Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Saturday, April 30, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 17


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3/27/2013 2:00:00 PM
Back Talk From The Back House
By Nancy Wilson

In many ways, I think I'm relatively modern up here in the real world; in others, I find myself very old-fashioned with a strong belief in home-cooked food and other aspects of an earlier, although certainly not easier, world.

While this old-fashioned-ness manifests itself in more ways than one, one in particular does stand out.

Very few people, including me, write and send a snail-mail letter any more. I bring this up for the simple reason that I had to write one last week, and found it one of the more difficult things I have ever done.

These days, I communicate nearly exclusively via email; nearly everyone I need to chat with has a computer and the Internet, so it is much easier for me to scrawl out a note on a keyboard than it is to write a real letter, with a pen, on paper.

If I did that in fact, the recipient would not be able to read it; my infamous handwriting would see to that. (I never could, from the very beginning of trying to learn to write script, write legibly; I have dubbed this handicap dyscribblia.)

When I first began to type, that is how I wrote letters; I tried hard not to subject anyone to my scrawl.

Now, of course, I have a keyboard and a printer, so all is well in that department. But, I actually had to write a letter. I had no email address for the recipient, only a mailing address; it was important, however, that I get in touch.

I came out here to Penelope, and wrote the letter; then I had to scrounge around for an envelope and stamps, as well as my return address sticker.

After much sputtering to myself about how much effort this took, I had it all together, so I could trek up to the mailbox and get it sent out.

It exhausted me. I had completely forgotten how much energy a simple letter required; I had to go rest, and take a few deep breaths before I could tackle the next thing I had to do, whatever it was.

The whole thing had been a jolt, taking me back many years to an earlier time when writing and sending a letter this way was the only recourse I had; no email, no Skype, the telephone the only other means of communication.

It had been an entirely different world, although not necessarily any easier. And no, I would not go back there for any reason. This is not to say that I am very far into our future because I certainly am not but there are some things that I can appreciate and make use of, and I do. With that in mind, please don't ask me to write another snail mail letter.

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