Lately my dad and I have been exchanging letters (and emails). We live 700 miles apart and although we chat on the phone often, these letters give us a chance to jot things down that we might not think of on the phone. He's usually suggesting I listen to The Monkees or read an intriguing article and I tend to send photos from my childhood or artwork that made me think of him - as in a simple postcard, nothing fancy.
I am the epitome of a sentimentalist, which I inherited from my father and my mother, so I love that this correspondence becomes a keepsake. Most of the time our letters are scrawled out on yellow paper from a legal pad or, in my case, multiple pieces of stationery because I tend to run out of space. But I love that I can hide these notes away in a drawer and reach for them down the road or frame one because my dad's handwriting is unique to him and special to me. I could spot his small, methodical cursive letters from a mile away.
I also love that the writing and the reading of these letters slows me down. On the phone, I'm doing a million other things - driving home from work or cooking dinner, at the grocery store or, at the very least, pacing around my house. When I get a letter in the mail, though, or sit down to write one, I'm forced to be still. I have to think about what I'm going to write. I have to go upstairs to get a stamp. I have to buy stamps. I have to walk out to the mailbox, hope it gets to where its going and wait for a response.
He's way better at it - more prompt and consistent, whereas I'm more scattered and forgetful. But it's been a sweet habit nonetheless. It's perfect to begin any time of year, though especially for Father's Day to say, 'Thanks for being you, Dad. I wouldn't be me without you.'