Thursday, February 14, 2008

Circle Letters

Growing up, before the age of home computers and easy access to emails, I used to love going to the mailbox and finding a letter from a pen pal or friend. I often saved those letters to read over and over, especially those written by people who did not often send mail. I remember my Grandma saying how she enjoyed getting phone calls from friends and family, but she loved the cards and letters so much more. The older I get, the more I miss those trips to the mailbox.

I am very blessed. I found a couple of groups of women with similar faith/beliefs as ours that also enjoy the pen pal & circle letter writing. I have been a part of these groups for a couple of years now and enjoy it very much. Sometimes the circle letters are a "general chat" type of topic where we simply write about the going-ons in our homes, sometimes they have a specific topic that we discuss in our letters.

A circle letter (aka round robin) is a letter exchange where a topic is assigned and the ladies sign up if they choose to participate. The person organizing teh circle letter writes down everyone's name & address and sends the information along with her letter introducing the topic. The letter is sent to the next person on the list. Each participant recieves the packet of letters in turn, reading the enclosed letters and adding one of their own before sending the packet on to the next person. The last person on the list sends the pakcet to the person who started the circle letter. This packet of letters will make it's circle rounds as many times as the participants want to participate in. Each time they receive the packet, they read the enclosed letters, remove their old letter & add a new one.

There is a wonderful book called "The Amish Circle Quilt" that is based on a circle letter that a group of Amish women sent among their group. Each time they sent the packet of letters, each woman would include a quilt block pattern that represented something that happened in they or their famiy's lives the week that she received the circle letter. The book is a wonderful read. It gives you a glimpse into the daily lives of these Amish women.

In a time when technology has become so common place in our lives, it is a joy to take the time to get out the pen and paper and write a letter. Receiving the letters are a blessing also. Take a moment and write a little note in a card or a letter and surprise someone in your life with it in their mailbox. It will brighten their day.

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