Has Letter Writing Become Equivalent to Carving in Stone?


At the crossroads of the world–let’s call it Vienna–any place now is considered a crossroad if people from all over the world congregate there.

Number One and I   were enjoying the perks of frequently traveling and staying in the same hotel–loyalty pays.  In the Executive lounge on the 8th floor of the Hilton, overlooking the Blue Danube, we were reminiscing with friends about our college days and how we communicated with each other and our families.

Whenever friends get together, we love to reminisce and take pictures.  So, our friend asked the couple at the table across from us to take our picture.    As people often do when they travel, we started a conversion.  Travelers are not afraid to speak to strangers because at this point everyone is a stranger.

We learned that this lovely couple was living in Australia, the mother was from the Ukraine and the father was a Russian  Jew with thick white hair like Einstein.   They had their teenage daughter with them, who was born in Germany and is now Australian.

At one point in the conversation we spoke about writing letters to our families and that the mail took two weeks usually for a return response, sometimes longer.  The young mother’s jaw dropped.  “You actually wrote letters?” she asked. 

She looked at us as if we were from stone age and then she realized we were most likely from the late 1800’s and used a quill pen to write to our families.  “I am 44 and I have never written a letter,” she exclaimed.


I am sure this is what we looked like to her.

What surprised me the most is that she is a few years older than my children, but she never wrote a letter.

I guess letter writing is a dying art.

Which reminds me, while I am still around,  I have to send a thank you letter to our hosts in Vienna.

I just have to find the quill pen, the ink, and the wax for the seal and I am ready to go.


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