Something Strange in the Mail

A few days ago, I got something strange in the mail. It wasn’t the usual bill, credit card application, or plea for charity. Instead, it was an envelope with my name and address on it, hand-written. The return address was also handwritten in the corner. For a split second, I actually thought someone had written me a real, genuine letter. I can’t remember the last time I received a hand-written letter in the mail, one that wasn’t a perfunctory thank you note for a graduation or wedding present. 

I miss letters. I grew up in the tail end of the letter era, before the arrival of fax machines and email. I learned to write letters and address envelopes in second grade. Our school participated in a pen pal program, and we all had pen pals with students at an elementary school in Florida. It was exciting to get my very own letter in the mail. The pen pal correspondence didn’t last very long, but I remember it, which counts for something because the only other thing I remember learning about in second grade was rhyming. For a rhyming exercise, I accidentally invented a word that rhymes with luck. My teacher got upset and said that word was already invented. Who knew? 

Turns out, the hand addressed envelope did not contain a personalized hand-written letter. Instead, it was a computer-printed letter from a distant neighbor asking me to attend a planning board meeting to oppose the construction of a 90-spot RV park two miles from my house. 

These RV parks are popping up faster than fire ant hills around here, and I hate it. I don’t have anything against people who use RVs (other than the fact that they’re all weenies who need to camp in tents like real outdoorsmen) but my main opposition to these RV parks is that they have no business being in areas zoned residential. At least they don’t if words still mean anything. You don’t have to be an English major to realize the root of residential is resident, and a quick check of the dictionary says that a resident is a person who lives somewhere permanently or on a long-term basis.  

Anyway, though I was disappointed the actual letter wasn’t hand-written, the letter still did the trick, and I attended to voice my opposition. Thankfully, so did a lot of other people, and the application for the park was denied. It just goes to show how effective a mere hand-addressed envelope can be in an age when nothing is hand written.  

9 thoughts on “Something Strange in the Mail

  1. I completely agree on the differences between a residence and a campground. Likewise, there’s a definite difference between camping and R-V parking. I actually whined on that subject on a post in my own blog. Just don’t call it camping if you have air conditioning and a microwave, that’s all I ask.

      1. I appreciate your point and agree that aging can add to the challenges of getting outside.

        Oddly enough, my husband and I have recently been considering that eventuality, partly because there have been mornings my sixty-year-old joints already scream. Buying better camp mattresses helped alleviate the issue, and we’ve decided we’re not quite ready to give up tent camping. When that time comes, we plan to invest in a Sylvan Sport Go ( or something similar. In my mind (possibly no one else’s), that will still be camping.

        Also, in my defense, I’ll be the first to admit the type of camping we do is also far from roughing it. The only people who really do that are those who carry all their gear and travel by self-propulsion (cyclist, hikers, paddlers).

        Further, I will admit the microwave/AC line I drew is a random one, and perhaps too limiting. I just find it hard to understand why people want to drive what is essentially a house on wheels out to a campground for a weekend. (Although I comprehend why people might choose to explore the country that way).

        Still, everyone has the right to spend their money and time as they see fit, and yes, this is a personal prejudice, which I don’t expect everyone (possibly anyone) to share.

  2. I’ll have to do the same in regards to the meat processing plant they’re planning on not far from me. Not a smell anyone wants to “learn to live with”

  3. Well, I’m no huge fan of most RV parks. They are expensive, and cram rigs in so there’s no room to breathe. But as someone who chooses to travel in a van conversion (which has both AC and a microwave, but as I’m rarely plugged in to shore power, they rarely work!) I do appreciate safe places to park. I hope you bothered to find out what the flavor of the place would be, and how spread out the campers would be, and how strictly noise would be regulated, and all those other things that might really impact your quality of life. I call it camping when I’m boondocking in National Forests and other preserved lands; I call it parking when I’m limited to a Walmart parking lot or a friend’s driveway. And for travel during Covid, it has meant I didn’t need to go in any building except rare grocery shopping – with my own bathroom and kitchen, I was much safer on the road.

  4. I have a grandmother who lives in Indiana. . .we write letters to each other rather than email (I’m not even sure she has an email). Nothing makes me smile bigger than seeing her handwriting in my mailbox.
    {Funny to me the different aspects of this post that resonated with the different readers. . .ain’t the word grand?}

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