Looking Back with Hindsight

No one is born with their future written in stone; it took me years to find my own path.  Looking back I can see now what I couldn’t see then, that the tiniest inspiration, if you love it enough, can be the gateway to a future. For instance, don’t laugh, (and most of you probably already know) but I always got an A in handwriting.  At the time, no one got very excited about that (although, when I was around fifteen, my dad did take something I wrote to work to show his co-workers, something the daughter will never forget ), but really, how much more insignificant could an “achievement” be?  Would you ever imagine there could be a life in handwriting?  Me, either.

But yes, it can happen.  Which, by the way, means anything can happen! This is the top of my calendar page for March.  Musica?  Oui!  It’s a celebration of good old-fashioned letter writing.  I love my grandma’s old letters that all start with “Sue Darling;” my old boyfriend’s letters; all the letters from my best friend Diana when I left California to move to Martha’s Vineyard. Our letters flew back and forth and now they’re like little diaries.  They never get old; their details capture and hold on to a moment in time like almost nothing else.  Except for the photos, everything on that calendar page was either written or painted by hand. The old letter in the upper left was one written by a beau to Joe’s great, great grandmother in 1881.  On the right, is the front, inside, and back of a card I wrote to my grandmother when I was eight.  As you can see, I was so excited to get to the p.s., I almost forgot to sign my name first!  I’ve always been a P.S. Person!

Goodbye cursive? Get outta here!  They’ve been talking about taking cursive out of schools.  I saw this newspaper in a gas station while traveling last fall and practically cried before I ran to get the camera!  My sister says the school her eight-year-old twins go to is no longer teaching cursive!  Luckily my little nephews are amazing artists; they want to know how to do cursive and Shelly teaches them.

 I think learning cursive was the first connection between my brain, a pencil, and whatever artistic talent I had; moving the pencil just so to form letters, to make a little curl on an E, to bend the top of a T.  I don’t know if it happened that way for other artists — but what if it was the same thing for some of  the most talented artists, for example, like Monet, or DaVinci (who taught himself to write cursive backwards!), or John Singer Sargent?  What if it was???  No pencil, no connection = just maybe, no art.

And for sure, two out of these three books could never have been written if it wasn’t for cursive.  Not to mention the Declaration of Independence, which wouldn’t have been half so interesting or informative if it had been written perfectly, on a computer, all mistakes and cross-outs deleted.

I have nothing against a printed book, love love love them in fact, but

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this kind of book makes me feel history more than any printed book could ever do.  Rachel (we met as pen pals and now we are dear friends for twenty years; go say hello if you have time!) sent me this old diary she found for sale in an antiquarian bookstore in England where she lives; she knew it would be my cup of tea, and she was so right!

This diary was written by a twelve-year-old British girl named Alice.  She writes about her lessons with “mademoiselle,” about her dog, about teatime and what she ate; and about how much she whistles, which is practically every night.  She really loves to whistle!  “Dec. 4, 1906 Nothing special today, whistled in the evening.”  It’s a little treasure; she might have thought it was “nothing special” but it is to me.  I wonder what she was like as a grown woman?

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I would love to have known Margaret Cavendish!  And, just imagine, no this:

I have no doubt at all that Nancy Luce’s writings and little books were inspired by her simple everyday school life here on the island, learning to make her letters.  Despite her illness and loneliness, she still managed, through her handwriting (and her heart), to become the most famous person on Martha’s Vineyard in the late 1800’s.

And for sure, this would look very different if it wasn’t handwritten; my favorite book I ever wrote; the diary of our adventure in England.  Sure it could be typed, but I love all the mess in this diary, it’s real, with crossed out lines and misspellings and lots of exclamation points!!!! I tried to make this first page neat, within reason, I didn’t have a ruler, but inside it looks more like my other diaries:

This was part of my diary entry for January 19, 1978; the first time I broached the question of how “real” writing was done.  Sometimes people tell me they don’t want to use their handwriting in their scrapbooks and on recipe cards because they think it’s so bad.  Could it be any worse than this?  Would it really matter?  Wouldn’t a great, great, great grandchild love seeing any kind of handwriting at all, as long as it belonged to you?

I’ve been keeping a diary on and off since I was nine, and constantly since I was thirty.  These are probably the most embarrassing items I own.  They’re bare bones, pathetically truthful, “scream of consciousness;” running the gamut of emotional health from A to B and will all have to be burned one day.  They know too much.  I never thought about “writing” when I wrote them, which is too bad; I would have liked to see myself wax poetic!  I left out lots of details and told things that no sane person would ever tell.  Because I wasn’t thinking!!!  This is the truth, there was no thinking going on!!!

I was a gut-spiller in my diaries, and yet, they are part of me and my life, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, I am married to them.  I bought my House of Creativity inside those pages!  Our Christmases are there. My kitty, Pooh, died there.  I moved to Martha’s Vineyard inside those books, wrote my first cookbook and met Joe.  And without cursive, all that important stuff would be lost!

And you know what else?  Without cursive, here would be no more of these!!

So I’m declaring this day, March 10th, “I Love Cursive Day,” and in honor of the celebration I am giving away not one, but three, things that will exercise your cursivity and leave a little herstory for the folks in 3012, who are apparently going to need it.

 First off, I’ll send the winner of our drawing a package of these How to Be Happy Notecards.  So she can send a little note to someone she loves, and put it on paper to last forever. 

In addition, the package will contain a signed copy of my new Grandma, Tell Me Your Story book.  I wish so much I had one of these when my Grandma was alive; there are lots of family memories lost forever.  I would have loved to know more details of her childhood.  I never did hear about her favorite dress.  

 The book is lined, and filled with good questions for a Grandma to answer, the ones I would have liked to ask; “real” ones, such as “Did you ever leave school without permission?” And, “Did you like to dance; did your dances have names? Who taught you the steps?” (That’s where I would write that my first dance partner was our refrigerator door handle!)  When finished, this book will be something a family will cherish forever.  If the winner isn’t a Grandma, I’m sure she will know one or have one and it will make a wonderful gift!

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And last but not least, this.  It’s my newest recipe keeper, and I’ll be signing this one too.  It’s smaller than our three-ring-binder-recipe-keepers which means it would be a quicker project to put together; the letter stickers come with it so you can add a name on the cover; you just fill in the recipe pages with your favorite family recipes, gathered in one place, to save forever, perfect for a newly wed daughter or son.

To enter the drawing for all three items, you have to be actually on my website, which most of you are (some people have the blog emailed to them via subscription, which means there is no comment button; if that’s you, just go to www. and leave a comment by clicking the word “comment” at the bottom of this post.  That’s all, and in a few days, charmingly talented “Vanna,” our in-house random number generator, will choose a winner.  Join my quest to save the cursive!  And have a wonderful weekend girlfriends!


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1,532 Responses to Looking Back with Hindsight

  1. Natalie says:

    In Indiana we are also doing away with cursive writing taught in school. What a shame, a new generation will not know how to sign their name… I used to love practicing writing my name. It was my signature, who I was, How would I make my N? What about the P? When I was getting married I had to practice my new last name signature and I was 23!! I have three teen age children and when they have to sign something, they act like it’s torture.. Ah well, Another art lost..

  2. JADA BERNARD says:

    Hello Susan, I loved this blog! I am with you on the cursive writing. My 10 year old daughter loves to write in cursive and print. She also is so proud of her “A” in handwriting every report card. She will set at home with a notebook, pencil, and one of my recipe books and just write all night. I think it is wonderful for her to be so proud of herself for her great handwriting. Thanks for all the wonderful thoughts and blogs. Have a great day!

  3. Diana says:

    Hi Susan: I was horrified when I heard the news of the potential demise of cursive! ACK!! Can it really be that “educated” people would think this is a good idea?… oh, off my soapbox..but still.. unheard of!! I say NO.. and NO… Letters and writing give way to thought and reasoning and I so LOVE getting something exciting in the mail.. handwritten. I think many people today just don’t have confidence in their own writing ability and of course, no patience since this is an instant gratification world. But really, writing is instant gratification .. and art.. and remembrance…It is precious to have old love letters and recipes and cards from loved ones still present and those that have gone on before us. I for one will NEVER give up on the Crusade for Cursive!!! THanks for the blog and the opportunity to receive such beautiful goodies! I hope Vanna picks me!! 🙂

  4. Kristen says:

    My son who is in second grade attends a private school and the first half of this school year all he could talk about is how he couldn’t wait to learn cursive later in the year. Well, they started after Christmas and that’s all he wants to do is practice his cursive writing! He says it makes him feel “grown up.” He even earned a penmanship award at school for doing so well. His teacher has written notes home to let us know how excited the kids have been to begin cursive writing. As well as for all the other reasons, it seems sad to take away something that is so exciting to children at this age.

    • sbranch says:

      I think they see it as art! So that makes it fun. Love kids, they are so connected to the things they love.

  5. Rebecca says:

    I love writing letters to my good friends and family! My dear friend Eve and I met while volunteering with Americorps NCCC on the East Coast. We became fast friends and when the year of service was over, she went back to Austin, TX and me to Seattle. To keep our friendship going, we write letters back and forth to each other. I cherish all her letters and feel a rush of happiness when I see them in my mailbox. We rarely ever talk on the phone, but our letters keep us connected. 🙂

  6. Marla Hill says:

    I love the old fashioned tradition of sending cards and letters and continue to do so with my best buddies and family. I’m afraid it will become a lost art! Thanks for all you do to help preserve the old fashioned and simple pleasures of life!

  7. Donna Szybowicz says:

    What a great idea. Thank you Susan.

  8. Karen Hess says:

    Oh my, Susan, I would have to echo all the thoughts and feelings you have regarding cursive handwriting. As a retired elementary school teacher, I had the pleasure of guiding my students through the beautiful learning process of cursive handwriting. They struggled, but oh how pleased they were as they perfected their “signature style!”

    My grandfather was a calligrapher and his daughters (one was my mom) and son had the most beautiful handwriting. Mom saw to it that our (2 brothers and me) penmanship was worthy and readable! Through the years my penmanship evolved with different “styles.” I’m happy to say that at age 64 I’m very pleased where my style has settled in.

    My greatest fear is that the electronic age will devour our written art and we will lose the written-by-hand word: letters ~ love notes~ recipe cards ~ journals and more….

    Thank you for declaring March 10th “I Love Cursive Day!” Even though I’m 3 days late in popping in to your blog, I’m raising my teacup and will celebrate today!

  9. Karen Saunders says:

    wheeeee!! we got snow here in Oregon. I think the seasons are changing, need to get the almanac out but we’ve had a pretty mild winter. when i was born in april 48 there was a blizzard!! whoa. i bet you had snow too on MV. i know everyone is anxious for spring.. it will probably hit us like a ‘drive by’ but we need that snow back here….our snowpack isn’t deep enough. anyway…have a great day miss susan.

  10. Dear Susan,
    I have a shameful confession. My “penmanship” (to put it charitably) is HORRID. I yearn to have lovely handwriting but really don’t know where to begin. Help? Thanks in advance.

    • sbranch says:

      When I want to be legible, which isn’t always, I just write slowly and try to form the letters more carefully. But your handwriting is precious to someone no matter what it looks like. That’s the important thing.

  11. Sigh! These are some of my favorite types of posts. The ones where you talk about being creative. Where you assure us that anything can happen. Where you share what a personal thing your creativity is for you. I started painting with watercolors 2 years ago (at the age of 40!) and it has completely changed how I think about myself and what I am capable of. So satisfying! I can’t say thank you enough for the inspiration you are to me. Your story brings me joy and contentment and your blog is a happy place for me (and so many others!) Keep it up, Susan. We love you!

  12. Gail Kelly says:

    Hi Susan,

    I just love your blog!! Just like one of your readers stated, it’s my happy place to go to. Love what you write and the pictures that you take, it’s like being there. Keep up the good work. We love ya!!!!

  13. mary lou says:

    Sadly, Anything that’s not tested on standardized tests will soon Not be taught . I retired from teaching last year and one of the reasons was the pressure on eveyrone to excell on tests. There is no time to tech the joy of learning. My granddaughter’s (age 12) class uses computers almost exclusively, the textbooks are on there, the assignments, she told me yesterday that she wished she had ‘real’ books again. Hopefully the pendulum will swing to a more moderate use of technology.

  14. C. Vidal says:

    Joining the “I Love Cursive Day” . I really love cursive.
    Best wishes

  15. Leslie Piper says:

    I read this blog entry with such a sense of kindred-soul connection. My children have laughed at me for years because I have bewailed the demise of cursive. Like you, I have always been secretly proud of my beautiful handwriting. When people comment on it, I am shyly self-deprecating, but secretly heart-gladdened. Each of my children writes in block letters, and I find that somehow soulless. They ruffle my head in that ‘poor old mom’ way, but I want them to feel the sense of connection I feel when I ‘put pen to paper’. I have boxes of beautiful, old letters from both grandparents—marvels of Spencerian script that speak to me from across the years.
    I will proudly make March cursive month, and celebrate by penning loving letters to friends and family.

    • REBECCA from the Heart of TEXAS says:

      Leslie…I am so with you and Susan, March “Cursive Month”. Those hand written notes, letters, cards are all that Susan has said in this wonderful post. How true the feeling I get when I see and hold those old or newly arrived pieces of “art”, that person is there with you. Letters pasted down from family and friends, their handwriting is recognized right away and their presence is with us once again. We have so much to lose, we must keep encouraging and sharing the joy of the written word. Upps…sorry about the “soapbox”, y’all just got to the HEART of it.

  16. Laura C. says:

    My Grandson is 8, in third grade, and currently in year 2 of cursive. If he really takes his time, it looks amazing, but he is 8 and taking his time is not always top priority. He can do it though! I just don’t understand how everything we managed to learn in regular school can no longer be taught! Kids are just as smart, teachers are just as dedicated and the school hours are longer! When I was a kid, everyone could read!

    • sbranch says:

      It may just be the size of the classes now . . . so many more children in the world. I don’t understand it either.

  17. Carol Barker says:

    Hello Susan, I don’t spend to much on my computer but when I do turn it on your blog is the first item on my agenda. You never disappoint!

  18. SHARON H. says:

    Oh Susan, what a sad, sad thing to think there will be no more cursive writing taught in school. I remember when I was first learning, I think it was 2nd grade, and I was so proud because I became “one of the big kids” learning to do “real writing”, which is what my brothers and sisters and I called it. All the cursive letters, upper and lower case, were above the blackboard for us to use as an example. I have my grandkids every other weekend and I think what I’m going to do is start a journal for them so when they come over they can each “write” something in the journal and hopefully be able to teach them to keep on writing in the years to come.
    I wonder what will become of parents night at school if there is no cursive writing. All the nice folders showing off all the papers, writing and stories that the kids work on so hard, how will that be done in the future?
    As far as your giveaways, I would love to be the winner because I have so many great growing up memories I’ve been wanting to write down for my grandkids and this would be perfect! Thank you again Susan for a wonderful post and sharing so much of yourself with us. You know we love you for it! Sharon, Florida xxxxoooo

  19. Sheri says:

    Oh, Susan…this is a subject I can really step up on my soapbox and wax poetic!!!!!
    I was outraged when my “girls” (grand-daughters) told me they were not taught to write in cursive. I was home-schooling the eldest and asked her to “write” her assigned essay, and she told me she didn’t know how to write in cursive! ?!?!?! WHAT?!?!?!, says I. What is wrong with the education system today? The New Math! Not teaching the history of the US before the Civil War….and the list goes on….where are these peoples minds?????

    My mother had beautiful penmanship and I tried hard to mimic hers. I have been asked many times to address friends wedding invitations…because of my handwriting. It may sound like I am tooting my own horn, but (blush!) I have strived over the years to write nicely and have been complimented many times.
    I have never been disciplined enough to keep a diary, but have begun a rememberance for my kids and grandkids and I call it “I Remember…” and in each little section, I tell about things that happened in my life that maybe will help them to know what shaped my life and why I do things the way I do…like the time my mother was always having our neighbor give me permanents (do you remember “Tonettes”?) only to have to bear the shame of frizzies the next day at school. I am forever traumtized at the thought of a perm!!!!! LOL!
    I salute you for your discipline and hope that those who follow me will enjoy the laughs and tears of what I call my life!
    Sorry for the long post…my mother always said I could never write a letter, that it didn’t come out a Novel!

    P.S. You make me smile and remember the good things! We are so blessed to have you.

    • Hi Sheri, I have to say that reading your comments made me laugh and remember Mother taking us to get perms and we didn’t have so much the frizz as the Shirley Temple curls and that isn’t what we wanted in the 60’s we wanted long straight hair!!! I hated perms and would hunt one of her silk scarves to put on and wear to school, only to have a classmate rip it off during the Pledge Of Allegiance to giggles….”Oh the Horror”……haha fun memories.

  20. Patricia Griffiths says:

    What a wonderful idea, “I love cursive day!” Like you, I took such pride and enjoyment from learning to write cursive many years ago. As a teacher I also enjoyed the time spent with my students teaching what appears to be an art we will lose. I used to cringe when I saw how students of the last twenty years or so would simply grab a pencil or pen and hold them in the oddest fashion. What happened to teaching them to hold it properly? One’s handwriting has always been a unique expression of them. As a young girl I enjoyed being able to identify my friend’s work simply by their style of writing. Let’s hope for a resurgence of interest in the art of handwriting!

  21. janet says:

    Hi Susan – I LOVE handwriting too! My dad owned a business for 45 years where he created art for covers of books he would custom cover and imprint in gold. I would just sit on my bed in the summer with the afternoon breeze blowing and look at his type books – the kind where he would buy the designs printed on pages and you would press them off onto your page with a burnishing tool. I was FASCINATED by all of the letters and designs and how symmetrical they were! I have no formal training in art, but have created so many invitations, cards, posters, banners, and even helped my children write and bind their own books when they were younger. I created my own patterns and sewed all of my clothes for going to jr. high school. I have drawn plans for bookshelves and a desktop hutch for our girls and their roomates in college. Now I get to sew for my 6 month old grandaughter and I bought some watercolors last week. I have kept weekly appt. calendars with notes from our family’s activities for 17 years and now include notes of what my days are like. Not sure where I go from here – but sure do love your inspiration and seeing how your passions blossom in each of your days 🙂 thank you for sharing your loves with us. – janet from Texas where pear blossoms are turning to tender green leaves!

    ps. I have 2 of your recipe keeper books and would love to add this new one to my collection. Oh – and the Grandma Tell Me Your Story book would be a great start on writing my “herstory” for my 5 grandchildren – ages 3, 2, 1, 1, 6 mos!

  22. Cindy Berry says:

    I would have written this in cursive if I could have, but such is the way (and wonder) of the new world. I too was upset to hear that cursive may no longer be taught in school – I definitely feel it will be a lost art. thanks for staying in touch!

  23. Merry says:

    I’ve heard of cursive writing going away in places around me. I mean, they’re already teaching kindergartners how to type here at the school in my town. I still love writing cursive or adding little ‘loops and twirls’ to my “printed writing”. It’ll never leave me!

    -Merry(Alabama, USA)

  24. Vickie in Olympia says:

    I think there should be classes in how to sign your legibly on those pads where you swipe your credit card at the checkout counter! I got so much joy from practicing my signature and learning different ways to write. I also look like Charlie Brown after he writes to his pen pal when I write a letter. My hands don’t move as fast as my thoughts LOL. Please enter me. I would love to have this recipe binder.

  25. Karen says:

    I absolutely agree – cursive is good for the brain, good for motor-skill development, and good for the aspiring artist. What are they thinking???

  26. Nola Wilson says:

    I love to write in cursive. When I make scrapbooks for my grandchildren I always do the journaling in cursive instead of on the computer. I hope one day they will love their books as much as I have loved making the books for them.

    Your blog is such a delight. Each entry is a treat and is savored until the last word is read. Thanks for being a special part of my day! By the way, we live in Fresno and are planning a trip to Arroyo Grande on Monday. Wish you were with us. We would have tea!

  27. Regina Brown says:

    Postcards have always been a big collectable, but Ive always said someday we will be collecting handwritten letters. They are scare now! You look like you have some neat ones.

  28. Bonnie Hisgen says:

    Let me tell you something that is even more surprising than no more cursive writing. I was at our sons home last fall and volunteered to help my 2nd grade grandson with his spelling words. His Mother said, “Oh, they do not have spelling in school anymore.” No the computer will do spell check for you from now on. WHAT??? I could not believe it. Still can’t.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh boy.

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Well, we still have spelling bees here in Minnesota so at least I think they are still teaching spelling. I have many times said I am glad I was not born any later, so many changes to the world…wouldn’t have minded being born earlier (as long as there were indoor bathrooms, telephones, etc.) LOL!!! 🙂

  29. Christine says:

    Yea Susan!!
    Yes, let’s all keep CURSIVE going! Thank you for your encouraging words on this important topic. As a Mom and Grandmother, I encourage the handwriting of notes, cards, and letters to all my family and continue to WRITE them also. Happy Cursive Day!!

  30. Joan Bendann says:

    Hi Susan,
    What a great idea to celebrate cursive writing! Your writing is truly a work of art and a joy to behold. Last week my daughter asked me for a recipe and then requested that I write it. I’m thinking it had something to do with your March calendar and your sharing of your writing collections. Thank you for your beautiful posts.

  31. Jennifer says:

    This was so beautiful! I really appreciate how you emphasize and really stress cursive and writing in general. It is something that shouldn’t be lost!

  32. Sarah Powell says:

    Sue – Another excellent example how you serve to keep the important things in life alive. Precise penmanship, friendship eloquently expressed on fine stationery, crystal vases of delicate wild flowers, treasured diaries with dog-eared pages, hand-painted porcelain tea cups, warm smells from the kitchen (or galley), and time lost in the beauty of the moment watching a kitty run through the house. The beauty of simple things in our lives that touch us with grace, if we only care to notice.
    Here’s to you and the Simple Pleasures that enrich our lives.
    Wake-up and Smell the Roses America! Love, Sarah

  33. Janice R says:

    I worked for a school district in Northern Ca for many years. We are also doing away with cursive. I find it so sad. The children can’t even read cursive! I hope My grand daughter’s mommy teaches her cursive when she is old enough. I remember so many of the children when they’d come into the library would tell me how they would love to learn. They loved my cursive……
    Have a nice day!

  34. Rosemary says:

    I cannot see how we can let cursive writing go! It is like a distinctive part of a person…a thumbprint, a little bit of character in your makeup. I taught second grade for 10 1/2 years before I had children many years ago…and the children were always so excited to learn cursive writing. Everybody learns the same strokes and practices them and practices them…and then they turn into your unique signature! Truly, one little child asked when we were going to learn the curse of writing…really did!
    We shall rise up and make it known…do not drop cursive writing from our schools.

    • Rosemary (Sacramento Vly-Ca) says:

      Rosemary….nice to know there’s another one of “us” out there and we’re reading the same blog. Susan Branch…what a great connection! Happy rainy Tuesday afternoon. : ) -rosemary

  35. Gail Mattson says:

    I have had a love affair with cursive writing (and printing) all my life. My father had absolutely gorgeous handwriting that he copied from his grandfather who had gorgeous handwriting. I sit down with my grandson and make him practice his handwriting….Handwriting is an important part of who and how you express yourself. I believe they should put “penmanship” classes back in schools. Love love love your website and all you do – but nothing so much as your loving and giving nature. Winning a gift would be nice but visiting your website is best!!

  36. pat addison says:

    hello susan, good afternoon everyone, well it snowed last night and its all white and slushy out today. the fire is warm and the cats are snoozing by the stove, and i have a chance to to get a few things done. i brought that up at a school board meeting when they were discussing dropping cursive writing from school programs. its all fine to print your name, but what does one do if they can’t sign it like for a home mortgage, a bank account, a checking account, a credit card, driver’s license, ???? it would be impossible to prevent identity theft then, its bad now, but it will be 10 times worse if that happens. just seems to me a stupid thing to drop off the school program to save money. why not go over the budget and get rid of the excess spending like for not needed items like sending kids to the mall ona bus, the fuel costs alone are ridiculously high like over $3,000.00 for a wasted trip and the bus is not even full, just 10-12 kids. now that to me is a waste of money as i seenothing educational in sending those kids over to a shopping mall for an afternoon. nut they say its a reward, well instead of that trip, why not a party with cake, ice cream and punch??? not too expensive and maybe a simple gift card for a store like wal-mart or target instead??? costs alot less and accomplishes the same, rewards good grades, behaviour ..etc. made perfect sense to me, how about you???

  37. Claudia in Huntsville, Alabama says:

    Cursive is becoming a lost art-form (or at least, severely neglecting art form) in our schools. I remember feeling so “grown up” when I finally could sign my name in official script (i.e. cursive)!

  38. Gina M says:

    Grandma Gina would love to win this package. Hope I’m not too late!

  39. Trish K. says:

    No no cursive…don’t go! Truely what are people thinking? Thanks for sharing about the diaries though. I always quit because I feel silly about what I write. I destroy my writings because They arent life altering. Its nice to know even an author isnt always poetic.

  40. Vicki says:

    I love beautiful notecards, colored pens and lovely stickers to seal the envelop. It all makes me want to write a thank you note or a word of encouragement in my own hand… Of course, cursive!!

  41. NANCY JO says:

    Thank you for showing that book by Harold Nicolson. Looked interesting so I ordered it used, I got the edition written from 1939-1945. The war years.
    I must say you have a lot of comments going on here, is this a record? I think you are well loved.
    Nancy Jo

    • sbranch says:

      Just wonderful kindred spirits! Read Portrait of a Marriage, Harold and his wife, Vita Sackville West. Most amazing garden of Sissinghurst, written by their son Nigel Nicholson.

  42. Darlene says:

    What? No more Cursive? That just is NOT right! I love Cursive…even though I have terrible hand writing. 🙁

  43. Sharon Rumley says:

    I am so happy that my grandchildren will have letters from me to bring back memories of our happy times. Emails are just not the same! I love your blog and the music you give us each time. What a nice coffee break for me!

  44. Angela says:

    Love, love, love your blog! I, too, have always loved to write cursive. Would always write down way more than I needed to, just to keep writing and making the swirly letters connect. I’m not a gifted drawer (nor can I seem to draw), but writing–that I CAN and love to do. My youngest is learning cursive this year in school, just in the nick of time I fear. Are we far off from folks just making their “x” mark again, for lack of being able to sign? Thank you for an electronic treat that I look forward to, much like chatting with an old friend. 🙂 Have a good evening~ It’s blustery here in Cali, but can’t complain as we haven’t had much winter really…

  45. Lois Burgess from Nova Scotia, Canada says:

    Hi Susan and Kindred Spirits!

    Happy belated Cursive Writing Day 🙂 I don’t want to see cursive writing become a lost skill either!! I have always admired beautiful handwriting. At Christmas time I would always admire beautiful handwriting on the envelopes — especially those from older relatives (almost as much as the cards themselfves!) And the neat part is that no two person’s handwriting is the same. Thanks girls for all your wonderful stories…it’s so much fun to share. I can hear the rain coming down as I pen these lines, and we are supposed to get some snow tomorrow night…but yesterday and day have been heavenly — very mild.

    Susan along with hundreds of other gals I’m hoping I win :)) but even if I don’t I already have because you are the “loops” and “swirls” making what an ordinary day writes extraordinary.

    Give Jack a “pat” for me.


  46. Candice says:

    Dear Susan,
    I live in Ohio and I too have heard that the schools are thinking of not teaching cursive writing anymore, it is such a shame. I too always was told I had pretty handwriting and got A’s all through grade school. I was the first one in my kindergarten class to write my whole name correctly and it was a long one…17 letters! My daughter is a Senior this year and she does write cursive but she prefers to print. I work part-time at the post office in our small village and I have school age children, say in jr. high come to the counter to pick up mail for their parents and maybe have to sign for something and they say, I don’t know how to make a capital K or cannot even begin to write a signature! And some grownups don’t know how to write an envelope, they will ask me, “Is this where you put the address to where it is going and do I put my address here or here or is this the corner where I put the stamp?” It is soooo sad! I always wrote letters to my relatives growing up and use to help my Mom write Christmas cards and I just cannot imagine not being able to write!!! I totally agree with what Pat said in an earlier post.

  47. Lucy F. says:

    As an elementary teacher, I can promise you, Susan, no matter what, I would teach cursive. Even if it meant going against requirements, I would find a way. It is a lost art that needs to be cherished. We still teach it here, in OC, CA. but they don’t purchase the materials. They leave that for the teachers to do. Such a shame. I’ve always been able to see my students’ personality through their cursive handwriting. Thanks for the beautiful post.

    • sbranch says:

      You have to supply the kids with pencils and paper?

      • Karen Saunders says:

        maybe we should have some organized bake sales across the country to raise money for paper and pencils for teaching cursive. maybe the authorities in charge of this movement will get the picture, that we want cursive in our schools!!

  48. Rosinda says:

    Hello Susan,
    I think it’s so sad that schools are removing cursive writing from schools. 🙁
    I am with you on making March 10th “I Love Cursive Day”. I feel fortunate that I was taught cursive writing. Sending love and hugs! xoxo

  49. Christy says:

    oh to be able to do beautiful cursive. I grew up as a left handed girl and the torment from teachers was horrid. Now as an adult I have had a stroke and struggle to write legibly with my left hand let alone beautifully.

    I do I am sorry to say take some joy in the delight of fonts on a computer, but I miss being able to do the swirly stuff myself!! (for want of a better term)

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve always heard “they” were mean to lefties when it came to handwriting, my dad for one … they tried to change him to a rightie. But so many comments are telling the same story! I’m so glad we don’t do that anymore!

  50. Linda Thomson says:

    A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream.
    Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962) French philosopher and poet.

    Once again we must teach the important things when they go by the wayside as dreams are worth the effort!

  51. Cynthia says:

    I love your writing, Susan! Your handwriting, when you were a young girl, reminds me of my handwriting when I was young, as well. I would spend so much time to have the neatest handwriting. I would even do my homework again if I had too many eraser marks! I was so proud of my writing and was rewarded for it, like you were. 🙂 Cursive should never go away!

    P.S. I love your website and have followed it for several years. All your items are adorable!

  52. Cynthia says:

    Wonderful idea to celebrate cursive day! 🙂 I’ll mark March 10th on my calendar!

    P.S. Will you ever carry your Susan Branch logo checks online again? I loved them.

  53. Stephanie says:

    Thank you, Susan, for discussing a great topic! I’ll look forward with increased relish teaching and practicing cursive with my two little boys as they get older!

  54. Laurie G., Woodland Hills, CA says:

    It is so sad that schools feel that cursive is no longer important. I wonder if this is how our great, grandparents felt when young ladies were no longer learning calligraphy or needlepoint. Change may be the only constant, but it can also be very sad.

  55. Eloise says:

    I too have enjoyed the written word. I have cards and letters i saved from my husband while we dated and later during our marriage. I know my mother instilled the courtesy of always writing a thank you note. She also used to write notes to my son when he was younger. Mom always found some cartoon or sports item to include to keep his interest up and of course encourage him to comment and write her back. I hope I will be able to influence a love of reading and writing in my grandchildren too.

  56. Karen Saunders says:

    I know everyone has commented on the cursive issue but I don’t understand why schools are not going to teach it anymore. (did i miss it in all the comments?) Can anyone tell me the reason for this? Also……….I’m not quite sure but I don’t think one person printed his name on the Declaration of Independance. And cursive is so beautiful…and not to mention FAST!!!! So if you know the reason I would be greatful for the explanation. thanks k

    • sbranch says:

      Probably a couple of reasons; the kids are all using computers and typing/texting everything, and probably money too, as that always seems to be part of the picture.

      • Karen Saunders says:

        I think you are probably right…it’s always about money isn’t it. You’d think a piece of paper would be a little cheaper than a computer. I relate to all these women and their stories. The same could be said of math. Kids are relying on devices to do simple math….but as one girlfriend put it, what happens when the power goes out? (Or you lose your phone and you have to actually figure out the tip!!) It’s good to know that all these women feel the same way. The news makes you think the ‘whole country’ thinks a certain way and you’re the only one who doesn’t…..it’s so nice to see that’s not how it is…..your blog lets us know that we all pretty much agree and think alike. Thank God for your blog and all the ‘girlfriends’….makes me think I’m just a little sane!!!

      • REBECCA from the Heart of TEXAS says:

        Mary Lou said it in her comment; schools are all about pressure to excell on test, not teach the joy of learning. Our teachers must take it on themselves to “teach how to learn”, not just learn the test. Bless those who continue to pass that joy on, “teaching” is becoming a lost art, technology wins again!

  57. Amy from Wisconsin says:

    Hi Susan-
    Some of my most TREASURED gifts are the handwritten letters I have from my grandparents and my father (all whom have passed away). I hope that there are parents out there that will teach their children cursive even if the schools will not!
    It looks like Spring is early this year near Brownsville, WI!

  58. Kathy says:

    Susan, Well, what a lovely cup of tea your post was today, I so love to receive a hand written note and they are so few these days. So I make a point of writing notes to people and really putting my thoughts into the note. It is really a way to share yourself, and in this day of instant everything a handwritten note means someone took the time to create a personal memory with you. What my real pet peeve is, receiving a christmas greeting, or card with nothing in it but a name, each card I send I put a few lines of personal feelings or message to the person I am sending it to, a Christmas card with just a signature is like a hang up call with no message left, your left wondering “what happened.” Handwritten notes are really messages of “I love you” or “I care”.

    Cursive writing is the key to communication and expression. We are becoming so technology dependent. But what was interesting is when we had our big storms this fall people were lost, they thought they had no way to communicate because all the electronics were gone. What was nice at times was reading and working by candle light. Those were not affected by the loss of power. So if we lose all that technology, will people still know how to express themselves. We can not lose the “tried and true.”
    Thanks for this post today, it really hit home. Kathy

  59. Joan Lesmeister says:

    My husband had the nicest handwriting (better than mine!), but had to switch to his left hand because of a nerve “issue”. He taught himself, & practised for hours, to make the switch. Funny thing, I miss his old handwriting in his cards & notes! I just sent a friend an e-mail (notice I didn’t take the time to handwrite a note!), telling her how much I love her handwriting (beautiful curves & curliques), and to check out this blog! Through the years, I’ve tried to save at least one note from all my dear friends and relatives, just to have something in their handwriting, & they’re all written in cursive!!!! I especially love handwritten recipes, & I’m working on recipe books (in my handwriting) for my daughters, using your “To My Daughter” recipe binders, dear Sue, Mother’s Day is my goal! Happy Wednesday to all! xoxox

  60. Suzanne Larsen says:

    My neice, who is a teacher in Florida, said they are also doing away with cursive. She said they are only teaching the important things. Seriously, cursive isn’t important? I’m a writer, a technical writer to be sure, but a writer nonetheless. I have beautiful penmanship as opposed to my husband and my two boys. I take pride in my handwriting. I love all the fonts that you can print these days because they take my simple printing (which is also good) and move it to a higher level…in many cases to art forms. So yes, I guess we don’t need handwriting any longer, but why get rid of it. Will it only be taught as an elective in college?

    I think of all the people, who even today, do not have computers. They still need a form of communication. And what happens when there’s a solar flare and computers (and all forms of electronic communication) are wiped out. What then. What if this happens after we are all long gone…those of us who learned to write, and in cursive. I can only imagine a world in which no one can communicate except on a keyboard, and when that option is no longer there. the world may simply end. It frightens me to think of such a world.

    But being more than frightened, it makes me sad. Handwriting is and will always be an art form. Think of calligraphy…something I always wished I could do, but it wasn’t in my skill set! Think of the Illumanati…what a disservice to history that would be if it didn’t exist.

    And with cursive going away and everything being put on computers, our wonderful books are in danger of being destroyed. How soon will it be that we only find books in museums?

    It’s a sad world with things that we have known and loved throughout our years, may one day only be a faint memory of those who come after us.

    Thank you Susan, for writing this with the creativity of your mind and your ever-so delighting handwriting. My hat’s off to you.

  61. Suzanne Larsen says:

    P.S. Sorry I missed putting in all the question marks. My fingers were working faster than my brain.

  62. Carol says:

    In a day of automated everything, I think hand written notes are a slice of heaven. Once I even thought of entering all my recipes into my computer so that I could print them out into a 3 ring binder, but then I realized I like the old tattered, splattered HAND WRITTEN recipe cards much better. Seems like you connect with the writer when you recognize their distinctive hand! I’m with you – “Celebrate Cursive Day” is a fabulous idea.
    I love your blog, I love your creativity! Did I say, I LOVE YOUR BLOG?! 🙂

  63. Suzanne Larsen says:

    How will checks be signed? Will they use your thumbprint? That might be a good idea. They’ll need to do something or forgers will have a heyday!

  64. Rhonda says:

    I can’t imagine a world without cursive! I too always did well in handwriting and loved to practice my writing skills just for fun. Thank you for bringing attention to this sad, sad situation. We should all unite/write and change this problem!

  65. Karen Friedrich says:

    I,like so many others, love your blog. I work in a kindergarten class and even they want to learn how to write in cursive!

  66. Tracy P says:

    I love to receive old fashioned, hand-written notes and cards. I think that is one of the many reasons I love your books. They aren’t just typed words but hand-written.

  67. Amy McCourt says:

    I just love your blog! It is a great way to unwind after a day of work! So positive and gets the creative juices flowing. I am now trying to find a place in the yard for a kitchen garden! I have hostas and a few things in between so going to modify that area. Gardens are such a work of art and constantly evolving as we move plants from one area to another and add new growing things (much like life). Have a great day!

  68. Jean F. Anderson says:

    Dear Susan,
    I too, like you, got an “A” in penmanship when I attended school and like you, in my current part-time job, my handwriting has been praised by my co-workers. I am signing up for the drawing on the three items you are giving away and especially the recipe book pictured on your website that already has our Family name on it. It will be most appropriate since my daughters also love to cook and bake.

    Jean Anderson

  69. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Good Morning Susan! I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s lovely responces regarding cursive writing no longer being taught in schools and it makes me sad. I guess when I one day become a grandma, I will have to teach cursive writing to my grandchildren, along with my love of knitting, sewing, and baking……..cursive will become a “hobby” of sorts! I’m feeling more like a dinosaur every day!!!!!!! Have a happy day Susan, and happy Spring!!!!!

  70. Sandy Fox says:



  71. Nicole from El Dorado Hills, CA says:

    Hi Susan – One of my BEST and dearest girlfriends found out about a surf/yoga retreat on Maui for women – no prior experience necessary and invited our book club. 3 of us ended up going and had the most amazing time – I do not have words to describe. It was definately the trip of a lifetime – met women from all over the world and all ages and walks of life. I could go on forever but – one of the things the retreat had us relfect on was was writing – Journal writing and how important it is.
    “Why does writing matter? Because of the spirit. Because of the heart. Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul.” Anne Lamott
    I haven’t picked up my journal in forever – thanks for reminding me to make the time for something I love. Nicole

  72. Pat D'Ambra says:

    Susan, your blog is at the top of my to do list every day! I’m shocked – no more cursive writing? I love to write letters and write often to my 4 grandchildren. They are 11, 9, 6 and 2. Even the 2 year old loves getting his own mail. I didn’t save letters from my parents and I’m so sad. When I was first married, my mother would send me family recipes. Thank goodness I kept the recipe cards! I would love your new recipe keeper and the Gramma book? My Grandgirls would love to help me fill it up. Please don’t stop writing Susan – I love your handwriting – and I need the warm fuzzies you send through your blog. XOXO Pat

  73. Sally Bennett says:

    Susan, I am totally with you about preserving cursive handwriting. I think if schools and society abandon cursive writing, they will regret it one day, and I believe this move to eliminate cursive represents just one more way our society is being dumbed down. I have old handwritten letters written by grandmothers, my mother, father, aunts and uncles, brother, sister-in-law, as well as every letter my children wrote to me when they were in college and after they began their lives as young adults, and a few from grandchildren. I saved them all and they are precious family history treasures to me, and hopefully, someday, some grandchild, or great-grandchild will value them, if they survive that long.

  74. judy says:

    Hi Susan,
    I have lots of letters I have saved as well. The box with my old boyfriends letters are at my mothers house. (I didn’t think my husband would enjoy them as much as I do) I still love to write letters to people I love, in cursive!!!

    I am having so much fun today setting the table for my mothers 84th birthday brunch that is on Sunday. She will have her three children and spouses here, as well as two of her three grandchildren. The third is in Paris working as a nanny. (Just an excuse to live in Paris for a while) I married late and have no children. I had kitties instead. Anyway, I am setting the table with my great grandmothers china that is all pink and white flowers. I will get pink flowers for the big table and one pink flower for the little table. I am looking through your cookbooks as I decide what we are having to eat. My husband doesn’t understand why I am setting the table so early, but I just couldn’t wait, it is so much fun!!! I am also remembering your anniversary brunch as an inspiration !! I can’t wait to make my moms birthday special on Sunday, Love her SO much !!!!

    P.S. I have a darling little picture that says ” cats are children in fur coats. ” It is so true. Makes me think of Girl Kitty and Jack !!
    xo Judy

    • sbranch says:

      What a fun day you are having! I think the pink came out sooo romantic! Happy Birthday to your Mom!! She has a wonderful daughter!

  75. Lynn says:

    It’s a shame to lose cursive writing, much as it is a shame to lose in-person communication.

    Cursive writing often shows much about the writer’s character! Individuality and creativity, as well as preciseness and rigidity, are just some of the characteristics shown in handwriting. How many of us were overjoyed at learning cursive back in grade school, and how many of us loved to make the letters of the alphabet look prettier, and how many of us tried to make our handwriting look individual to ourselves? It’s like a personal art form! and just like school budgets are cutting back on the arts, now schools are eliminating cursive?? Well, well. Next thing you know, they’ll eliminate all handwriting and our children will be typing away like automatons. (Even Hugo’s automaton wrote in cursive!) Handwriting can be a national identity as well as an individual’s identity, and can we expect the art form of Persian writing, for example, to be abolished?

    In-person communication is losing its art form as well. I see mothers pushing strollers while constantly on their cell phones instead of chatting with their children, dog walkers are on their cell phones, patients in waiting rooms are either chatting or tapping away at their phones, children’s recitals are often interrupted by the parent whose phone has not been turned off, – I could go on and on. I use my cell, I check emails, and enjoy the convenience… but let’s not forget that our children need us to communicate with them and our friends and loved ones need to hear our voices and see us in person. Let’s keep our individuality full of the inspiration of creativity! Let’s hold onto cursive handwriting as, at the very least, a creativity outlet! Let’s remember to put down the phones (we do remember when there were no cell phones, don’t we?!) because we need to keep communication interpersonally to feel real emotions!

    OK, now I’ve gotten that off my chest!

    • Karen Saunders says:

      I’m witchya. you are sooo right and I agree 101% Let’s get back on the front porch and TALK to each other. People can’t seem to be alone for ONE minute anymore. (not a good thing) I feel that way about ALL technology, it has robbed us of communication with our family and friends.

  76. becky allen says:

    They are taking cursive out of my childrens school also! Thanks for the wonderful reflections! Very encouraging

  77. Karen Saunders says:

    One more comment..and then I’m done!! I just had to tell you my husband brought me a cup of coffee this morning….when I was in bed…ahem, and guess which cup he got out of my cupboard (the one where I took the doors off like you did and have my ‘a proper tea’ set, teapot. sugar&creamer and cups)…..at first I thought, ‘Oh no, don’t use my good ‘Susan Stuff’…and when I told him it was your stuff….this big guy goes, “I know, I thought it was really nice, look how nice and thin the edges are, and how well made it is.”(he builds mills, what can I say, he’s into construction) and he thought it was pretty. Now how could I be upset about that? (I like to keep all your stuff new…I know, I’m a little weird.) Anyway, I had to share it with you because if you knew my husband….you would know he doesn’t usually notice the design of a tea cup. Whatever are you doing to our men???

  78. Kristy says:

    I always notice when someone has nice handwriting and always compliment kids when they do too. I think everyone is in such a hurry these days along with using keyboards much of the time that nice handwriting has become a rarity!

  79. PatsyAnne says:

    I love cursive – never did get the cap F quite right, but now I actually have my own variation and I LOVE it!

    I’d love your Gramma book – well to be honest, I love all that you create!

  80. Stephanie says:

    I remember the excitement when i was “old enough” to learn how to write in cursive. It was a rite of passage. Although I found it to be a struggle and my teacher gave me a “needs improvement” for penmanship, my handwriting has evolved over the decades to an elegant extension of myself.

    I, too, am on a quest to keep the art of letter writing alive. I send several cards and letters out each week to friends and loved ones. I’ve been a “letter enthusiast” since I was a child. I’m always delighted to send or receive a handwritten missive. They are like rays of sunshine peeking out of the dark cavern of the mailbox. I keep my favorites in a hatbox. They are like a time machine of sorts; I can open a letter and be transported back to a moment in my past. I even have a few that smell like my grandmother’s favorite soap. Both my grandmaw and her soap are gone but that sweet aroma that escapes when I open the envelope brings her back to me…for just a moment…and that is always a beautiful thing.

    • Lynn says:

      I’m totally with you about letter writing! A feel-good pen to write with, a notecard chosen specifically for the person you’re writing to, and if possible, a great stamp to send it on its way! Smiles all around! I, too, have some letters saved from loved ones, and each time they surface in my letter writing box, I am filled with nostalgia and warmth…

  81. Jo says:

    I love cursive writing. So much more personality comes out of it! I love the idea of a cursive writing day.

  82. Susan Martin from Orwigsburg, PA says:

    I love cursive writing – it’s part of our personality. It’s a shame that schools want to do away with it – I’ll have to check with my school board and see what they are doing. As usual, Susan, I loved the blog – it’s beautiful and informative, and you write as though you are conversing with us…I love it!

  83. Lori C. says:

    Sue Darling,
    (As your Grandma would write.)
    Some of my treasures are a Little Red Riding Hood story book that my Grandma wrote a dedication to me in. And a little snippit of paper that has the Blue Willow rhyme on it -tucked into her Blue Willow teapot, that I inherited over 30 years ago.
    Being the oldest girl, she had to leave school at a very tender age in order to take care of her many younger siblings after her mother passed away. Thus, she only learned how to write cursive and never how to print. How lucky for me.

  84. Mar Bailey says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Have been away in sunny Florida, enjoying a little holiday. I am starting my “catching up to the world”, with you. What a sad state of affairs, not to have cursive in schools anymore. I learned to write cursive in Europe, then, had to re-learn back in the States, because my teacher didn’t like how I made certain letters. Miss Nackman would make me stay after school to practice, thinking it was punishment. Oh, how I loved to practice..but like you, I just loved the feel of a pencil in my hand.( A messy fountain pen was even better)! Yes, I was one of those girls that wrote notes to all my friends..even backwards, and you had to hold it to a mirror to read it! I just don’t want to think of a world without beautiful script and cherished letters to keep close to the heart…or in a cute basket.
    Much love, Mar

  85. Jean O'Hara from Tracy, CA says:

    I love cursive writing! I went to a Catholic School growing up and I have a very clear memory of practicing O’s over and over again in 3rd grade.
    Funny the things that stick in our brains. 🙂

  86. karen says:

    I would love to win the books. I will leave a short note here so I can go write some cards to friends and family. Love your work and words…

  87. Donna Ray says:

    Hello Susan and Friends,
    I’m catching up on all the interesting conversation about cursive. I’ve never wanted to be one of those old ladies who clicks her tongue at the way things are nowadays and only wants to return to how it used to be….but, Goodness Gracious! We’re losing some of the loveliest human touches in life.
    I just love getting handwritten mail and, in fact, have kept almost every letter I’ve ever received. One of my plans, now that I’m retired, is to read all of them, then return them to their writer. Won’t it be fun for them to receive that package…..almost like a long lost journal….especially for the friends who wrote regularly over the years.
    We can preserve these lovely things if each of us makes a commitment to foster the love of them in our own families. We can find ways to embrace the new without losing the old treasures. That’s what I hear many of you Girlfriends saying. Thank you for leading the charge, Susan, Creater of Cursive Day! and our inspiration.
    As always, DonnaRay P.S. I loved your little girl letter. You were already the person you are now that we all love so much.

  88. cecelia says:

    Hi Susan,
    I too have kept a diary my whole life and just like you, think I might need to destroy them some day. Why do some people feel the need to write EVERY DAY and some people just don’t understand why we do??
    My journals have my daily doings, thoughts, rants. I’ve edited them and deleted many times!

  89. Chris Zolenski says:

    When I was going through boxes of our “history” looking for baby stuff to give my baby who is having her first baby..found the love letters my husband wrote me..as a military wife I got a lot of those when he did deployments and was away from me and the kids for 6 or more months at a time…I treasure those letters. Now my Daughter and her husband..both Marines can email and skype even from “War Zones” but they will never know the joy of waiting for a letter that you can re-read and hold near your heart and sleep with under your pillow. A letter that smells like your loved one..that you know he held and put all his love in for you. Good memories!

  90. Sharon (Ashland, OR) says:

    I wanted to let you know I have a wonderful notebook (the ones we used to practice our letters in in elementary school) from my grandmother (who sounds a lot like yours). In 1972 I asked her to put all my favorite recipes of hers into a book and this is what she came up with. She cut out a picture of monkey bread with a tea pot and cup from a magazine and glued it to the front and then hand wrote about 15 recipes that I loved. She even titled it for me personally. She was a great cook. I love to read it as she died at 84 in 1986. These kinds of things are so special because a loved one “wrote” it. I also won awards for my penmanship and have loved lettering and paper all my life. I started to keep notes in my smartphone but stopped because it didn’t give me the same pleasure as jotting things down in the cute notepads that are available today….my 2 cents worth!

  91. maryb says:

    my dad died last april and i still have samples of his handwriting on letters and old birthday cards. he barely made it through 8th grade in a tiny school in southern illinois but his handwriting was beautiful with flourishes and curliques on all the capital letters!

  92. Debbie Vanderhagen says:

    If schools do get rid of cursive, maybe it will still be taught in art classes. You would have to specifically sign up to learn it, sort of like “calligraphy” is now.

  93. Sharon S says:

    What a great post. I remember in 3rd grade having to draw ovals like I was a Spirograph over & over until the teacher thought they were perfect. I love getting hand written notes & sending them. My father recently passed away & one of my Mother’s life long friends sent my sister’s & I a 4 page written letter of all her memories of my Dad & Mom. So special.

  94. Debra V. says:

    Cursive is still being taught in my grandson’s Private Christian School, thank goodness. The printing is awesome too. They use a system that is called Pre-Cursive and teach even the pre schoolers this, then when they reach 3rd grade they teach how to connect the letters and make cursive…awesome! If anyone is interested in teaching their children or grandchildren then you can check out websites for curriculm for cursive or pre cursive and find out just how awesome this one my grandson is using. I believe it is BJU and it has free cursive stuff on the website, I checked it out. It’s an idea, anyway. Let’s not lose the art of Cursive! I love Cursive.

  95. Sherri Fabbri says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’m so glad I read your blog! I had no idea some schools aren’t teaching cursive! That’s terrible! I’m a grandmother(“Grammy”) but haven’t been in elementary schools recently. Now I’m going to have to talk to all my teacher friends about this! I will be sure my grandchildren learn cursive! I love all the writing styles you do in your books and calendars. I also love your book choices and have purchased some from you. I WILL NEVER GET A NOOK OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT AS I WANT TO KEEP REAL BOOKS SELLING! I also buy used books and trade mine in.

  96. Francine LaMarche says:

    Susan,I have almost all of your books and have been reading your blog for about 8 months.I stumbled upon the blog while I was searching the web for inspiration one evening.Wow what a wonderful little surprise!! Years of reading your books and admiring you beautiful watercolors,would always leave me wondering about your life,your home,your interests,etc.Thank-You for sharing so much of yourself with us.You are an inspiration to all of us like minded girls! Your our BFF and we are all soooo happy to have you. Just wanted to send you a little sunshine. Susan you rock!!!

  97. Linda Wattier says:

    I think it is sad that they don’t teach cursive anymore. I still use it. Love all the info.

  98. Charlene says:

    Hi Susan
    This blog so struck home with me. I have read it over and over and I whole-heartedly agree with you. I started journaling seriously after my first stroke at the age of 24. It was “therapy” to regain the beautiful penmanship I knew to be mine and it was gone. I write every day in my journal – sometimes long, lengthy things from the depths of my soul and other days a few short lines. But to not learn cursive? really? I realize as our generation ages and the next appears that things will change; however, reading and writing are just things you m ust know to get by in life as far as I am concerned. Thank you again for such a heart felt blog. It was picture perfect!

  99. daniela medina says:

    Beautiful mail, thank you Susan.

  100. Caroline C. says:

    I will always treasure hand written notes. There is something beautiful about being able to associate a person with their handwritiing. It is wonderful that something that seems so simple can fill our hearts with warmth. I am inspired by you and will try to make sure my friends and family recieve more hand written notes this year!

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