I suspect it must have been a "girl thing". None of my childhood buddies had a pen pal. Come to think of it... none of my adulthood buddies had one either... and, as for the crowd I run with now, most of them would be hard-pressed to scrounge up a piece of stationary and a pen, much less an envelope and stamp! The closest I ever came to having a pen pal was writing to my maternal grandmother; every month or so as a very young lad, I'd scratch out a few words in crayon (crayons have been around a long time) and then anxiously await her beautifully handwritten response... truth be known, I was way more interested in the dollar bill always neatly folded into her letters than I was in what she had to say - I guess that made my grandmother more of a banker than a pen pal. The next closest I ever came to having a pen pal was the relationship I developed with the folks in Battle Creek, Michigan; I'd send my accumulated Kellogg's cereal box tops to them and they would send me an amazing toy (many plastic items are amazing to a kid)... but that relationship, too, lacked the personal interest one would expect with a true pen pal - they never wrote me first!
Pen pals... in this age of twitter, instagram and snap chat, I thought that method of communicating was "passé," having gone the way of the Pony Express, carrier pigeons and eighteen cents per gallon gasoline (it didn't cost much to fill up my first car). That is until I received the attached letter from Phelan O'Keefe asking me to be her pen pal. Phelan's early years were spent in The Church of the Cross - I remember placing a Communion wafer in her little outstretched hand for the first time and the delight on her face when I gave her a peppermint during the recessional each week... we became buddies, she and I, and our hugs were frequent over the years. Career enhancements aside, it was difficult for her mom and dad to make the decision to move west and leave Cross Schools and the parish; but God was at work in their transfers and they knew it. Our paths had not crossed since, that is until three weeks ago when Phelan came running up to me after a CrossPoint service - what a delightful hug we shared!
Pen pals... hoping it's neither just a "girl thing" nor "passé" (I want to be "hip," you know - is "hip" "passé?"), in my first note, I accepted Phelan's invitation. No toy or money was included in my response... I'm thinking this might be the real thing.
In His Power and for His Glory!