I grew up in a small section of an historic town in New England.  Most of the houses dated from the eighteen hundreds and earlier (Okay, everyone in Europe, stop laughing.  I know you don’t think that’s very old.).  In the center of our neighborhood, we had a general store which all the kids fondly called the “little store.”  It carried all kinds of penny candy, soda, and ice cream.  My mom is still amazed with what I was able to buy there with a quarter—attributing it to some sort of genius in thrifty shopping.  Next door to the Little Store was our post office.  No one in our area had mail delivered—everyone had a p.o. box.  Part of everyone’s daily ritual was to stop by the post office, pick up their mail, and say hi to Mrs. Ryan and Joe.  It made our neighborhood special.  I miss it.

On the down side of my upbringing in the midst of idyllic Americana,  we had to go to the post office to send mail, too.  We had to buy our stamps there, and if the window was closed, we had to come back another time.  For us kids, that meant another twenty minute walk.  Usually the need for sugar hit us at times other than scheduled window hours, and stamp-less, unsent mail would travel home in sticky hands.

I tell you this very long story to explain my deeply rooted non-talent of writing and sending mail, particularly thank you notes.  I believe in thank you notes.  I buy them.  I have filled out hundreds of them.  But many, I am VERY sorry to say, never get sent.  Since I am trying to raise my kids to be polite, I am working hard to change.  I posted these thank you notes from Papyrus as penance.  Aren’t they pretty?  They have decorated envelopes, which are hard to find.  And I bought them in good faith that I will be better in the future.