This pen pal of mine? Is Grandma Ruth.
Ruth and I chat on the phone every once in a while, and I know she enjoys that. I, however, suck at talking on the phone. There's something about the phone that I truly dislike. I love to hear her voice and the way our conversations wander from here to there.
But opening the mailbox and spotting a brightly colored envelope with her return address on it makes me feel instantly grounded and a little giddy. I take the mail upstairs and separate her letter from the bills and credit card offers, to be read and savored once everything I have to do has been done and I can curl up in the corner of the sofa, the only focus of my attention on the words she has written.
My grandma is at the point in her life where she asks which of her things her kids and grandkids would like to own once she passes away. There are a few post-its with my name on objects throughout her home, but the letters and the love and the pieces of herself that she's shared with me are what I'll go to again and again once she's no longer here, writing to me about the latest finds at her local farmer's market.