Do you remember the good old days when we didn’t have computers or any other way to communicate with a long distance friend other than by phone? And that phone call was expensive!! It was a world that created the opportunity to communicate through letters.
When I was about 8 or 9 years old, the neighbors across the street from me had a travel business. They occasionally would host friends in their home that they had made while traveling. One such family was a Hawaiian family named Goo from Laie. Their daughter Eloise was a year or so younger than me. We quickly became friends during their stay. When they were ready to leave to return to Hawaii, we were both sad. Someone suggested we keep in touch with each other through letters. Hence was the birth of my first pen pal. (Actually…. ONLY pen pal!) Though traditionally pen pals were arranged through some kind of a club and you were ‘assigned’ a pen pal….. it was usually with a person you did not know and most likely would never meet. Eloise and I made our own pen pal club!
We wrote to each other for years. To the best of my recollection, she may have visited my neighbor one more time a few years later, but other than that we didn’t see each other again till years later when she decided to attend the same University I was attending. Our letter writing had become intermittent at best by then, but at least we stayed in touch so that we realized we would be able to see each other after all those years at the same school.
I remember meeting her in those college days and realizing what a beautiful girl she had become! My only picture of her was one from when we were very young. She was truly a beauty. I don’t know why, but for some reason after that, our correspondence dwinlded. Probably because we were getting serious about boys by then and had much more important things on our minds!! It seems she married shortly after that but unfortunately I’ve lost contact with her. However.…. through the amazing technology of a Google search… I believe I just located her just this minute! Sometimes while I’m writing these posts I go back and forth between tabs I have open and do searches for things that might be pertinent to what I’m blogging about. So just out of curiosity….. I thought I’d give trying to find her a shot and low and behold….. there she was. It was actually through a family history of her mother in law that her name came up. I’ve sent a friend request to her through facebook and I hope to get a confirmation that it is indeed her very soon! I will come back and post a comment here when I do. I’m so excited! What a crazy thing to get excited about!
My whole point for writing this post was to talk about how much easier it is to stay in touch with people now a days and yet the charm of having a letter to anticipate coming in the mail was so much fun! It also gave you a drawerful of memories to look back through when you wanted. Almost a journal in a sense with the relationship with that person. Things are so much different now. In some ways better and in other ways not.
It’s truly amazing how the world has just opened up to us through the internet! It may be the only way I’ll ever get to travel to some parts of the world….. via the internet! (Or a good Planet Earth documentary!)
I’m grateful that I had the opportunity as a kid to have a pen pal and that we stuck with it for a long while. And tonight I’m especially grateful to have found her again! However…. this time I think it will be through the internet that we stay in touch!
Tell me about your pen pals!
I am Grateful! How are you?