My paternal grandfather was 21 years old when he received this post card. The year was 1913 and Ellwood Avery Slater was a young man who would soon go to war, then later return home to marry my grandmother. At that time, the U.S. postal service held the monopoly on communication with correspondence consisting of beautiful picture post cards washed in soft colors. I have a handful of these precious letters, when words were written in pen and ink with style and a refined hand.
I'm not sure who the author of this card was; my assumption is that he was a buddy from back home. He writes about harvesting wheat and working in the fields with his horses, Billie and Barney. The tone is one of camaraderie; a note to check in and reach out to an old friend.
The detail and intricacies of these old cards fascinate me: the decorative scrolls and flowers on the back, the small stamp, and the simplistic addresses of those years ago. Part of me longs for the moment captured in this picture, when chivalry wore a suit and there was time for walking in the garden.
Our past holds many treasures and should be safeguarded for our future. With the birth of modern conveniences and the immediacy of our advances, much of the loveliness and simplicity of earlier days has been lost. Though everything is faster and more instant, e-mail, faxes and phone calls can't compare to the beauty of script as pen meets paper.
Perhaps if we slow down a bit and ponder where we came from, we'll discover what our ancestors did: The secret doesn't lie in how we lose time, but how it is spent in the first place.