When I left home for more than a year in the early 1980s, nobody had cell phones, the internet was not here and few people ever made international calls. They were extremely expensive. So when traveling, I would buy postcards and write family and friends. After writing, I would get stamps and then find a mailbox in which to send them. Typically it would take weeks to arrive. The problem was, nobody could write me.
When I arrived in Norway I finally had an address. I still remember how thrilled I was to get letters and news from home. The mail truck would pull up on the rural road in front of the farm to deliver the mail. I received letters as long as 20 pages and I can still see the handwriting of the authors that made it so personal. My father would cut out articles from the Seattle newspapers and include them. So very touching. I wish I could thank every one of the letter writers today as it was so special.
I would open the letters and sit in the grass and read them. Sometimes I would laugh outloud or tears would come to my eyes. One friend, an Argentinean from Barcelona wrote me her whole life story. Quite the correspondent. The letters of that era make the emails of today seem cold and without feeling. I still have boxes of letters at my parent’s house.