The Art of Correspondence

My grandmother was many things.

She was the firm and small loving hand gripping my arm in the grocery store to deter me from poking the packaged meats (don’t ask, but if she wasn’t watching, I would go over and poke and smash the ground beef and steaks in the meat case. I never punctured the cellophane. I just liked to watch the indentations of my fingerprints slowly disappear in the meat. It’s weird, I know). She never truly scolded me, but her firm hand around my small wrist was enough punishment because I felt the embarrassment of getting caught and doing wrong. 

She was the steady and ever working hands dicing onions and celery into the tiniest and uniformed pieces, picking cold Old Bay covered steamed crabs for crab cakes with a calm and unhurried patience. There never seemed to be a rush to finish, but her pace was constant and steady, and her movements deliberate. 

She was the pointed index finger for emphasis. In times of frustration or emphasis, it was always the index finger, slightly bent with an extra shake if she was serious, but never the middle finger. 

Her hands held kindness, patience, hard work, and restraint, but most of all love.

She was also the hand that mastered the art of correspondence. It’s a dying art, but she held on tight. Cards at birthdays– even for our blasted and ornery dog, articles cut out of newspapers and mailed. When my dad suffered a major injury, my grandmother sent him cards with notes of encouragement and comics every week. She was the the art of correspondence. To write a card, send an article, to sign “Love You XOXO” was her way of saying, “I’m thinking about you right now, and I took the time to sit down, write you a note, and mail it to you.”  She got it.  

Today, we send text messages, emails, snapchats, and post comments on facebook walls, but there is something a bit more personal and sincere, and definitely tangible to a handwritten note. 

Handwritten Correspondence is much more lovely with gorgeous cards. Here are some of my favorites:

The Letter Bird

Her cards and envelopes are fun and gorgeous.

Look at her Golden Girls inspired cards:

art of correspondence

source:The Letter Bird, etsy


Perfect for blank notecards. I love the crispness of the design, and I LOVE these lined envelopes. 

correspondence 1


Kate Spade

My good friend Jackie, another master of the handwritten note, often uses these clean and wonderful Kate Spade correspondence cards. They are simple and classic, and it doesn’t help that Jackie has beautiful handwriting!

correspondence 2



Yes, my grandmother was many things, but everything that she was was inscribed with “love” and an “xoxo.” 

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