The Barn at the Homestead

The Barn at the Homestead

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tending . . .

In a phone conversation with a dear friend recently, I was reminded that it has been some time since I've posted on my blog.  In many ways, I am still sorting out this "blogging" world.  And lately, I have been tending things: my cutting garden, my vegetable garden, my little flock, and tending to the cure of souls.  Blogging hasn't been a high priority.

The call from my friend, however, sparked something within me.  In a recent publication I read that several states have dropped handwriting as an educational requirement.  Saddens me to read this, especially as a former teacher.  It is not surprising in some ways; our world is moves swiftly with computers, cell phones, etc.  But to give up handwriting seems unwise.

I am grateful for my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Harry Broadus, for giving me the gift of penmanship. A wonderful and resourceful teacher, he gave me the thirst for reading, writing and . . . well maybe not arithmetic! (I've often laughed and said I became a priest because I couldn't do math!).  Our daily handwriting lessons fostered a love of letter writing.  In Junior High School, I began to correspond with a girl in England--we wrote to each other for many years.

Today, I am blessed to have an Amish pen-pal.  I enjoy the use of email and Facebook (not on Twitter yet); but I love opening my mailbox, pulling out a letter from my Amish friend, and sitting down with a cup of coffee to savor the joy of her life.  To read about Amish frolics and quilting bees, to hear about her gardening efforts, and stories of traveling by buggy all told in her hand writing means that she made time to write me. Taking time to read her letters means that I must slow down; something I often need in this busy life.

I'm not likely to give up using my computer and modern means of communicating; but I will be tending the art of pen on paper for many days to come.  Handwriting doesn't need to by a dying art.