A couple of months back, just after my birthday actually, I received a parcel of a couple of books.
A friend of ours (originally a customer, but now friend too) had sent me them, as she knew that I study and collect folklore, particularly connected to flowers, plants and trees.
She didn't know it had been my birthday, but I noticed on the enclosed paperwork, that she had ordered the books on the date of my birthday.
I was really surprised and delighted to receive the unexpected and thoughtful gift, so obviously I wanted to thank her. However I knew that she had been going through a time of particularly bad health, linked to an ongoing medical condition, and was therefore in and out of hospital. So rather than try and catch her on the phone, I decided to send her a card, with a 'Thank you' message inside, which I duly did, and thought no more of it.
Then yesterday the lady rang up and the first thing she said was how nice it had been to receive my 'thank you' letter. 'It was so nice,' she said, 'That I read it over and over again!'
I, of course, said that she was welcome and felt very touched that my simple note had meant so much to her.
When I thought about it afterwards though, I realised how letter writing and sending notes, had become far less common than it was only a few years ago.
Although Graham and I do write regularly to several friends and also send out a Newsletter to all our current customers whenever we send out a Mail Shot. I also try to make sure that anyone who puts a note in with their order will also get a little hand written note in reply.
But perhaps we are becoming the exception rather than the rule.
I thought about how nice it is to receive a letter, note or card. Anything, to be honest, which is a bit of personal contact through the post, rather than the normal bills or adverts. And also how nice it is to be able to re-read a note or letter, and keep a really good one to be savoured several times. We always put cards that we receive up on the mantlepiece, so they can be seen and also give us a warm glow when we look at them.
Judging from our friend's reaction, it made me think that I ought to make the effort to drop a note to more people.
I know we may feel in constant contact with people through social media, but there is nothing like opening an envelope and handling a letter or card. An email card just doesn't have the same effect - to be honest a written note and a card whether bought or home made, looks like a bit more thought and effort has gone into it.
It doesn't cost a lot, but it does feel nice to receive one and know that someone, somewhere has taken the time and trouble to think of us.