Reconnect Through Writing

Phyllis Inspiration 34 Comments

When I started this blog, the name was a challenge. The ribbon in a journal marks where we are today and where we will pick up tomorrow. I wrote three times a week and really didn’t know if that was too much or if you had time to read it. But I wanted it to be a journey we take together. So now I write when I have moments to share with you. I would love to know your thoughts.

This week has been a week of change. The cool breezes of autumn are blowing here in Birmingham. I have already had pumpkin spice donuts and look forward to pumpkin spice lattes. I know, I know…I am one of those. I think it’s the spices, not the pumpkin. What is it about cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves that just makes me go nuts? There is something comforting about those aromas. My son Brian is the editor of Bake from Scratch, one of our magazines. He baked an apple spice cake for a TV show he was taping in Augusta, Georgia. I was lucky and got the test cake…I just love it. Do fragrances remind us of special times? Does the smell of cinnamon remind me of cinnamon toast my mom would cook when we were kids? Comfort food…I totally get that. This change to autumn is always a joy for me.

Currently in our lives we want change, not just seasons, but a change back to the way it was before this virus. I want the old familiar to become my new normal. I want something to look forward to where we can gather and feel safe. We need each other and need to know we are still in a world where we matter. So, here is my new plan until the old normal comes back.

I am challenging me and all of us to do one thing to reconnect: write. I have written many posts about letter writing and emails. But now I think it is so vital that we write or email someone that we love every week. I am going to pick a different person each week. It will change our lives as the writers and change the lives of recipients. So many people are in need of encouragement. Letters make us put into words our thoughts about people. It removes us from the whirl around us and takes us to thoughts of admiration, love, encouragement, and prayers. Yes, that is what we all need right now. If we become a group of Ribbon writers, we can change the part of our world in which we live.

I hope you will join me in this new plan. Get out your pens and paper and commit to words your thoughts for a special someone. If you prefer, email that person. It will make your heart happy and theirs. So, from my heart to yours, you are very special. You matter and make a difference in the world.

Love to all,


Comments 34

  1. Dear Phyllis:
    I too have so missed your posts over these past months.
    Please do more of them.
    I’ve always been a letter writer. I will write on until I can no longer do it.
    I miss being with and near people. I also miss going to movies.
    Social distancing has been a whole new experience and so have masks.
    At least we can get out more than we did during lockdown.
    Love all of your magazines. They bring good reading to me.
    Happy Fall.

  2. Thank you Phyllis for your posts! Like everyone else here, I have truly missed hearing as much from you. When my mother passed, reading your posts was such a comfort, but I was unable to reply without stopping and crying. And then your missives seemed to taper off.

    Anyway, writing to others is such fun! I like to invest in unusual or pretty stamps. Then I can’t leave well enough alone, I usually add embellishments to my cards, or start with blank ones and create something.

    Right now I am working on a “chalk board” card for my sister-in-law. First I made an inset for the front with black card stock and put the prettiest chalk board style dimensional sticker of flowers in a basket in the center and used a filigree corner punch to decorate each corner. Then I lined the card with the black stock and applied more of the dimensional garden stickers. A wheelbarrow of flowers, a wide brimmed hat, a shovel, a little script chalk board sign, some sun flowers, etc. It is so cute! My husband and I will compose a birthday message and write it in with silver pen. (I would use a white one if I had one.)

    Notes and letters can be read again and again, sometimes a year or so later, and it brings back treasured memories. So I totally agree with you that sending handwritten notes and letters is a perfect thing to do now. It will lift spirits and strengthen bonds of family and friendship.

    Please write again soon Phyllis!

    Love you to and all your Ribbon Readers,

  3. When my daughter was little, one of her favorite books was Dear Annie, about a grandfather who sends his granddaughter cards and postcards regularly. Her name is Annie, too, so that was part of the appeal. The book is still in print, so I got a copy for her new baby, our first grandchild. Now each month, near the 20th, the day he was born, I send him a card or postcard. This ritual has been really important during COVID as we went 9 months without seeing him in person at one stretch of time!

  4. I feel the same about autumn, pumpkin lattes, and the seasonal changes. Since I’m in California, we haven’t quite reached that nice, cool weather (have been having a heat wave). But today it is cooler and I hope it keeps going in that direction.
    I love the idea of writing and sending cards and/or letters. I recently read a Reader’s Digest article about a woman who began to write cards to a variety of people. Some were store owners, some were friends, some were acquaintances, etc. She wrote each month. She did it for these individuals as thank you’s or to encourage people, but then discovered that doing this also brought her a level of joy and encouragement as well. Thank you for this suggestion. I am going to begin!

  5. I too have missed your posts and the responses from all your lovely readers.
    I love to get hand written cards and letters, even emails. But there is nothing like finding a pretty envelope in the mailbox with a beautiful stamp and handwritten address on it. I have a few friends that love to do this and I in turn love to send them notes as well. Sometimes, it will be after a simple outing with them for coffee and we will both send thank you letters to each other for a lovely day spent together. I correspond with a friend in New Jersey and although we email and talk on the phone occasionally, nothing brings me more pleasure than getting one of her letters all decorated with themed stickers! I always tell her she is one of my favourite authors! Now, when those in person meet ups with friends are rare if not gone all together, I will surely take up your challenge on a more regular basis…what a wonderful idea!

  6. I will definitely take you up on letter writing . I love to receive letters in the mail. It’s a simple task that only takes a few minutes. Thanks for the inspiration !

  7. Thank you for the reminder of letter writing. I always enjoy writing and getting letters. I often send letters to my grandchildren just to say I love you . My how I’ve missed your writing, grateful for your special message.

  8. So glad you keep on going. When this first hit we could not go to church. I wrote cards to all of our church families. Most people were so elated to get a card.

  9. I was so glad to receive your post today. I have missed you. I still send birthday & Christmas cards. I also send sympathy cards & get well cards. After receiving a birthday card from me, a family member told me it was the only real card he received, & it made his day.

  10. I just bought a lot of Halloween and Thanksgiving cards to send to friends and relatives. Today I ordered a gift for my friend’s birthday. We call each other every month or so. We exchange gifts for birthdays and Christmas. We have known each other since we were children. I always buy all different theme note cards. I have my eye on the Cottage Journal sets. I try to match a particular note card to the person’s interests, likes and personality. Another lovely post from you Phyllis.

  11. I have missed your posts very much. I don’t read everything in my inbox but, I always read yours. Letter writing is becoming a lost art. My sister and I have been making and sending cards to family and friends since before corona virus, even more so now. Everyone loves them. Thank you for the reminder.

  12. I enjoy your posts, too and have missed reading them. I too, am sort of “old school” when it comes to correspondence and I love writing letters and cards and hearing from people, likewise.
    I was sort of wondering, like some others have noted, how people can now claim to be “too busy” to write! No one is travelling, few are going to work or school, and most of the people I know are like me, retired! I am wondering if it just the old doldrums, where you know you have tons of work and things you could do, but you are just bored from being bored? 🙂

  13. I keep a record of all my friends,their children,etc to send them birthday cards and other holiday cards. I keep in touch with my friend’s[ that I have known from Junior High School], children and husband. Unfortunately, my friend passed away a few years ago. I enjoy sending greetings to my friends for the special times and holidays. I look forward to receiving and sending Christmas cards, to me they are a treasure.

  14. Thank You Phyllis for another special post. Yesterday I received a letter from a friend who wrote to keep in touch and let me know she is doing fine. I had two friends that I exchanged letters with every few weeks. Unfortunately they both have passed away. One of the ladies had her little granddaughter write to me also. I missed my friends letters We were kindred spirits. I do send holiday and birthday cards to my other friends.

  15. I love, love, love your posts! I missed you. So many of your thoughts are mine, like sisters from another mother! Ha ha! And yes, I agree. Years ago, I purchased Alexandra Stoddard’s book, called “The Gift of a Letter “, which I’ve read many times. She said that many people say that they are too busy. She replied “Busy doing WHAT??” I agree! We always find time for what we want to do. I love sending notes, little gifts, texts, emails. It brings me joy as much the recipients. So please don’t stop writing to us. It warms my heart!

  16. As you said, Phyllis, people are in need of encouragement and prayers. In sending a note, we’re connecting with someone even if we can’t meet in person. Words of affirmation might be the very boost a person may need to move forward in some area of life. Sometimes we do need to be alone but I really believe GOD does want us to be in relationships. Sometimes that little note may just be a lifeline of comfort, of peace, of joy, of compassion.
    Thank you, Phyllis, for reminding us to reach out to someone. By the way, I would read your Ribbon blog every day if you made it a daily thing. 🙂

  17. Phyllis it is so nice to hear from you! I love the ideas suggested in your blog. In the past, I was ALWAYS writing in my journal. Now, for no specific reason, not so much, and I miss it terribly. It is something I need to revive in myself. Like you, I treasure a handwritten note or letter. I am going to take your ideas truly to heart and find some way to send a note to someone. In these times, I would guess that many nursing home residents would LOVE to receive a written word while they are separated from their loved ones with such restrictions. Perhaps we would get a big initiative going with your Victoria / Ribbon followers! Keep your thoughts, ideas, blogs and most especially, your beautiful magazine coming – the world so needs these elegant, refined escapes more than ever!

  18. I, too, have missed your posts. Your thoughts and words often take me back to a time when politeness, refinement, and respect were not a choice – they were ingrained in our very being. We stood in respect when an adult came into a room. Gentlemen, even male children, opened the door for females. We were thoughtful and caring about others, even when we didn’t know them. We all enjoy casual gatherings with friends that don’t call for china, silver, crystal. The personality of life in America is more casual, but the life lessons of courtesy and respect can still be observed and these attributes taught to our children in hopes that they will teach their children.

  19. Phyllis ,
    Your blog reinforces what I’ve done during the pandemic ~ I send notecards. In April and May, I sent at least and often two to may gal pals, book club friends, and others. I’ve always been a writer and consequently, a buyer of greeting cards and notecards. My inventory is extensive so it’s fun to share!

  20. I miss opening up the mailbox and finding a letter or a card. That is one of the things I enjoy about Christmas. I have a few friends who still send cards.
    I took a calligraphy course many years ago. Next spring I am hoping to retire. I have ordered all new pens and books on calligraphy earlier this week. That is one of my many things I hope to return to when life slows down. But, I have been told many times that retirement years don’t slow down they just change. You are always very busy with all the hobbies you have left behind along life’s path and “Y’s” in the journey of life. Maybe that is why I decide to retire a couple of years early. The year of 2020, has truly been a time of reflection and setting priorities in one’s life. Enjoy writing and receiving your letters. We all need to unplug, reset and get connected again with friends and family after this year. May it bring joy to all of you.

  21. Missed the posts here! A great reminder to send more cards, or emails to friends this fall and winter! I fear it will be a lonely one but the more we reach out, we will get the connection back to us! I have tried to reach out and call the elderly but currently they seem to have busier social lives than I have.

  22. Yes, beautiful post! My British pen pal and I have been corresponding since 1950. She is in Yorkshire and I in California. Twice a month a beautiful letter handwritten with care arrives to bring me so much joy. I have been to visit there and she here. I treasure each letter now carefully kept in a box.

  23. Dear Phyllis,
    Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how I should write and reconnect with many people I miss so much. Thank you for this lovely post, for the encouragement to reach out to others. It has been entirely too easy to isolate during this strange long time. Isolation makes everything seem more difficult, so I will find a way to reach out to someone I love with pen and paper or email today. Love this uplifting post from you!
    Warmest wishes-

  24. There is nothing…..absolutely nothing so lovely as opening the mailbox and finding a handwritten letter or card from someone. It says, “I care about you.” And don’t we all have that longing in our hearts to be loved and cared for…and thought of?

  25. Thank you for the reminder and I totally agree! When I was a child we wrote to our relatives that lived away from us. It’s sad how this art is a thing of the past. The only time people connect is a Christmas time thru cards and even that has dwindled away. I still send cards, but don’t get many. At my age though, many of my friends have passed away. I hope your letter encourages many of your readers to take time to reconnect through cards and letters instead of the Internet. It is very special because it lets us know they were thinking about us, not just a duty.

  26. My daughter and I were just discussing this at lunch break today! As the weather turns cooler and dark sooner we are all going to really miss connections. I am going to start writing a few note cards and letters each week for some surprise mail to everyone!

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