When I was young, I loved mail. I waited patiently in a little chair by the blue spruce, the marker for which I wasn’t allowed past until the mail carrier had made his delivery and moved on. The weekly reader was delivered on Wednesdays and I still have a recipe from one of them, peanut butter ice cream. Yum!

But there could be a surprise delivery at any moment; first issue stamps from my uncle in Kentucky, a card from my aunt in Virginia, or a letter from one of my pen pals.

My favorite pen pal was Anne Barlow from Lenzie, Glasgow, Scotland. She was around ten years old in 1973 and her best friends were Jan Fotheringham and Sarah Dougal. She had a big brother, loved the Osmonds, wore school uniforms and also collected stamps. We used to send them back and forth to each other in our letters. I don’t know why we stopped writing. Maybe she moved or we went through one of several address changes through our post office as they adjusted routes. But it just stopped one day.

Lately, I find myself thinking about her. Perhaps it is all the writing that just goes out into the ether-sphere, yet leaves no tangible evidence that it ever existed unless I print a hard copy. I can still hold a few of her letters that I saved; reread the postcards from when she sailed the Loch with her family.

I don’t know whether she got married, had children, writes, sews, dances. But I would love to. So if you could pass this around to your friends, maybe you can help me reconnect with my pen pal, Anne Barlow.

Anne Barlow

Anne Barlow

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