October 13, 2010

Paper & Polish

Once upon a time I told you I'd post pictures of my dining table after I got all the wood cleaned & polished. I promise I didn't forget. My digital camera died a few months back so I had to wait to use up the rest of my film, drop it off for developing, wait a week for it to come back, and scan the pictures. I'd nearly forgotten what life was like before we went digital.

Can you imagine what your life would be like today if you unplugged your computer, hid your digital camera and turned off your cell phone? This actually leads me to my topic for today. Zann snuck a question or two into the Ask FarmWife inbox last week.

Do you miss the days of paper letters? I know you and I use to write via paper mail but now I find it hard to put pen to paper because I feel so busy and it is oh so much easier to read your blog or FB. But occasionally I miss the excitement of going to the mailbox and finding a letter. Do you think the post office will eventually go out of business or bankrupt? And while we are on this train of thought do you think newspapers and paper/ non-electronic books will survive?

Yes. Yes I do miss actual paper letters. I miss the thrill of finding something in my mail box that isn't addressed to FarmWife or Current Resident and isn't a bill. I miss catching up on the lives and thoughts of my friends. I miss stationary and penmanship. But I also miss sticking that stamp on the corner of my carefully addressed envelope and sliding it into my mail box. I miss putting pen to paper & feeling the ink flow along with my words. There's something very tactile about letter writing that you don't get with a keyboard & monitor.

I love Facebook & my blog. I love the instant gratification they provide and the mass distribution they involve. I like knowing that my mother can catch up on our adventures at the same time as my junior high youth minister's wife. But I do so miss actual correspondence. I do fear for the future of our postal service but not to the extent of it closing....after all, how would people get the packages they've ordered on line if the USPS is gone?

The most sobering thought of all is the possible end of actual, non-electronic books. I adore books. I love the smell of them. I love the feel of them. I love having a bundle of paper tucked into my purse that has the power of transporting me out of the doctor's office waiting room and into Elizabethan England. Sure, part of me would really love a Kindle, but it would look a bit funny perched on my book shelf next to my collection of Jane Austen novels. It would be lovely if BabyGirl could carry home a small electronic device instead of the 27 pounds of text books she currently totes, but I would miss the sound of pages turning as she searches for the answer to her geography questions.

No, I'm sorry, but I need books. I need libraries. I need paper.

*I'm tucking the pictures I promised into this post. I wish they'd have turned out better, but I hope you can see the difference in the chairs before & after they were cleaned & oiled. The darker chair hadn't been touched. If they're hard to see, you can try clicking on the pictures to blow them up a bit. I can say I fully recommend and will endorse both the Arm and Hammer degreaser and the Citrus Polish I used.


Penny said...

the chairs look great! and for books...I would be the saddest person on earth if we didnt have books..I love reading and do alot of it..I have EVERY Danielle Steel book she has ever written, in hardback, on my book shelf. I love reading her stories of love and happy endings...and then there is Karen Kingsbury...love love her books too..and Nickolas Sparks...great love stories, I even have an autographed copy of "Dear John"...i could go on and on about books...so please, let's keep them..forever!!

zann said...

I miss them too. We should get back to them one of these days. Quite honestly I don't think books will ever stop being printed, they are too tactile and much less prone to malfunction than technology. It was just a discussion we would often have when the higher ups at the newspaper I worked for would tell us that "newspapers and all written media is dying!! Everything must go on the web." I personally don't believe that. I believe newspapers may decrease exponentially but will never fully die out. And books will always be around. The postal system may go bankrupt but I think they just need better management. I still get plenty of junk mail so I know people are still using it. Your chairs look good.

HeatherInTheBoro said...

I love books to for all the same reasons. I was never big on writin letters but I loved receiving them. I find it must easier to type especially with spell check. I don't think the post office will go away but I think it needs big changes such as hours of availability and delivery. Did you use the degreaser on the leather and brass? Oh btw I started my own blog I think I will give it a try, I always like to talk to people but rarely do I get to talk to adults and if I do it is usually about E-man. I am including my site if you want to check it out if not I am not going to be offended. http://heatherintheboro.blogspot.com/