Day Twelve: Pen Pals


I picked up this book about Julia Child and her pen pal, Avis DeVoto, at a bookstore recently.  I didn’t buy it, but it did get me thinking.  I had a few pen pals throughout my growing up years and always loved the concept of exchanging letters.  I still find it so gratifying to read and write handwritten letters.  There is something to be said for taking the time to sit down and write a letter—an update, a reflection, a thank you or show of support in a tough time.  Receiving a letter like this makes me feel special.

People are always concerned with efficiency these days.  It’s become a cultural norm.  But what if we took the time to write down our thoughts on nice stationary and send them to our confidants?  It’s a tradition that I’d like to recapture.  I think there’s something almost magical about it.  One thing that I appreciate about Avis and Julia’s pen pal friendship is that they didn’t just write thank you notes for gifts or sympathy cards when one of them lost a loved one.  They wrote back and forth regularly just sharing about their day to day lives.

I talked earlier in this series about long distance friendships.  It’s remarkable to think that these two women were able to maintain such a close friendship without any of the technologies that we enjoy today.  Letter writing feels very personal, and it kept them connected.  They sustained a strong friendship, felt free to discuss topics that they might not broach in public, and ultimately supported each other over the course of many years and seasons of life.

Julia and Avis

photo credit

I think I’ve just inspired myself to get some new stationary.  🙂


2 Comments Add yours

  1. I loved reading Julia and Avis’s letters. They inspired me to strike up a pen-pal friendship with an online friend. We’re still writing letters a year later and loving it!

  2. Kara says:

    How wonderful, Katie! 🙂 You’re an old fashioned girl, too. I love it.

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