When I was a wee lass, writing letters (versus emails or texts) was still A Thing, and I loved to get letters but was not really an international peer pen-pal sort of girl. Instead, I wrote letters to my mom's sister, Aunt Nene, and every one started in the same imaginative way:
"Dear Aunt Nene:
How are you? I am fine."
…after which I would blather on about whatever scintillating news an 8-year old might have, likely tales of sibling woe or an epic retelling of the appropriation of a paint-by-numbers kit (mostly unused!) from the neighbor's garage sale or some such.
Nene, being a charitable sort and also spectacular with children, would obligingly reply:
How are you? I am also fine."
Sometimes these would be handwritten notes in Nene's characteristic loopy, not quite cursive printing; and sometimes they would be manufactured on an old-school typewriter with many an exclamation point and lined- or X'd-out erratum, from a machine dating definitely back to pre-correction-tape days. I think this may have been around the time Nene was writing for her local newspaper and so that was probably the tool of her trade, but whatever the source, I adored those letters, and the lady who sent them, and I still do.
Nene turned 80 last year - and a couple years before that she could be found showing a little leg before jumping off of her younger brother's boat into the Mighty Mississippi with her nieces' children:
|Two too-canny Conways can can-can. Can you? Lookit those pointed toes! Ha chachachacha!|
Here is a woman who is always ready to