Did you ever have a pen pal?
At some point in elementary school it was suggested that we reach out to someone our age in another country by an exchange of written letters. “Why?” came my classmates’ voices in unison. The teacher explained that a pen pal was someone you could open up to about your hopes and dreams. Someone you could write to about your experiences and the little things that happen to you each day. It was like having a special friendship that was all your own. Hmm, I puzzled, but I already have something like that. With my Gramme!
Feeling quite proud of myself for being so ahead of the times with this modern and fabulous pen pal movement, I smiled at my comrades knowingly, preparing myself to answer an onslaught of questions about pen-palling (er, penpallery? the art of pen pal?) seeing as I was the resident expert on the topic. Mhmm… but there wasn’t so much of an onslaught as there were a few grunts followed by whinings of “Do we haaaaaave to?” Well that was fine. I was content with my choice of pen pal. And I still am.
My grandmother is a wonderful writer. You know that feeling of watching one of your favorite movies or curling up to start your favorite book again from the beginning? You know you will love it, and there is something so comforting about that. My Gramme’s letters are like that. When I look out and see a white envelope that is too square and appealing to be a bill, I rush out with no mind to my slippers and sweep it up. I always know when it is a letter from my Gramme by the address sticker in the upper left corner with pretty nature scenes.
Her letters are always kind and free of judgement. She writes easily about her life and and her family, always in a positive tone. She tells me of the books she’s read and recommends the ones she knows I will enjoy. She describes the scene outside her window and I picture her there, looking out thoughtfully as she writes.
Yes, I cherish my pen pal. But something occurred to me when I had a visit with her in person in the fall. “Are you still writing your blog?” she asked me. She told me that she often looked for it and loved reading a new post. It dawned on me that each time I publish a new entry, it’s like sending a letter to all the ones I love who I cannot tell so in person more often.
Truth be told circumstances have kept me busy with other things of late, leaving little time or resources to cook and photograph. But my blog has never been simply about food, (regardless of how fabulous a topic food is!) It has been a way to reach out, to express and to create. To write. So it’s time to start writing. I’ve got a lot of correspondence to catch up on.