Letters: How I Began Writing




A rainbow of delight.

Grade school is when I began writing. Mom required an obligatory thank you to be sent to anyone who gave me a gift. I had to say how I might use the money or why the item was special to me. My first descriptive essays were written in those notes.

Summer kids camp began in fourth grade and mail call was a highlight. At least once, sometimes twice, during the week, I received a letter from my parents. Grandma wrote too. I exchanged my adress with friends and by middle school, I could spin an eight page letter easily. Phone calls were not an option, so Melody received lengthy letters regularly.  It was a form of therapy, I suppose, as I was an only child pondering life. Letters gave me time to think and wonder and smile at memories while I wrote.



I received letters in return that I cherish.

When I lived in the Dominican Republic for two years, teaching second graders, my Grandma Kessler wrote me weekly. She talked about the weather and the crops and shared her insights. I still have those letters tucked away in a special place. I recieved my own special gift each time.

During the Stay At Home Order, letter writing to my students became a daily enjoyment. I asked questions and had a short conversation with the student, sending hugs as best as I could. Virtually!



Stamps. Stickers. Doodles. Hugs.

Decorating the envelope is something new I just began. Stickers, doodles, and some design added created to the envelope. Colorful stamps added pizzaz from sprakling Celebrate to Hot Wheel mania. It’s a giftwrapped envelope.

Now I’m trying to continue to send cheer. My daughter’s friends even wanted in the loop, so I wrote them. Elizabeth says they’ve all posted the notecard somewhere special. Today, I received a thoughtful note in return.

Our words are powerful.


A letter creates a personalized message for the person to cherish, encourgement rekindled each time it’s read. Maybe you are thinking of that someone you could send a note to today. I guarantee it will make their day special!


Stickers are an added bonus.



I wrote my daughter, who still lives with us, with her specialized stamp.

11 Responses to Letters: How I Began Writing

  1. MaryHelen says:

    I just realized I wrote about letters in April. I guess it was on my heart today, so I won’t take my post down. Letters have been a rejuvenation for me lately, so I hope something will make you smile.

  2. crushlevine says:

    How did I not know you taught in the Dominican Republic for two years?! I would love to hear more! I absolutely love that your daughter’s friends wanted to get in on the letter writing. We just never outgrow the need to connect. It is a special thing to receive mail–and better yet, in a decorated envelope!

    • MaryHelen says:

      I taught second grade for two years in Santiago, DR right out of college. This morning I made a list of memories from there. I have a feeling more thoughts will come and I will write about this. I definitely had some unique experiences – such as riding on the back of a donkey for transportation across town.

      • elsie says:

        Every thought Christy wrote went through my mind too. I want to know more about DR teaching. Perhaps we should have a zoom session and you can tell us all about this period of your life. 🙂

  3. Julie says:

    Oh, I love letters. I wrote them constantly as a kid and stalked the mailbox for replies. This is a wonderful gift to give your students and daughter’s friends!

  4. Ramona says:

    “Real mail, hand addressed, from a real person” is the best thing to discover in the mailbox and it arrives so infrequently now. I share your sticker obsession and often add stickers to the cards and letters I mail. It’s the little touches that mean so much. Your students are lucky! And your daughter’s friends too.

  5. Terje says:

    This was a joyful celebration of letter writing. Cheers to you for keeping the almost lost art alive.

  6. elsie says:

    You are one special teacher that will live in the hearts of your students.

  7. Michelle @litlearningzone says:

    The letters are beautiful! Such a gift of delight, especially with all your additional stickers and doodles too! Words are powerful. And it shows the recipient YOU MATTER and I’m thinking of you. That’s powerful too. Keep writing!

    On a side note, have you heard of More Love Letters? Writing letters to those that need to hear you matter! Such a beautiful organization. Check it out if you are looking to write more letters! http://www.moreloveletters.com

    • MaryHelen says:

      I have not hear of More Love Letters? I am anxious to take some time to check it out. What fun! Thank you for sharing. I love this community of writers.

  8. Ruth Ayres says:

    MHG — I love the memoir-ish characteristics of this post. It is lovely. Letter writing has always been an important part of my life. I wrote them by the handfuls when I was a kid and teenager, well into high school and college. In the last couple of years I’ve been cultivating the habit again; however, it still ebbs and flows. I’m having grace with myself and want you to know that you inspire me to keep writing. Thank you!

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