Today in My History
Leap into Action
9 June 2020
Writing is the thing I do that I consider my "craft." I don't knit or sew or garden or do anything creative, but I do write and it's the thing I love to do, so gathering pen friends has been wonderful. My hope is that I have at least one a day to write to, and that I get a letter at least a few times a week.
Yesterday I wrote to all of my Compassion kids, about 25 of them. I don't sponsor them all, but I also write to some kids whose sponsors don't want to write themselves (I have a lot of kids in Kenya from a company that sponsors 1,000 children and got a bunch of us to be the correspondents for them).
I try to write individual letters to Compassion kids, but about once a month, I send the same letter to each of them, which is easy to do since there is an e-mail program where you can just duplicate the letter and whatever photos you are sending and pass it along to the next kid. Takes about an hour to send off 25 letters, but it feels good when it's all done.
I have also acquired several new pen pals. Some are women that I suspect will become good friends, since we have so much in common. Others are so-so. I'll answer a letter, but I don't feel any chemistry there. I sent out a journal to a partner last week...it was a daily journal and of course I didn't realize when I started it what March was going to be like. I try to keep politics out of such journals, but it crept in there as the month wore on and Trump got more and more irritating. When partners receive your submission, they post a "rating" on Swap Bot. I got a high rating, but in her comment she said, "I enjoyed reading about your month under quarantine. It sounds like you keep yourself busy. You must not need much sleep. It appears we are polar opposites politically." I can't understand how the Trump loyalists can still follow him, but they seem to be even more devoted. Gotta be careful what you say in letters!
I don't like having a pen pal through e-mail. I like to hold a letter in my hand and to have it next to me while I answer it, but with international postage being so crazy ($1.20 per oz) email is the cheaper way to go -- also, if Trump gets his wish to shut down the USPS, I still have a way to communicate!
However, I found a way to make it work for me. I do a cut and paste of the e-mail and then print it out so that I have what amounts to a snail mail. I can write my answer in WordPerfect and do a cut-and-paste to send it to my partner. It's perfect, so I have agreed to write to several from foreign countries.
The woman I've been writing to the longest is from Finland. She wrote voluminous letters and would write every day if I would answer her every day, so I make sure there are at least 2 days between her letters and my answers. But it's fascinating hearing her thoughts on her country, her government, the United States, and Finland's relationship with other countries. She feels guilty that Finland sided with Germany in WWII and she echoes the sentiments of all of the others from other countries who have written to me:
She asks, "You live in a very controversial country. How has it influenced your everyday life? I'm trying to figure out how to answer that!
A woman from Australia also has an impression of Trump:
Two of my new pen pals are from Australia and both are women I think I will become good friends with. One of them even has been through a situation like I did with Peggy, a friend she wrote to for many years who suddenly stopped writing. She, too, has no idea what she did to cause the friend to stop writing and is as hurt as I am. I guess we have both been "ghosted" and we understand each other.
I also have pen pals from the Philippines and from Denmark and am waiting to hear if a woman I wrote to in Brasil wants to write back.
There are also a lot of women I am writing to in the U.S. Two of them are in Oregon and I felt a camaraderie with both of them with our first letters. One is a professional writer, with lots of books on Amazon. She was recommended to me by the other one. They are both Jeri's age. I am finding that a lot of women looking for pen pals are in their teens or their 50s and not many in their 70s.
One of my new pen pals lives in Winters, 10 miles from here and another in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco.
I did get a letter from one woman who is 79 and from her handwriting, I didn't think that it was going to work out. It was like Lacie had written it, but it turns out she has arthritis and difficulty writing. She actually has a fascinating history.
So anyway, I am enjoying meeting all these new people, while quarantined, and hope that some of them turn out to be long-term friendships. It's a great way for an introvert to make new friends!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
The girls' other grandparents-- and Bandit
I'd love it if you'd leave a comment!
This is entry #7383