Debra Prinzing

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Stamps for the gardener

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Commemorative “Gardening-Horticulture” stamp, 3-cents, issued in 1958 (from my father’s stamp collection – mint condition)

I know we’re all dependent on the Internet for swift correspondence, but I, for one, am still a huge fan of the hand-written letter. It’s not just the pen- or pencil-inscribed words one writes that matter. Think about other non-verbal cues we convey. Beyond the thoughts communicated by careful penmanship, there is also the selection of paper, note card, or greeting card that implies volumes of meaning. Even the color and type of ink sends a full range of sentiments.

I cherish hand-written notes. I have collected shoeboxes-full of them, saved by year, since the 1970s when my dearest and best childhood friend, Lori, and I started writing to one another after my family moved from New England to Portland, Oregon. I have the cherished love letters, the newsy updates from my mother, the thoughtfully-written narratives from another Lori in my life, who lives in Europe (she is known for excellent choice of paper, as well!). And then there’s Paula, who still jots notes with an old-fashioned ink pen (I just received one as a gift, so perhaps I’ll try to do the same). These “snail mail” versions of human communication trump the Internet on any occasion.