I recently finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, an epistolary book I recommend to anyone. It is a lovely story, well-written and sweet without being sickly. (Although it is easy to see where the plot is headed, it is equally easy to get lost in the characters.) While I enjoyed it, immensely, it made me miss letters, and the time when letter-writing was the norm.

Lest you think I have become nostalgic for a time I have never experienced, allow me to become an old woman for a moment: I remember the advent of the World Wide Web; when the now ubiquitous -- and expected -- business website was a novelty. I didn't have my own email account until I was 22. When I was in England, my family and I wrote letters -- that was how we communicated, and a large part of the joy for me of writing those letters was trying to determine which news and happenings deserved letter space. When I was in high school, I was not emailing my friends or texting my boyfriend: we were passing notes.

I miss that time. There is such a sense of connection when you read a letter that the other person has touched, when you can see their handwriting. By necessity, email has become a massive part of my work day, because it's faster, I text more than I talk on the phone, for convenience sake, I bank and shop online, and this blog is clearly not a handwritten missive. But I miss letters.

Perhaps it's time to write some.


'Tis a Gift

There is a Shaker song called "Simple Gifts", and the first line is "'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free." I rather like this song, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. In an effort to pull myself out of this funk, I've been trying to focus on the simple gifts I have in my life, the small things that I can be grateful for, the tender mercies that lighten my day. Here are the simple gifts I've noticed over the last few days:

First of all, my new blog layout. When I realized that even looking at my blog made me feel blah, I decided I needed some color. See that "ribbon" on the side? The lovely blue one? That is my color for the year.

Plus, the scritch and flow of a new pen across my journal, the several new books I have to choose from, the flowers I've been wearing in my hair, the fact that I got 8 free tampons in the last box I bought, the Glee soundtrack -- because it's peppy and makes me smile, the fact that I got to work on the gas I had in my tank this morning, the little boy in Target last week who told his mom that the next song he wanted to sing was "Families Can Be Together Forever", the cute Valentine's gifts that I found for my co-workers, the full moon last week, the fact that I didn't have to wear my sweater when I came out of work this afternoon, semi-flirtatious emails from the cute boy in the corner cubicle, Russell Stover Coconut Cream hearts, and 8 full hours of sleep last night.

And, this: "Stupidity in a woman is unfeminine." --Friedrich Nietzsche

Oh, and I've lost 5 pounds this month.

Simple gifts, but enough. And I'm grateful.