Shinn column: Share your thoughts on paper

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 25, 2009

Those of us who still send handwritten notes, don’t do so nearly as often as we’d like.
But we try.
Merri Jo Freeze and Angela Thrailkill both include Bible verses in their notes.
“I still like the written word,” Merri Jo says.
Angela keeps a running list of people to write. Her husband, Bill, is pastor of Back Creek Presbyterian Church.
“We are just so blessed to have so many people who are so generous with us,” Angela says, adding that she’s teaching her three children to write notes.
She includes a verse or poem with her notes ó even when paying a bill.
“You just don’t know what people are going through,” she says. “God’s word is something that ministers to people in ways I just can’t write.”
Mayor Susan Kluttz keeps note cards at home and at her office. She has cards with the city’s seal specifically for handwritten notes.
“I don’t do as many as I should,” she says. “Even though I write a lot of notes on computer, when you write it by hand, there’s no question who wrote it. It is more personal.
“Today, it’s so easy to e-mail people, and notes are becoming more scarce. It’s a practice that should not be lost. It adds a personal touch that people appreciate.”
Paul Fisher started writing notes in the early ’60s, to young men who attained the Eagle Scout designation.
Paul, chairman of F&M Bank, has branched out considerably since then.
“Communication is important,” he says. “You’re gonna call or e-mail or text or write a personal note.”
To send congratulations or thanks or condolences or well-wishes, he sends a note.
He doesn’t discount other means of communication, but points out, “The one thing that is always safe is a personal note.
“People need to know that you care. People need to know that you support them. People need to know you’re thinking about them.”
Young people, especially, he says, need all the encouragement they can get.
“Personal notes are just a wonderful way to communicate,” Paul says. “I know it takes time but it’s well worth your time.”
Paul does most of his note writing late at night, when he’s settled in for the evening. He takes time to compose a note that’s just right.
“If I’m not pleased with it, I will not mail it. My penmanship’s not that great, so I print as nicely as I can. It shows you took the time to write clearly, send a good message and show you care.”
Paul has been on the sending and receiving end of note writing.
He has several shoeboxes full of notes from his battle with lymphoma several years ago.
“A sick person doesn’t get well off medicine,” Paul says firmly. “He gets well off cards. If you want to light up a person’s day, send a card to someone who’s sick or hurting. When you’re sick and get a sincere card, you automatically feel better.
“It was just like sunshine, absolute sunshine.”