52 Weeks, 52 Letters — Week One

by Katy on January 4, 2011 · 12 comments

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single letter, or so the saying goes.

The 52 Weeks, 52 Letters Project has officially started, so I snuggled up on the couch yesterday and took pen to paper and wrote a long letter to my college friend Jennifer. For some of you, a college friend may be someone who’s been in your life for a few years, but our friendship is in its 24th year and still going strong. This is partly because we haven’t let distance become an excuse for letting our friendship die. And in the age before e-mail or Facebook, this took actual effort.

When she lived in Atlanta, I wrote letters, when she lived in Upstate New York, I wrote letters and when she lived in Spain, I wrote letters. You get the drift. We’ve even visited one another. My family making the two day drive to Wyoming when her husband was working in Cody, and her visits to Brooklyn, London and Portland as I made my way around the world.

She is one of my only friends who actually has kids the same age, which has made this phase of our lives much, much easier. (I was almost 28 when my older son was born, but all our friends waited until at least their mid-thirties to start their families.)

I did not wait until I picked out a pretty card or beautiful stationary. I grabbed a sheet of green typing paper, and filled both sides with my diminished handwriting, (the downside of the computer age) threw a stamp on the envelope and stuck it in the mailbox.

A long chatty letter that requires no electricity, and is much, much more fun than an LL Bean catalog.

Are you participating in the 52 Weeks, 52 Letters Challenge? Please add your blog name to the widget below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela@MyYearWithoutSpending January 4, 2011 at 10:25 am

I’m not participating, but not because I don’t love the idea- it’s because I’m the weirdo who says I already do this! But I am going to make a point of writing out some “long, chatty letters” because most of the time I write cards or postcards. How fun would that be to receive one of those.

I was struck by what you said about how it used to require actual effort to keep in touch with people and nourish a friendship. I cherish my friend from my days in NYC in my 20s, after 20 years we’re still in touch and talking about traveling together. We’ve each visited each other several times, and met up other places as well. It’s been so much fun to see her boy grow up (he fell in love with me when he was five so I’ll always have those photos to blackmail him) and see her become an older version of her smart, funny self.

Thanks for doing this project- many a cold January morning will be brightened by the mail.


Jennifer January 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Wow! I am so honored to be featured in your blog and to find out I’m getting a letter! You are the best Katy. xoxo
P.S. Happy Birthday!


Melissa January 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm

This is really making me want to re-start writing letters to my oldest and dearest friend. When we were little and her parents divorced, we would write letters to each other all the time. When she moved across the country, we wrote letters. When I moved to a different country, we wrote letters (and she came to visit!). Now she lives less than twenty miles away, and we never see each other or write anything more than the occasional facebook comment. Alright, that’s it, I’ve talked myself into it. Count me in!


Karen January 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I’m looking forward to writing lots of letters! I think I’ll pick up with a penpal from long ago, just to get started. Great idea! Do you have a sidebar button for this?


Katy January 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm

That’s a good idea.



Shannon January 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Love this! I just wrote my first letter today as well. I really want to try to make my letters about gratitude and being thankful, since I’m trying very hard to focus on the little things this year. Thanks for the inspiration!


Katy January 4, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Hmm . . . my letter was pretty much bitching and moaning, but there’s value in that as well. Feeling like I have to “happy” at all times is not truthful to myself.



Tammy January 4, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Hi! No blog, but I’m doing the challenge. I sent two cards to older widowed friends of mine.


Susan January 6, 2011 at 6:00 am

Thanks for this challenge it comes at a time where I need to be writing my son. He is in the Navy and his ship is out to sea. There are no emails, no facebook, and phone calls are limited and it is hard to hear what they say when they call. So today I sent my son his first letter of the New Year and I will try to stay with this challenge thanks Katy.


Anita January 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

Katy, I found your project from a friend of a friend I believe,and well, I immediately fell in love with the idea. I finally blogged about it today, and I hope to also get my first letter in the mail.
Thank you so much for this inspiration.


Katy January 6, 2011 at 10:21 am




Karen January 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I wrote three letters today, one of which I had been putting off for . . . four years. Good grief. I’m sure glad you started this.


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