News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

October 23, 2012

LIZ CIANCONE: Surprises from mail worth the extra penny

I understand that the cost of pursuing my hobby will be going up by a penny come the year 2013.

Presently, I pay 44 cents to mail a letter. Soon it is to be 45 cents per letter. I like to write letters and I have a few faithful correspondents who answer. Yes, I know all about the speed and convenience of email, but I much prefer having a bit of paper in hand that I can save, read again and again and then answer at my leisure. I find that more satisfying.

I guess I would resent the increase a lot less if it wasn't costing me at least 10 cents more to mail a letter than it costs to mail stuff to me which ends up in my “circular file” for deposit at the curb one morning a week. I had one the other day which cost the mailer 35 cents, and one today simply marked “non-profit organization.”

Mail used to be a daily surprise. I wondered who I would hear from then or at least a day or two later. I looked forward to carrying on a conversation by mail.

Now my mail consists of — in ascending order of disinterest — magazines, catalogues, and appeals for money for good causes at home and abroad. The latter almost fill the mailbox daily. The catalogues are also arriving in plenty. I suppose this is to encourage me to make an early start on Christmas buying — preferably from their mail-order catalogue.

I went to the box the other morning with little hope, but was delighted to find a letter from a friend who calls herself “the other Liz.” We entered Yorkville High School together and she is the power behind our reunions every five years or so.

She enclosed assorted autographs from former classmates who had attended the most recent Yorkville homecoming, and a number of photographs. Two pictures were especially welcome. They were pictures of the “old” Yorkville High School now reborn as a “Christian School.” I wonder if it still smells of oil used to wax the wooden floors as it once did every fall.

At least this communiqué did not include an obituary for a former classmate.

I am deeply indebted to “Liz” who keeps me up to date on Yorkville and all the friends I remember so fondly. I am ready to throw in the towel and concede that it is now I who am “the other Liz.”

I could use more happy mail surprises like that.

Liz Ciancone is a retired

Tribune-Star reporter.

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