52 Weeks, 52 Letters, Weeks 8/9

by Katy on March 1, 2011 · 12 comments


Photo courtesy of The Frugal Girl

This year is zooming along, somehow already March, but more importantly, it’s now the 9th week of the 52 Weeks, 52 Letters Project. Which means that I have now written and mailed nine actual letters to friends and loved ones far and wide.

Last week I mailed a letter to Joanna, my favorite reference librarian at the Belmont Branch Library. Not only do she and I share a love of books and movies, but we’re also both Jewish daughters of Professors. So really, how could we not have bonded? (She’s actually the originator of the letter writing project, which she called “Going Postal.”) I actually mailed the letter while walking to the library, realizing that I could have saved myself 44¢ by handing it directly over. But really,  half the fun of this project is knowing that it is so much more exciting it is to receive an actual letter from the actual mail carrier. I no longer have any memory of what I wrote about, but that’s okay.

Letters don’t have to be earth shatteringly profound to be worth the effort.

This week’s letter went to my aunt Anne who lives in Florida. She’s the youngest sister from my mother’s family of seven kids, and is one of a kind. Anne lived in Portland for most of her adult life, so we know each other well, and I miss having her around. She’s a thrift store queen, smart as a whip and funnier than Russell Brand on a bender.

I know she’ll appreciate being on the receiving end of this project, and is likely to actually write back.

It’s interesting how the ripple effects of my letters are starting to come back to me. My friend Jennifer called me up this weekend and we had a wonderfully lengthy chat about everything under the sun, and my cousin Lynn wrote on my Facebook wall. Neither of which would have happened if I had not mailed them a letter. I am not a tit-for-tat kind of person, and do not expect to receive many return letters. Which bothers me not one whit.

Have you been sending or receiving letters as part of the 52 Weeks 52 Letters Project? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather March 1, 2011 at 11:53 am

Wow! The list of those participating is quite long now! I have been mailing letters, although I must admit to including thank yous in my count. I think receiving the letter in the mailbox is the best part of it. I love receiving letters. Thank you for starting this. Off to write #9


Anita March 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Hi Katy, I’m still writing and loving this project. I’ve received 3 letters to date, two in response to my letters and one from another blog friend who wanted take the challenge too. It’s been so nice to sit down and write, and much of it is about nothing big, but it’s also got me sending birthday cards again, and dropping quick notes to friends I know are having a rough week. Today I’m writing to a friend who lives just across town, not 2 miles from me. We’ve become friends because our daughters played HS soccer together, and we’ve discovered we have a love of books, similar tastes and she has a sense of humor I adore!
I’ve been updating every 2 or 3 weeks on my blog…all is well, and I thank you for planting this seed.


Jude March 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I’m still playing catch up. I am three letters behind. To date I’ve been writing mainly thank-you notes and fan letters to authors. Last week I sent my first letter to a friend. This week I’m going to write to a relative, my mother perhaps. Years ago before email I wrote regularly to people. When I went away to college, I wrote weekly letters home and when I went abroad I wrote travel letters to my sister-in-law; she kept them and gave them back to me twenty years later–a nice record of a once-in-a-lifetime trip. My husband, then boyfriend, wrote me letters when he studied abroad in Oxford, England. I kept all of them.


Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire March 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I’m not participating in this, but I’m enjoying your posts about it. I think it’s a really neat idea. I think people often underestimate the power of a handwritten note. Our cat died 2 weeks ago, and every sympathy card that has arrived has meant the world to me. And I just wrote about a billion thank-you notes last night to thank various people for their help during a recent youth-group event. I figure that personal thanks makes people feel appreciated, and when people feel appreciated, they’re also more likely to be willing to help in the future.


Tracy Balazy March 2, 2011 at 5:37 am

I’m so sorry to hear about your cat, Anne Marie! And you’re right — when my beloved cat died at 16 a few years ago, the handwritten letters and cards I received meant a lot!!


Megan March 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Wow! I just found your blog through Frugal Girl (don’t you just love her) and I am loving it! I’d challenge myself to this whole letter writing thing except I am knee-deep in my 365 decluttering project. Cool blog, I can’t wait to read more.


Jb March 1, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I am loving the letter writing. I have sent out more than 9, but i am really enjoying it. I have not received one, but I have gotten several emails telling me that people have received my letters. I think that is hysterical


Katy March 1, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I’ll take what I can get!



Erin March 1, 2011 at 11:55 pm

I have sent out 5. Most include photo’s that I have wanted to pass on to my children’s friend’s parent’s when the child visited for the day or we went on an excursion.
I have a lot of negativity going on in my life right now with a trial (hit by a drunk) and don’t want that to come out in my letters…so I am going to wait till all has settled down before I write to my friends.
Thanks for the challenge!


Katy March 2, 2011 at 12:37 am


My letters are hardly full of puppies and sunshine. A number of them were pretty honest about some stressful stuff that’s been going on in my life. I am very sorry to hear about your trial, and am sure that your loved ones would not mind hearing how this is affecting you.



Jackie March 2, 2011 at 7:41 am

I haven’t heard about this project, but I have been thinking more about how I should send some handwritten letters. They are wonderful to receive.


pat March 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I’ve been sending out letters but haven’t received any back yet. I did, however, receive a couple of emails from a friend I sent a letter on Week 2 which has been great. And I’ve gotten a couple of comments on my Facebook which I rarely use but that was nice too.


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