Yesterday I received a surprise note card in the mail. I did not recognize at first the name on the return address. But I was curious about the handwritten address. It did not appear to be junk mail. Curiouser. Some handwritten something, addressed just to me, from a person whose name was, well, familiar, as all Scandinavian American names come to be after living a community like this. But not instantly recognizable as someone I knew.
I eagerly slit open the envelope, and as soon as I began reading I knew who the sender was. This card is from one of "my readers." When I started this blog, blogging was kind of new. Many people had online feeds from their favorite bloggers. I myself had a list I checked every morning, like scanning the morning headlines. These blog feeds were, in a sense, an early version of the crazy social media we have today. These writers were my friends. And my readers were my friends, too, leaving comments or e-mailing me about one or another post. Occasionally, one or another with more "old fashioned" social skills would actually pop me a letter in the mail.
Off the top of my head, I believe I've only gotten real honest to goodness snail mail from a couple of blog readers. The note I got yesterday was from one woman who has kindly read and supported me throughout all these years of blogging with occasional handwritten notes of thanks.
You see, this reader grew up near here. Her parents were both under Joe's care as homebound parishioners when we first moved here. I can't say that I have met this dear woman in person. Perhaps I have, once or twice. It seems I remember an in person conversation. But I'm not sure. I do know that I remember her as a person. A mental image. This is O and G's daughter. The one who lives near the Twin Cities. The one who reads my blog and enjoys hearing about things at home.
Her notes to me throughout the years had a positive impact on my writing. It brought me a deeper kind of pleasure to talk about things in the northland when I knew that someone who could see it in her mind's eye was enjoying it. It challenged me to lend visual details to my posts. To dig a little bit for local things of interest.
I found yesterday I was blue in a different kind of way to think that I won't be able to write about this community, changes in the seasons, little nothings in our life here, for much longer. It made me sad that this dear reader will hear only news of our new home and community and people. All good things, of course. But not the same as hearing about home.
And so yesterday, as I scanned this kind note or thanks and support, I remembered this friend fondly. And I thought, "I'm going to write her a little thank you note for her kind words." But then I immediately thought further, "STOP! You know good and well you will never do that. So don't even kid yourself."
But I can write a blog post of thanks and kind thoughts. And I know she will see it. And I hope she will smile. Thanks you for your kind words of encouragement throughout the years.