Handwritten Letters, Butterfly Diaries and Other Must-Read July Posts

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July was a whirlwind. It flew in and rushed out before I even knew what was happening. The posts I read by BlogHer members in July were about slowing down and taking time to do things well. And when we don’t do things so well, taking things slowly and steadily can get us back on our feet again. Swelldesigner wrote a post about missing the handwritten letter.

Part of me wants to rally others to "Take letter writing back" and start sending snail mail again, but every time I think about it, my mind becomes consumed with something else and I don't make the effort. I think at this point, a major lifestyle change (forcing myself to stay off the internet/limiting my usage), for me to do this. In this information overload day and age, I can see where this could happen for me down the road.

UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1950s:  Portrait of woman writing letter at desk.  (Photo by George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

It was a great post on it’s own but it was made even better after elhatt read and responded to it in her own post, "Writing, the Old-fashioned Way."

As I wrote my letter this morning, I kept misspelling words (and I consider myself a strong speller) and stumbling over phrases. I’d start new paragraphs and then think of something I should have added to the previous one. I jotted down comments on post-its that I wanted to add at the end.

SomerM wrote a brave post about life after bankruptcy.

That feeling of knowing that things are spiraling out of control was unbearable for the both of us. That constant panic that we could possibly be homeless so far away from family and friends scared us to death. We never confided in anybody our situation because we were dead set on doing this thing on our own, but it was starting to get out of our hands.

Eveningstar1 blogged about her rejection, and then return, to needlepoint.

Eschewing needlepointing and sewing and cooking was the perfect rebellion against the anti-intellectual image my mother and her generation of homemakers represented to me. The premises of the women's movement were attractive as a viable alternative: the promise of being anything you wanted to be (except a homemaker) and having a rich, fulfilling life outside of home and family. If only I could have grasped a bit earlier that these endeavors are not at all mutually exclusive.

Sarah shared her family’s butterfly diaries.

Grandmommy was approached, and asked, “could they please take a caterpillar home’? Permission was granted, so we found ourselves back in New Jersey in the late summer with the questionable prize of an apple green caterpillar, secured in a fish bowl full of dill and fennel stalks and fronds. These I replenished from the grocery store as best I could as the caterpillar digested them. We added a few sticks and dried leaves to make the fish bowl look like a natural ‘habitat.’

Catch the Kids had me wondering what I wanted to look like when I’m ninety-four.

And it was then that I thought of an interesting premise. If I could choose, how would I want to look when I was ninety-four? So, as I waited for my companions, I began watching the older women. Just for ideas. I watched for (what I thought would be) a groomed and well-dressed person with good skin and hair. But surprises lay in store for me.

Surprises lay in store for all of us. Sometimes it's a surprise in our mailbox, sometimes we emerge from our own cocoon and other times it's the surprise of finding out that we have the strength to get back up on our feet after life knocks us down. Slow down, look around and you'll see that there are surprises waiting for you.

Contributing Editor Sassymonkey also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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