Looking Back with Hindsight

No one is born with their future written in stone; it took me years to find my own path.  Looking back I can see now what I couldn’t see then, that the tiniest inspiration, if you love it enough, can be the gateway to a future. For instance, don’t laugh, (and most of you probably already know) but I always got an A in handwriting.  At the time, no one got very excited about that (although, when I was around fifteen, my dad did take something I wrote to work to show his co-workers, something the daughter will never forget ), but really, how much more insignificant could an “achievement” be?  Would you ever imagine there could be a life in handwriting?  Me, either.

But yes, it can happen.  Which, by the way, means anything can happen! This is the top of my calendar page for March.  Musica?  Oui!  It’s a celebration of good old-fashioned letter writing.  I love my grandma’s old letters that all start with “Sue Darling;” my old boyfriend’s letters; all the letters from my best friend Diana when I left California to move to Martha’s Vineyard. Our letters flew back and forth and now they’re like little diaries.  They never get old; their details capture and hold on to a moment in time like almost nothing else.  Except for the photos, everything on that calendar page was either written or painted by hand. The old letter in the upper left was one written by a beau to Joe’s great, great grandmother in 1881.  On the right, is the front, inside, and back of a card I wrote to my grandmother when I was eight.  As you can see, I was so excited to get to the p.s., I almost forgot to sign my name first!  I’ve always been a P.S. Person!

Goodbye cursive? Get outta here!  They’ve been talking about taking cursive out of schools.  I saw this newspaper in a gas station while traveling last fall and practically cried before I ran to get the camera!  My sister says the school her eight-year-old twins go to is no longer teaching cursive!  Luckily my little nephews are amazing artists; they want to know how to do cursive and Shelly teaches them.

 I think learning cursive was the first connection between my brain, a pencil, and whatever artistic talent I had; moving the pencil just so to form letters, to make a little curl on an E, to bend the top of a T.  I don’t know if it happened that way for other artists — but what if it was the same thing for some of  the most talented artists, for example, like Monet, or DaVinci (who taught himself to write cursive backwards!), or John Singer Sargent?  What if it was???  No pencil, no connection = just maybe, no art.

And for sure, two out of these three books could never have been written if it wasn’t for cursive.  Not to mention the Declaration of Independence, which wouldn’t have been half so interesting or informative if it had been written perfectly, on a computer, all mistakes and cross-outs deleted.

I have nothing against a printed book, love love love them in fact, but

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this kind of book makes me feel history more than any printed book could ever do.  Rachel (we met as pen pals and now we are dear friends for twenty years; go say hello if you have time!) sent me this old diary she found for sale in an antiquarian bookstore in England where she lives; she knew it would be my cup of tea, and she was so right!

This diary was written by a twelve-year-old British girl named Alice.  She writes about her lessons with “mademoiselle,” about her dog, about teatime and what she ate; and about how much she whistles, which is practically every night.  She really loves to whistle!  “Dec. 4, 1906 Nothing special today, whistled in the evening.”  It’s a little treasure; she might have thought it was “nothing special” but it is to me.  I wonder what she was like as a grown woman?

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I would love to have known Margaret Cavendish!  And, just imagine, no this:

I have no doubt at all that Nancy Luce’s writings and little books were inspired by her simple everyday school life here on the island, learning to make her letters.  Despite her illness and loneliness, she still managed, through her handwriting (and her heart), to become the most famous person on Martha’s Vineyard in the late 1800’s.

And for sure, this would look very different if it wasn’t handwritten; my favorite book I ever wrote; the diary of our adventure in England.  Sure it could be typed, but I love all the mess in this diary, it’s real, with crossed out lines and misspellings and lots of exclamation points!!!! I tried to make this first page neat, within reason, I didn’t have a ruler, but inside it looks more like my other diaries:

This was part of my diary entry for January 19, 1978; the first time I broached the question of how “real” writing was done.  Sometimes people tell me they don’t want to use their handwriting in their scrapbooks and on recipe cards because they think it’s so bad.  Could it be any worse than this?  Would it really matter?  Wouldn’t a great, great, great grandchild love seeing any kind of handwriting at all, as long as it belonged to you?

I’ve been keeping a diary on and off since I was nine, and constantly since I was thirty.  These are probably the most embarrassing items I own.  They’re bare bones, pathetically truthful, “scream of consciousness;” running the gamut of emotional health from A to B and will all have to be burned one day.  They know too much.  I never thought about “writing” when I wrote them, which is too bad; I would have liked to see myself wax poetic!  I left out lots of details and told things that no sane person would ever tell.  Because I wasn’t thinking!!!  This is the truth, there was no thinking going on!!!

I was a gut-spiller in my diaries, and yet, they are part of me and my life, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, I am married to them.  I bought my House of Creativity inside those pages!  Our Christmases are there. My kitty, Pooh, died there.  I moved to Martha’s Vineyard inside those books, wrote my first cookbook and met Joe.  And without cursive, all that important stuff would be lost!

And you know what else?  Without cursive, here would be no more of these!!

So I’m declaring this day, March 10th, “I Love Cursive Day,” and in honor of the celebration I am giving away not one, but three, things that will exercise your cursivity and leave a little herstory for the folks in 3012, who are apparently going to need it.

 First off, I’ll send the winner of our drawing a package of these How to Be Happy Notecards.  So she can send a little note to someone she loves, and put it on paper to last forever. 

In addition, the package will contain a signed copy of my new Grandma, Tell Me Your Story book.  I wish so much I had one of these when my Grandma was alive; there are lots of family memories lost forever.  I would have loved to know more details of her childhood.  I never did hear about her favorite dress.  

 The book is lined, and filled with good questions for a Grandma to answer, the ones I would have liked to ask; “real” ones, such as “Did you ever leave school without permission?” And, “Did you like to dance; did your dances have names? Who taught you the steps?” (That’s where I would write that my first dance partner was our refrigerator door handle!)  When finished, this book will be something a family will cherish forever.  If the winner isn’t a Grandma, I’m sure she will know one or have one and it will make a wonderful gift!

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And last but not least, this.  It’s my newest recipe keeper, and I’ll be signing this one too.  It’s smaller than our three-ring-binder-recipe-keepers which means it would be a quicker project to put together; the letter stickers come with it so you can add a name on the cover; you just fill in the recipe pages with your favorite family recipes, gathered in one place, to save forever, perfect for a newly wed daughter or son.

To enter the drawing for all three items, you have to be actually on my website, which most of you are (some people have the blog emailed to them via subscription, which means there is no comment button; if that’s you, just go to www.susanbranch.com) and leave a comment by clicking the word “comment” at the bottom of this post.  That’s all, and in a few days, charmingly talented “Vanna,” our in-house random number generator, will choose a winner.  Join my quest to save the cursive!  And have a wonderful weekend girlfriends!

X O X O X O

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1,532 Responses to Looking Back with Hindsight

  1. Sheila Brazzell says:

    Susan,
    Not only do I love to write in cursive but I love to write with a fountain pen. When I was in school I couldn’t wait to get to third grade. Not only did we learn cursive but we used a fountain pen. I still remember my first one it was a marbley (is that a word?) blue Esterbrook pen. I thought I was really grown up. When my best friend moved North and I moved South we promised to keep in touch with letters. We still do and I’m thinking of starting a traveling journal. I write in it for a month then she writes for a month. Still haven’t figured out who gets to keep it. Thanks for writing about writing.
    PS The best fountain pen is an inexpensive Varsity by Pilot throw away pen!

    • sbranch says:

      Love pens, thank you for the information Sheila!

      • Jeannie Admire says:

        I love fountain pens, too. Thanks for telling about the Varsity by Pilot. I’ll get one the next time I’m close to a shopping place (My tiny town
        offers lots of art and trinkets but not many stationery stores.)

  2. sharon says:

    Curses on giving up cursive writing! No computer could ever be so beautiful, nor so personal. Books, Conversations, Letters—These show our human side, and I pray that is never lost.

  3. Nicole Pennebaker says:

    YES, hurray for cursive day! Cursive is a wonderful thing that should be passed down to future generations. I can see it now – in 3012 there will be books teaching people the lost art of cursive! I had to chuckle at the comments about burning your journals, because I did exactly that! I couldn’t bear to read them so they had to be destroyed. I’m sort of regretting it after reading your post… Well, I guess the only remedy is to start a new one (and to remember that writing is meant to be read!)

  4. Doris P says:

    Susan ~ just wanted to say that you are always inspiring me. After reading this post last weekend, instead of emailing a note to my oldest girlfriend, I wrote her a note on a pretty card. I hadn’t done that in a long time! I loved seeing your handwritten “Story of My Life” written when you were 9 yrs old! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂 xox 😀

  5. Elizabeth Medel says:

    Joining the “I Love Cursive Day” ! I really love writing letters in cursive, and I especially love signing my signature on documents. I feel so proud when I get compliments on my penmanship 🙂 My teenagers get annoyed with me when I have them write grocery lists in cursive but I tell them they will appreciate it someday. Its a beautiful, wonderful and precious lost art which needs to be treasured, protected and passed down.

    Thank You Susan for your sweet blogs! 🙂

  6. Terry says:

    yea, I love cursive day! My son is in the 4th grade and they were only shown how to write in cursive one time. They practiced for a couple of days and that was it. When I was in school we practiced all the time. My last year of Elementary school we had open house and our writing was proudly displayed for all to see. We had a page from each year of Elementary school stapled together on a sheet of construction paper, this was so we could see the progress that we had made through the years. I remember a mom commenting on my writing and telling me how pretty my writing was. I’ve always remembered her comment. I felt so proud. I still have my writing paper from my open house, I love it, one of my favorite things from childhood. I love your blog Susan, it really brightens my day! It’s my favorite blog to read. 🙂

  7. Robin in New Jersey says:

    I love pens and paper and handwriting. I have homeschooled all 7 of my children, taught them all cursive and they all prefer to print. My youngest 3 girls, ages 12, 14 and 16 will sometimes write in cursive and I always tell them their cursive is lovely. They always tell me they can’t read what people write in cursive. I have made many scrapbooks; a few I have taken the time to type out journaling with fancy fonts on the computer. I have a feeling in the future my family is going to like seeing my handwriting in the scrapbooks I took the time to hand write.

    Thank you for the loveliness!

  8. nanette says:

    NO MORE CURSIVE WRITING? I can’t even imagine this! Actually, it makes me very sad. Cursive will always be beautiful………maybe there will be some who coming along who love it as much as we do!

    Thank you for the beautiful cursive you give us. It’s lovely. YOU are lovely and so is your blog!

  9. Jennifer B says:

    I love cursive too!!!!
    Just wish that mine were a bit prettier…… I think I should have been a doctor!

  10. Cindy Berry says:

    I just had to tell you that a couple of days after reading this our local paper had an article about some local school kids who had competed and won a handwriting contest – I was thrilled to see that the art of handwriting was still alive and well! It also mentioned the connection between writing and remembering. So have faith!!!

  11. Pam Romo says:

    I love your blog – you bring such encouragement and fun. And I love cursive writing! I hope we never lose the art of the hand-written note/letter!

  12. Janet says:

    Love your blog! Thanks for all the reminders of what is truly good in life.

  13. WendyO says:

    I lament the lack of emphasis on penmanship in schools now! They teach printing, but it doesn’t really seem to even matter if it’s neat! And to not teach cursive, is just appalling! There is nothing like opening my recipe box to find recipes in my mom’s or mother-in-law’s handwriting….surely it even makes the food taste better! 🙂

  14. Pegeen Alexander says:

    I have been away from my computer for a few days and just read your post today. I also am an artist and am also deeply connected to cursive in so many ways. I always received an At in handwriting (penmanship back then!!) and loved the act of writing. I just retired after 37 years in my career and was known throughout the agency throughout all those years for my handwriting (for other things also, I hope!!). I have ALWAYS handwritten notes, invitations, thank you notes, Christmas cards, birthday cards, any other season greetings, etc. etc. etc.. To this day, my communication (other than oral or commenting on your posts) is written. I think it would be a regrettable error to remove cursive from the schools…if anything, they should bring back an emphasis on it and strive to help students improve. There truly is something beautiful about the “written word”, and we can certainly use more beauty everywhere! Thank you yet again for another connection to the special little things in life.

  15. Joan Ramseyer says:

    I am just catching up on your recent posts but I wanted to comment about writing letters. I want people to know how valuable they are especially when written over many years. I wrote once a week to my in-laws and my mother-in-law wrote to us once a week. I wrote all through our children’s growing up years and when my mother-in-law died, a sister-in-law was helping to clean out her house and threw all my letters away. I was heart broken when I heard that because it would have been nice to have our “history” returned so I could treasure the words and give the letters to our children. Thank you for reminding us that letters do matter and that letters written in cursive are a beautiful thing to behold.

  16. Joy Rheaume says:

    I always notice when someone has beautiful cursive writing! That is why I love to find letters that were written a long time ago, when people took pride in their handwriting. Unfortunately there is always a price to be paid for progress, and cursive might be one of the prices. That is truly sad. 🙁

  17. Martha McDaniel says:

    Some of my favorite things are in my Grandmothers handwritting, also my Aunt Muriel (we had to get my Mother to figure out what she wrote because her writting was so bad) who wrote to me for every special occasions. I still have these cards, letters and receipts and love to reread them. Emails are nice but something is missing.

  18. Ginnie says:

    Aren’t we blessed by your learning cursive – yes!! Thank you, Susan, for all you share with us.

  19. Vela Tomba says:

    Hooray for “I love cursive day!”

  20. Dear Susan,

    It is such a shame that one doesn’t see lovely handwriting much anymore – especially from young folks. Like you, I cared deeply about how my handwriting looked, and still do. Always on the search for a new favorite pen (because the beauty of one’s handwriting can be attributed to how good the pen is!)

    Thank you for appreciating the beauty of handwriting.

    Warm regards,
    Kristen

  21. Tracy says:

    Sue, I have always loved to write letters. My older sisters and I were separated after our parents dies when I was young and we wrote letters constantly. When one of my sisters dies, all the letters were returned to me. Reading them again was like reading a timeline of my life. I haven’t saved some all of my journal writing over the years, Some of it has been too painful to read in retrospect…too much trauma. But writing it down has been cathartic – a process of healing. And I like going back and reading what brings me joy, not what breaks my heart.
    I teach cursive in my second grade class. My students LOVE it. They are so eager to write but I make them wait until January. I tell them “Your finger muscles will be ready after Santa comes.” 🙂 And it is true. I even bring in stationary for them in the spring. We write letters to someone special in their life. It’s a great experience.
    Thank you for always reminding me that the little things from long ago are to be treasured…you have brightened my world for over two decades Sue. Thank you! xo

  22. Tarma Cole says:

    Hi Susan;
    I am the mom of two boys and I felt it was important for them to learn cursive. I too was a Girl Scout and just went to a 100 year celebration lunch and fashion show. The dresses had been my grandmothers, my moms and mine. My niece was there in her uniform, my sister in her leader uniform, and my mom. There were 3 generations of scouting there and my grandmas uniforms! All of us including my grandma had been involved with scouting. She started a troop up in the “North Country” of New York state. Now my boys are Eagle Boy Scouts, but I like to think I taught them some of those good Girl Scout lessons, (Pen Pal badge and smores).

  23. Barb K. says:

    Susan…I totally agree with you about the whole cursive writing issue. It just makes me want to cry. Why are the schools choosing to get rid of the very things that make us most unique? Music and art and yes, even handwriting.
    My big hobby is genealogy. I’ve been at it for two decades and when you said “wouldn’t a great, great, great grandchild want to see any kind of writing at all, as long as it belonged to you”, I am sitting here screaming YES! Yes, Yes, Yes. In fact, where I have not been able to locate photos of ancestors, especially those from really far back, I have used their signature (when I could find it on marriage certificates or wills, etc.) What could be more unique? To me, it’s a valuable as any picture.
    I’m a couple days late here but am wholeheartedly celebrating “I Love Cursive Day” with you.
    xo, Barb from NJ

  24. Sandy Thornton says:

    I remember as a little girl how anxious I was to learn to write in cursive. I would watch my sister, who is four years older than me, write and was so amazed at how fast she could write. So I finally talked her in to teaching me. I was so proud to learn at such a young age until my teacher called me up to her desk one day. I can still remember her asking me if someone had been teaching me how to write in cursive. I got so scared thinking I had committed some sort of crime!!! I told her that my sister was teaching me. She then commended my enthusiasm but said that I needed to wait until I was older because in trying to learn to write I was messing up my printing. It was a crushing blow!!! 🙂 But, alas, I finally reached the proper grade and have loved writing ever since.
    Thank you, so much, for such a wonderful place to come and remember simpler times and share our memories with each other. You are such a blessing to me!!!

  25. Joan Allert says:

    I learned cursive in Catholic school in the fifties and it was taken very seriously. I still get compliments on my penmanship. I love to write letters and cards to my family and friends, but unfortunatley we now have to send emails and text messages that lose a lot of the meaning of things we really are trying to say and sometimes taken the wrong way. Lets pick up the phone and hear voices once in a while and take pen in hand and write out “I love you”.
    PS
    My granddaughters love Betsy-Tacy books! Thank you so much for telling us about them. We all love your blog and can’t wait for your
    new cookbook.

  26. Debi Hutchinson says:

    I just wanted to tell you that my 8 year old granddaughter is starting to show an interest in my life and our family tree. Sooooo, I purchased the Grandma book from your store and I have started filling it in. And, I don’t mind saying, I’m having a ball doing it!

  27. Debbie '51 says:

    uh oh. I missed I Love Cursive Day! I’m going to celebrate today to try to catch up with the rest of you! I love the journals and diaries and books you have. I just love to look over the old letters written by my grandmother and great-grandmother. Cursive was an art way back then. It’s just too sad that it could possibly go away! Thank you, Susan, for pointing us in the right direction!

    This was a wonderful post. As always, I am so enchanted by your writing. It’s positively inspirational! I’ve procrastinated long enough about finally getting started on writing those “life stories” of mine for my grandchildren – something I’ve always meant to do. Your “Grandma Tell Me Your Story” would be just the right thing for me! Can’t wait!

    Thank you, Susan! A treasure, that’s what you are! ♥

  28. Ginny Sargent - New England says:

    Cursive is an art! I love pens, because I enjoy the process of writing. It allows a flow of thoughts so different than a keyboard. An age I hope doesn’t end. I can remember being graded for cursive writing when I was in the younger grades.
    I see history, love and exercise of a personal touch. Lovely that is what it is, lovely. I will swing that banner loud and clear. I just love it.

  29. I love cursive writing! My husband is a Commercial Fisherman and I help run his office and he always says that my loopy (he means lovely 🙂 ) cursive does not fit correspondence from a manly fisherman — I think it is a lost art of which I will use to express myself until my dying day!

  30. Sequin says:

    Hi Susan,
    I love sending and receiving handwritten letters and love to add holiday or seasonal stickers or pictures to the envelopes, add articles or words of wisdom that reminded me of the receiver. A handwritten note is a friend forever. Sadly, many of us are succumbing only to email, including myself at times.

    I’ve always wanted to get a stack of at least 17 cards on my birthday. Why? Because it happened to one of my girlfriends long ago. Until recently, I never reached the mark. Secretly, for my 64th birthday, my husband contacted friends and family to request handwritten birthday cards. I received postcards, notes, greetings well over my dream number. My daughter and her husband even sent a card with 19 other tiny handwritten cards with compliments written inside. A simple birthday gift, but what a treasure that I will keep forever! Thanks for the memories of handwriting classes.
    PS. Rubberbands don’t last to stash these. That’s why the envelopes are always tied with a ribbon in the movies. Gold elastic cord works well also.

  31. Kay Swanson says:

    I always love to read your blog…oh, how I remember practicing my handwriting! Being a “lefty” posed problems for me, and for a long time I had horrible handwriting. Finally, while in college, studying to be an elementary teacher, I forced myself to perfect my handwriting style, so I would be a good role model for my students. While some of my friends were out socializing, I was practicing my handwriting. The practice paid off…I made it an artistic challenge…now I often receive compliments! “Leftys” can do it!

  32. Amy says:

    Love those notecards! So sweet!!!

  33. Janeen says:

    I love the “art of letter writing”. I journal off and on as well and believe my books will be legacy’s left to my children. I hope they take the time to read them!

  34. Deb Evans says:

    To this day, pretty cursive handwriting still stops me in my tracks. If someone sends me a hand-addressed letter, I have a hard time recyling the envelope. It reminds me of how pretty my 3rd grade teacher’s handwriting was. I remember thinking how I would never achieve that perfect penmanship. It’s so funny that some of the other comments were about fountain pens. I had an inexpensive blue one many years ago, and I was just thinking about getting myself another one. Funny how we all think the same.

  35. Linda Sautter says:

    Thank you, Susan. I love your website. I also enjoyed reading all your blogs, and your newsletter. I get so excited when I see “Willard”. I feel like I’m hearing from an old friend. I also have always enjoyed cursive and enjoy writing checks (although I do most of my bills online now) because it’s so fun to take my time and think that the recepient will appreciate it (probably it’s an automated machine?). I was born in 1947 so can relate to all you write…please keep it up!
    I love your recipes but unfortunately I can’t enjoy food like I use too…just can’t exercise enough to keep the pounds off 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Still fun to read about! New Willard starts going out next Tuesday! Have a wonderful weekend Linda!

  36. Jaimee Langston from Nampa, Idaho. says:

    My husband and I just had a conversation about the schools not teaching cursive anymore. It is just Wrong in my opinion. I struggled through it, but I think all should learn it. I would love to learn creative writing methods. Lettering. Coloring. Would be so fun. Have a great weekend.
    P.S. remember to wear a little red so you can receive a little kiss. : P

  37. Bobbi A. says:

    Happy Cursive Day!!! I love nothing more than a beautiful piece of paper that I can doodle on and then write a note with a special pen to a special friend.

  38. Nancy says:

    Ohhh, I remember learning to write cursive between the dashed and solid lines at school. So glad at least my kids were also taught cursive, although they both do print when they write me cards (yes wonderful thoughtful cards for birthdays and Christmas…and they’re only teenagers, I guess I did something right!!)

  39. Charlene Hisayasu says:

    I, too, love cursive writing. I would try to copy the handwriting of some of my favorite elementary teachers! One year, I tried writing like my left-handed fifth-grade teacher though I was right-handed! Yes, cursive is IMPORTANT! What would the handwriting/personality experts do without cursive? I found out that I had a “forward, progressive” view of life and that my completed loops indicated good work habits. Such confirmation and encouragement! =)

  40. Lisa Nelson-Jones says:

    I heard about the loss of our cursive several years ago and was so upset. I have always been envious of people that were taught “handwriting” based on calligraphy, b/c it was not taught by the time I reached 2nd grade in 85′. At least I was still taught cursive, however! I am so envious any time I see people write with that beautiful tilt to their words and the flow of the words. How much children will miss out on if cursive is alltogether stopped. I agree with you Susan, actual writing adds so much more to history. So much richness and feeling that cannot be seen in a typed word. SAVE THE CURSIVE!!

    • sbranch says:

      People often don’t know what they’re missing until it’s gone. But still, what we have gained, the connection provided by the computer, the “power to the people” aspect, is so huge and so wonderful! I just wish we could have both!

  41. Millie Ray says:

    I too, love the written word, and have all kinds of Journals. I’m only sorry I didn’t do this when my girls were growing up, I waited until I had an empty nest, I think it was because I had so much more time. I don’t write every day, but certainly at least once a week, and have for twenty-five years or so. I have all the moves of family, births, deaths, visits, fortunes, and tragedies recorded for posterity. I can’t imagine doing away with cursive writing, and what it will do to our communication process…..that is not progress!

  42. Barbara Whiting says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thanks so much for waving the banner to preserve the art of cursive writing.
    As a former teacher and current librarian I am amazed at the number of children who cannot write in cursive. What a tragedy not only for them but for future generations. One of my greatest treasures in a recent move was discovering some long lost letters written by my parents in their familiar handwriting. It was like bringing them back to life….so much of who you are is revealed in your handwriting. Thanks again for putting in print what I have been thinking for some time.

  43. Barbara B says:

    I went to a Catholic gradeschool where cursive writing was a very important part of the curriculum. I recently purchased an old book at an antique store that was full of a young child’s practise cursive letters. With recent events I will treasure it even more.

  44. Evelyn says:

    Just utter craziness….who are the mis-guided “leaders” who made this decision? Smart parents should teach their children. My dear, late father had the most beautiful handwriting I’ve ever seen. He was a big, strong burly red-headed Irishman but took great pride in whatever he wrote. He had a writer’s gift and the beautiful handwriting. He so inspired me and my sister and brother to practice and develop a beautiful hand. Handwriting is an art. But, I think, it will re-surge eventually when these kids grow up and realize what they were deprived of learning.

    Happy St. Patty’s Day.

    Eleanor Roosevelt was a treasure.

  45. You are always so sweet to give treats to us! I’ve kept a journal all of my adult life, too and have lots of books now! It’s nice to go back and read things from the past…things that would be impossible to remember if they weren’t written down! Enjoy your weekend! And THANKS! ♥

  46. Karen D says:

    Hope I am not too late for the drawing – been terribly busy this last week and have just finally had a moment to stop by! Have not had a chance to read through all the comments so I don’t know if any of the other teachers on this blog ( and I know there are lots of them) have commented that most children LOVE to learn cursive! It makes them feel like one of the “big kids” and grown-up. Teaching it is like revealing some kind of “secret code”. I loved it!

  47. Donna says:

    Susan, Your blog and web site are a ray of “granddaughter” sunshine. My 1 & only GD is 18 months old and lives in the East. I live in the Midwest. Is it all right if I think of your blogs as notes to me, a grandmother? As long as you don’t expect notes back. My handwriting was never stellar and now is too wiggly to interpret.

  48. Teresa says:

    I so look forward to reading Willard, especially this time of year as daffy’s start to pop out — my favorite!

  49. rita baker says:

    Am I too late to comment? Always write everything down. My mom is long gone, but she left me her gift of having beautiful cursive handwriting, as mine is almost identical to hers.

  50. I do know what you are saying about an early spring. My flowers are popping out everywhere early. The warm sunny days are upon us . I got spring fever so bad I could not wait to find pussy willows. I got a whole large vase full sitting in my kitchen as we speak. Now that’s also a good sign of spring. Keep up the great work. Enjoy your weekend! This is my first time on your blog. I Like it.

  51. gail says:

    I learned to write with the Palmer Penmanship method in a parochial school. It was mandatory to pass. It wasn’t all that easy to learn, and I had to stay after school several times in order to pass. I often got my papers returned with red marks scratched across letters that were formed less than perfectly.

    Over the years, I’ve gotten lazy and sloppy and my handwriting has sort of morphed into a shorthand cross between printing and cursive. I’m glad you wrote this post. I think I’ll pay more attention to my writing from now on and really try to get back those elegant strokes and flourishes that I started out with.

    I’m so glad you wrote this post, I think I’ve taken my handwriting for granted but after today, I think I’ll pay more attention and try to

    • sbranch says:

      I definitely have my “good” handwriting and my “bad” — my shopping lists are definitely not art!

  52. Coni (Nashville, TN) says:

    Hi Susan,

    No one may ever read this comment because it’s been so long since you’re original post, but I’m posting it anyway. 🙂

    I read an article online this morning about a 7-year old girl who was born without hands. She won the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellent Penmanship this week. Isn’t that AMAZING? You can read the full article here:

    http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/first-grader-born-without-hands-wins-penmanship-award-180647263–abc-news-topstories.html

    Considering how much we all love your beautiful handwriting, I thought you’d enjoy reading this story.

  53. Kathleen Trepp says:

    I discovered a locked metal box which had not been opened in 100 years with a large number of love letters written to my great aunt…..by a military man who was then sent to the orient by ship before the Golden Gate bridge was built and tells his account of being the first regiment in the Cavalry to punch a hole in the wall of the Forbidden City…..it is a fascinating account of his travel and his love which ended sadly in his death when he was hit by a horse and carriage after returning to the states.
    Thank you for all the grand moments you share with me!

  54. Linda says:

    THANK YOU.
    I am so sad that the educational world does not see the value of cursive writing. There is a hand-mind connection that helps memory; that is, the movements of the hand/hands in writing is an imprint on the mind, and assists in memorizing the thing written. This is why taking notes in class is SO important.

    My Auntie, now an energetic 97, still has beautiful handwriting. She thinks it is “a terrible thing” that schools want to get rid of cursive writing… she and my uncle were married for 40 years at the time of his death, and they BOTH had handwriting that was exactly alike. Isn’t that amazing ~ one could not tell who wrote or signed a document.

    So, I BEG the world … never stop writing by hand… penmanship is an art worth keeping!

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