Saving simple

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[Chris_McVeigh]

Do you remember the first time you saw a computer?

I mean a real one, not the cool lego one pictured above.

Do you remember? Or have they just always been there?

What was your initial reaction?

I’m pretty sure I just dated myself a little but bear with me a minute.

It was 1987.

I owned more Banana combs then shoes. Loved wear my hair in a side pony and the bigger the bangs the better.

I loved wearing leg warmers and mixing and matching my slouch socks.
Stirrup pants were all the rage and I desperately wanted pixie boots but settled for a pair of kangaroo high tops.

I read “tiger beat” and “Bop”.
I saw “Back to the Future” In the theaters.

I blasted my music from my old boom box (even though only one side ever worked). I made my own mix tapes by “catching” sings off the radio and used a pencil to rewind my cassette tapes because it was faster.

Life was simple.

I remember the day we walked into the schools brand new computer lab and rows of Macintosh computers.

I wasn’t impressed.

Actually if I remember correctly I thought it was the most useless piece of equipment ever.
I would have laid bets that this “hunk of junk” would be a colossal flop.

Our computer classes consisted of learning how to cut, copy & paste.
Impressive eh.
Fast forward to my senior year in high school.
Out family owned our own personal computer but if memory serves me correctly we weren’t even connected to the internet.

Think “glorified typewriter” with a black screen and orange lettering.
Somehow I made it thru college without the internet.
And yes, it’s possible.
I lived in the college library.

It wasn’t until 1998 that we had the internet in our house.

Such a foreign concept now when almost every single device in our household can access the net and really you don’t even have to be home to access the net.

I miss those days.

The simplicity of it all.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that become our treasured memories.
Sometime it takes unearthing them to remember.

A few weeks after nana past away my aunt and uncle dropped off a rather large cardboard box filled with what at first appeared to be odds and ends.

I had requested her knitting needles and was very excited when I pulled them out of the box.

I wanted them because they reminded me of the summer she taught me how to knit.

Anyways, Deep at the bottom was a small wicker sewing box filled with all the letters that I had written to her over the years. I didn’t know she even kept them to be honest with you.

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Words scratched in pencil on loose leaf sheets. It’s almost comical what I thought was important enough to share with her.

Words expressing gratitude for presents and visits.
Gushing over all the celebrities that I thought were “cute” and vented over how annoying my little sister was being.

Simple stuff.

Kid stuff.

But to her they were treasured memories.

In some ways they are mine too.

In a world where Email has replaced a simple handwritten letter and Texting is slowly starting to replaced in person conversations.

We have deceived ourselves into believing this way is simpler.

It pales in comparison to a bundle of handwritten letters almost 30 years old.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Those letter sauce become almost a reminder to slow down.
Enjoy life.
Seek adventure and to stay true to who I am.
Enjoy the sunshine and real conversations.
To live life.

Looking at those letters had me wonder how long it has been since I received a real piece of mail.
Not flyers or bills but a letter.

When was the last time I wrote a letter? Chances are you can’t remember your last letter either….

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47 thoughts on “Saving simple

  1. I agree with you! Very few people send letters anymore. I’ve made it a practice in my business to follow up with a handwritten note card after I meet new contacts. It helps to set me apart from my competition! On a personal note, after my Nana died, my aunt sent me some cards and letters I had written also. It was cool that my Nana treasured them enough to keep them all those years!

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  2. I love so very much that she saved all those letters, and that they found their way back to you. What a precious blessing. I recently sent a letter to my grandma and one to my mom.

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    • I found a letter that I had tucked into a book that I was working on.
      I’m trying to make a bigger effort to actually write in our cards. Who wants to keep a stack of cards with just a name on it? So nice to actually get a note from someone you love!

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  3. I definitely remember when computers were new. I think we’re from the same era! They were so time-consuming and I just didn’t see the point. Kind of like letter writing seems now, I guess. ALthough I still do it when I write in journals for my kids.

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  4. I haven’t written a letter in forever! I agree, we need to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life. I remember a lot of the same things you do…my jam box, letters on loose leave paper, going to computer labs… Those were the days. πŸ™‚

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  5. I don’t really remember a time before the computer, but I did have multiple hand-written pen pals in grade school and I still make sure to send actual letters to family and friends multiple times a year. I typed missive just doesn’t have the same personal touch. – Katy

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  6. It’s so nice to get a handwritten letter or card in the mail — and I still have the ones that my husband and I wrote to each other before computers. I rarely take the time to write them now, and this is a great reminder about the impact they have.

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  7. I used to write letters all the time and really loved it, but I don’t think I’d have the patience for it anymore. I do have lots of them that I’ve kept over the years though.

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  8. I am a big proponent of technology. However I write my husband love letter by hand each month, write my children letters to put places they will find later and I have a group of friends I write to each month. There is something nice about a handwritten letter that I enjoy.

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    • AWW!! I have a box with some love letters from my hubby. I’m waiting until our 20th then I’m digging up the box to show the kids.
      I write little notes and tuck them into the kids lunch boxes. Always makes their day!

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  9. I think the first time I played with a computer was in 2nd grade. It was an Apple computer and I played Oregon Trail. I was hooked on computers ever since. My mom bought me a Commodore 64 I think when I was about 12.

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    • I sure hope that Thank you cards count!
      Now that my little ones are old enough to write they make their own.
      Spelling is totally optional but I think that’s half the fun trying to decipher what they are trying to say.

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  10. I love writing but usually write on cards instead of letters. My first computer was so long ago that I can’t even remember the year. My dad used it to figure out quotes for his construction business. Created rudimentary spreadsheets that didn’t calculate on the fly. You had to tell it to. He would enter all his numbers, hit the calculate key then go eat dinner with us. Sometimes it would be done processing by the time we finished dinner but most of the time not.

    I hate that cursive handwriting isn’t taught at the schools with the same emphasis it was when we were growing up. Cursive is beautiful and a great expression – which is the main reason I still send hand-written notes!

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    • I love cursive writing! I find I print more than I write only because it’s faster.
      Our kids don’t learn handwriting anymore either.
      Which is such a shame that it will become a dying art soon.

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  11. I’m a big computer geek but I love sending letters too. The last time I wrote letters was last month! I know what you mean about the memories – I have stacks and stacks of letters from my family and friends in the attic, most from the pre-Internet days. I treasure them.

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  12. I love this post. I grew up with technology all around me {we didn’t get internet until ’98 either, but I was still only 9 at the time} so for me it’s always just been a way of life. That said, there is still something so meaningful about a handwritten letter & I honestly feel inspired to send a couple now.

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  13. I had an older family friend I would write letters to now and then because she couldn’t use computers, but otherwise I very rarely to never write letters anymore! I think I must have seen my first computer in 1989 when I started elementary school and there was one in the classroom.

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  14. our family’s first computer was an Apple II. Then a Mac Plus, which is still on the floor of my closet. I’ve always found them superior, but to each their own. You’re right, I don’t write letters. I also don’t do that sort of correspondence by email either. I like the phone, so I can hear the other person. But it’s nice to get a letter.

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  15. We got the internet at my parents house in 1998 as well and I’ve been hooked ever since. There is something about a handwritten letter, though, that is so much more personal than an email could ever be.

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