Posted by: penpatience | December 1, 2015



WRITERS WORDS“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” –Jack London




 The November 2013 Monthly Musing, “The Power of the Pen,” stated my personal lament on the lack of good penmanship and the decline of what is now labeled Cursive Writing. Will good writing disappear like the dinosaur?  I hope not. Two recent events had me musing again about the importance of good writing skills.

First, I was filling out forms. Usually, there are two signature lines: one advising “Please Print” the other “Signature.” During my business career, there were many instances including Job Applications where both Print and Signature lines appeared almost the same. There were some feeble attempts to connect letters with a line or two here and there but I often witnessed half-print half-write scrawls. Our current generation has become prolific texting experts, tweeters, typists, e-mail and mobile aficionados. Today, folks often do not pick up a pen to hand write a brief note, letter or condolence to a colleague, friend or family member. It’s so easy to thumb a text message, choose an Internet free greeting card, type an e-mail or, believe it or not, post a gift thank you note on Facebook.  Opening a desk drawer brought me to the second event.

When I opened that desk drawer I saw a packet of unused Christmas cards leftover from a previous year. Holiday greeting cards have been a societal tradition for many generations. When I rifled through the cards, I reflected on how many people still send out hand-written cards. Many far away friends often include a special note—-“I’m so glad we had the chance to visit together this past summer.” I’d hate to see the tradition of choosing just the right card for a special individual become extinct. To me, it’s always a pleasure to bring in the snail mail and discover a lovely hand-written envelope tucked among the bills. I share with you an unedited poem tucked into a holiday greeting my mother received from her great friend, Margaret Weldon:


The pleasure of sending Christmas cards

I seemed to be denied because of arthritis

And some pills that I tried for a quick cure

Because I needed a rhyme;

To send to old friends at Christmas time.


I called Dr. who said, “for you these pills will not do

You are retaining fluid

Like soot in a flue.”


I said to my friend, Stephanie,

“I don’t have the wit. I’ve just passed 85 years;

So this Christmas I quit.”

She said, “It’s true you are old; but have grit

If you ask me, I bet you don’t quit.”


With pain of arthritis from the tip of my toes

To the top of my head,

I threw down my pen and stalked off to bed.

Like a gusty wind I tossed to and fro

I couldn’t drift off but at least I let go.

But the bells rang out, they seemed to say

Be happy be happy, it’s Christmas Day.

Then came an anguished cry like a wind’s sad wail

It was silenced and hushed by a stronger gale

Then the Bells! The Bells! Rung out again;

Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men.


Then in peaceful relaxation,

I awoke with a grin;

Oh! Gee! By golly! It’s Christmas again.


By Margaret E. Weldon – inserted within a 1991 Christmas card to her dear friend of the same name: Margaret


This holiday season share your writing talent with a veteran. Send a hand-written greeting card to: Holiday Mail for Heroes, PO Box 5456, Capital Heights, MD 20791-5456. The deadline for overseas mail is December 6, 2015. More information at:

Check out my Writer site’s New page: Published Archive Samplers– “What do you owe your Audience?” published in the July 2014 Tiny Lights Writers Exchange – a free read.



  1. Such a sweet and funny post – loved it! (And I agree about writing in cursive and even writing being an almost lost art!) Best to you this season! ❤


  2. Very good. Loved the poem too.


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