a worthy investment


Dear friends,

I know I’ve been a little absent here lately.    Of late, I have been catching up with letters, (I’m up to the November letters now!  Thanks for your sweet patience with me.) and letting the blog sit quietly.   I realized there just aren’t enough hours in the day right now - so I’m going to have to find some more.  *smile*   As Laine pointed out years ago, there’s really only one time of day that no one else wants (except for perhaps a nursing babe and I don’t have any of those) and that is the early morning hours.   It really is amazing how much alone time you can have if you are willing to do without sleep.

I’ve had lots of failure in the area of waking early, and plenty of years where it was truly beyond my capacity to even try.   But I’m learning by trial and error that early morning success is helped along by good habits:  eating nourishing food (a green smoothie and a salad every day give me so much energy!) and avoiding junk; regular exercise; a power nap in the afternoon (10 or 20 minutes and I am recharged for the evening); and going to bed early at night all help me feel ready to wake up in the morning. 

As I told a friend this week, letter writing is truly an investment of time in others.  A breezy four or five page letter might take me an hour to an hour and a half to write.   In our busy lives, that’s a significant amount of time.   When I hold a letter from a friend in my hands and know the extravagance that was spent on those words, I am so blessed.   Any urgent communication is easily done through the phone or online, but this venerable tradition of words put on paper is a gift, pure and simple.

Thank you for your gifts, to me and to each other.

I found this letter last week – it was written in 1785- and fell in love with the spunky, funny girl who wrote it.   Two hundred years later her voice leaps off the page and reminds me that while we are writing history in letters, we are also leaving evidence for others to know us as human beings.  I hope you enjoy her wit more than the hapless Hugh of Huntingdon surely did.


To Polly Pearce from Molly Tilghman:

“I had begun to think my dear Polly, that I was entirely forgotten by all the World beyond twenty Miles of this place, when two Days ago I receiv’d a charming Packet of Letters among which was one from your Ladyship, for which you will accept my thanks in due form.

How unlucky was I in not being able to see Aunt Pearce.  I maneuvered a thousand ways to bring it about but my evil genius prevail’d and as I was not happy enough (any more than yourself) to be mistress of an air Balloon, I was oblig’d to give the matter up.

[…] How often my dear Polly do I wish for you, particularly when the walking hour arrives, and I sally out by myself. O this Henny of ours [a recently married and pregnant sister] is the saddest Creature you can conceive.  If she drags her bloated self to the Wind Mill, she thinks so prodigious an exertion entitles her to groan and complain the whole Evening until nine o’Clock, when she departs, and is seen no more till the next morning. […]

The only Beau within my reach is the serene Hugh of Huntingdon, and I am sure he is what the Philosophers have so long been in search of, a perfect Vacuum.   If you shou’d stumble on any of the learned tribe, pray send them to me… After these my complaints, you will not wonder at receiving no entertainment from my Letter.  News, which is the life of Correspondence, is a Commodity not dealt in here. What on earth could induce you to ask me about Mat Tilghman’s Wedding.  It was really sending from New Castle for Coals.  Why Child, are you not in the high road of intelligence?  Eight negotiating Letters in your hands at once, and yet ask information of me.  You have certainly lost your wits, or know not how to make use of them which is much the same thing. […]

Johnny Francis is going to be married to a Miss Brown of Rhode Island.  Peggy Chew says so, and that the Wedding is to be soon, these young Spriggs are all marrying.


Miss Pearce

At James Tilgham’s Esq

Chester Town


Happy writing this week!  May all your investments on paper bring you many happy returns.  

much love,