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Dearest Libby,

Once again I am faced with the depressing truth that my salad is not a cookie. The weather is turning colder and the leaves are changing color. Pumpkins have made their annual debut at the grocery stores and roadside farm stands. Stores boast decorations for all upcoming holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving, and – yes – Christmas. My thoughts have naturally turned to cookies, hot chocolate, mocha lattes, and steaming pasta dishes covered with Parmesan cheese and delicious red sauce. Comfort food. And my salad stares back at me. Simple. Healthy. Practical. Boring.

I am using the routine break in my day to send you a small letter. Since the death of our grandparent I have realized the importance of putting words on paper. After sifting through file after file of letters sent over decades, I realized that my children will never be able to trace my thoughts and actions after my death. Facebook or Twitter hardly compare to the pages of personal details left behind by our grandparents. Love letters today are brief – confined to a prescribed card purchased at a drug store. I have always doubted the validity of these words because they were not written by card-giver. Are they real? Is that exactly what the person meant? Would they have used a different word if left to their own devices?

People today are overwhelmed by electronic communication and constant stimulation. Blue tooth technology allows us to shop and talk at the same time all while being distracted.  E-mails are brief and to the point. No fluff. Twitter and Facebook reflect fleeting thoughts and candid moments captured on film. Log on. Log off.

So here is my challenge to you. Let us take time each week to write each other a letter; the length need not be specified as long as the content is genuine. Please think it over and send spend me a reply within the week.

I must close this letter as my lunch break has ended and there is a heated academic discussion regarding the quality of Big Macs at varying locations occurring in the cubicle next to mine. Does every Big Mac taste the same? Or does the Big Mac taste better from the McDonald’s in downtown Silver Spring? No! Oklahoma makes them the best.

More from the trenches soon.

Your Sister,

Jane