Monday Musings – Can you Still Write Your Name?

When was the last time you actually picked up a pen or pencil and wrote something? Did you find that your once-tidy handwriting looked a lot like a chicken with poop on its claws walked over the piece of paper? Mine does. After decades of punching everything out on keyboards, the dexterity needed to neatly sign or write something has nearly left me. Think about it, we don’t even write checks anymore like we used to. Everything is done online or with debit cards. The closest I come anymore to signing my name is using that fat, black stylus on a debit card machine. Those signatures are like the headless horseman, missing the first letter because the machine rarely picks it up. LOL (Let me introduce myself, I’m eclan Sands. #:0)

Do you know that educational professionals are currently considering not teaching cursive writing anymore? I think that would be a huge mistake because handwriting skills are part of our history and if we don’t teach handwriting we’ll also lose the ability to read it. Future students of history would be dependent on scholars (who are all too often led astray in their historical representations by their own personal biases) for information regarding what went on a decade, two decades, a century ago in the world. If you aren’t aware of past mistakes in history, you’re destined to repeat them.

Besides, who’s to say that current technology will always exist? Have you seen the show Revolution? I love that show! You’re probably chuckling now, thinking I’m being silly but trust me, our enemies abroad are looking at EMP weaponry as I write these words. What’s an EMP, you ask?  An electromagnetic pulse is a surge of energy that destroys anything electronic. Lightning is a form of EMP and you know how much destruction a single lightning strike causes. Think about spreading that destruction over a much wider area. In a nutshell that’s what an EMP weapon would do. It would knock out electricity in a wide area. All of it. Cars wouldn’t start, computers wouldn’t work. Cell phones would be dead. Nothing you think you need to survive would work. There’d be nothing. And we’re not talking about waiting an hour for the power company to fix a downed cable, folks. We’re talking major outages that could potentially last weeks or months.

Not good. And if we don’t know how to write how will we communicate in an electricity free world? You certainly won’t be reading books on your Kindle anymore! How will news be spread? Strictly by word of mouth? That’s pretty limiting.

Anyway, that’s a lot deeper than I intended to get on this. I just wanted to say that, until I started addressing my Christmas cards a while ago, I wasn’t thinking about the fact that my fingers were forgetting how to write. And I realized how bad that would be. I used to have really nice handwriting. Now I write like a doctor and all my stuff looks like prescriptions. So, take one Christmas card and call me in the morning. Or just wait for the digital version. LOL

Happy writing, everybody!  Use it or lose it.


Monday Musings – What’s Old is New

Over the years I’ve grown more and more drawn to old things…antiques. I love them because of the scars they bear, which tell the story of their long and useful lives and give them character. I also love to think about the stories behind those items. Why does that jelly cabinet have a missing leg ornament? How did the corners become ragged on the old pantry? Who sat on that antique bench? What secrets were told there? How many lives were irrevocably changed on its scarred and saggy surface? Was there maybe a proposal? A first kiss?

The idea fascinates me. These items carry with them a physical signature of the events that shaped them. The careless child who gouged out a chunk of the ancient, roll top desk…the beloved puppy that chewed a corner off a rough-hewn dresser. Each item encapsulates a part of history.

You might be aware that I recently moved into my own little paradise in the woods. The cabin-like feel of my new house makes it a natural for antiques. I’m enjoying finding just the right antiques to place in just the right places in the new house. For example, today, a handyman is transforming an old attic door into a gate to keep my dogs off the stairs. It’s a really cool old door, made of darkly stained wood that bears evidence of decades of hard use. It has a really cool handle that moves within a cutout at the side of the door. I can picture someone carving the grip by hand and notching out the opening that seats it the same way. It’s aesthetically pleasing and functionally practical and I love it.

Besides, I like the idea that something which might have been discarded because it’s old and imperfect has been given a new job to do.

It gives me hope for myself as I’m dragged kicking and screaming toward my own antique years.

Happy Reading everybody!