letters! I replied that my latest letter was in part because of InCoWriMo and explained a bit about it. She said it sounded great and would check out their website.
Because of my husband's Slovak heritage, I sent a letter to someone on the InCoWriMo list who's from Slovakia. Haven't heard back from that person and am not sure if I will. I imagine that those who put their contact info on the list get a lot of letters!
I send out Valentines as a matter of course, so that habit made it easy to add to my daily correspondence count.
The sympathy card went to my brother-in-law, whose 97 1/2 year-old mother had died. I didn't know her really well, but I knew enough to write a letter along with the card that reflected on the many nice qualities she had had. I got a nice email response from him in return that expanded on those qualities I had touched on.
The thank you notes were fun to write, as always. Although most were to people I know, two of them weren't.
I'd always wanted to express my appreciation to the city snow removal employees. Sure, it's their job, but I live in a town where snow removal often seems like never-ending work. And I heard the snowplow going down our street in the wee hours of Christmas Day morning this past year. It's got to be rough, not even being able to plan for a Christmas morning with your family if you have to go out and drive a snow plow.
Since I wanted to bake something for a neighbor who'd done us a favor (and, of course, write a thank-you note too), I decided to find a recipe that would make enough to give to both the neighbor and the snow plow workers. So that I did, which meant hand-delivering both.
The desk clerk who took my humble gift for the snow plow folks seemed surprised but appreciative. She said they generally only hear from citizens when there's snow removal complaints; thank-you's are rare. So I felt pretty good about my effort!
As for the other thank-you note to someone I don't know, I sent it to Chad Salmela, my favorite Winter Olympics announcer, thanking him for another great job. If you heard, or heard of, the guy screaming "Here comes Diggins!" as the US women won their first-ever cross country skiing medal - gold, no less - that was Mr. Salmela. I love his enthusiasm, and from reading online reactions to that gold medal win, I know I'm not the only one.
I also wrote a letter to a local columnist, praising him for the chuckles his essay had given me. I'm not sure that I'd ever even written to a newspaper columnist before.
And lastly, my previous post highlighted another mailing, which was a letter and some vintage photos that went to the archives at the Catholic University of America. I'd been wanting to send those photos to the proper place for a few years now, so I'm glad I finally did it.
So all in all, participating in InCoWriMo took me out of my comfort zone a bit (heck, I even had to look up where to drop the baked good to the snow plow people) and got me to take some actions that I'd been wanting to do for years. Yes, I got tired of writing on some days, but overall I was glad I stuck with it. The positives definitely outweighed any negatives.
And I learned, anew, to never underestimate the power of handwritten correspondence!