I came across this photograph recently, and it brought back so many memories of travels and adventures.

I first began using aerograms and airmail letters when I was nine and my family moved to England. The only way to stay in touch with my grandparents and to find out about our dog and cat, whom we’d had to leave behind for a year, was to write, and boy did we write regularly.

It was such a thrill to look in the mailbox and find a letter or aerogram with the familiar blue and red stripes carrying news from home.

And it was such a wonderful discipline to sit down and compose letters to loved ones, sharing all about life in a different country. As I mentioned in a previous post, at school we wrote with pens dipped in ink wells. And our milk was delivered daily in a milk cart pulled by a white horse. It was a different way of life there.

Later, when I took a newspaper job in Tokyo in my twenties, the only way to stay in touch with the family back home was to write aerograms. I got extremely homesick over there, and it was such a comfort to get those letters from home. It seems unbelievable now, but we didn’t have cellphones, and the cost of an overseas telephone call was prohibitive and reserved only for very special occasions and emergencies.

Do you ever write letters anymore?