Home Tomagrams In the Mail a Memory Is Sent

In the Mail a Memory Is Sent


American Gothic, Circa 1993

blog_karen_tomI’m a pen and paper kind of guy. The need to email, text, twitter and frantically facebook excapes me. I still get a charge from trekking to my mailbox to see what awaits. (Yes, I am a simple man.) Yesterday among the seed catalogs, grocery store flyers from non-island grocery stores, and regretful Netflix selections was my treasure: a handwritten, homemade card from my friend Karen. blog_karen_tom_IIAffixed to the card was a photo of the two of us taken July 4, 1993, in front of my house in Seattle. (Correction: my neighbor’s cat Bendy also shared the moment.) Our urban version of American Gothic made me smile, a snapshot in time that I had all but forgotten–a new house, an old friend and a garden just beginning.

So should you have the inclination to text, tweet or email this weekend, may I suggest otherwise. Put down the mobile device, secure a page of your finest paper (or college-ruled will do) and a pen that fits your hand, and write a note, a letter or even a poem, and send a friend  a photo with some kind words and thoughtful recollections. The receiver will surely appreciate the momentary winter vacation, one that usually includes sunnier skies, fewer pounds and years yet realized. (And to my pal Karen, thank you.)


My first house in Seattle some years later.


  1. Well said, I too , am a P/P sort of guy. It’s so nice to receive an actual letter. Thanks for putting it in better words than I would’ve chosen.

  2. Don’t get me started on this. I’ve been doing calligraphy since I was 9 and I took drafting in high school just for the fun of lettering. I could look at French inks at the art store for hours. And I couldn’t believe it when my daughter’s teachers said all of their papers had to be done on the computer and not written by hand. I would much, much rather be doing all writing by hand, but sadly, to be part of this world now you need to be immersed in technology.

  3. Great Picture and wonderful words. As soon as I finish this e-mail, I am going to sit down and write a letter.
    It was also fun to see the transformation in your Seattle house.

  4. Thank you Tom, as usual, you help me to slow down and rethink why I always feel rushed. Last Friday, in the interest of time, I keyed a fast note to include in a card I was sending to my mother’s best friend who turns 80 on Feb 1st. I rushed the note, printed it off, ran to the post office because I’d left it to the last minute…. I’m going to follow-up with a hand-written letter, to capture a fond memory or two as these years are going by as fast as minutes.


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