The Appraiser’s Diary: Handwritten Letters

Rachel G. HoffmanBy Rachel Hoffman
Last month, I received a hand written letter from Fred. He wrote to me to say that he appreciates my articles every month and looks forward to them and that he is a longtime friend of my mother from back in the days of doing shows at the Denver Merchandise Mart. How neat it was to open a real letter – with ink and a stamp. To be honest, it had been awhile since I received one of those. Handwritten thank-you notes express heartfelt appreciation. A handwritten note congratulating someone on a promotion or an honor is a nice way to recognize someone’s devotion, hard work, and talent.

Hand written letters are one of my favorite things to send and receive. Really great stationary is also a guilty pleasure of mine. I love a fantastic card and pen to write on it with. When I find beautiful stationary – covered with whimsical images of my favorite things like English bulldogs, beautiful floral arrangements, or perfectly daring jokes for my friends, I always snap them up.

huge.23.115397As a person that sends and receives hundreds of emails throughout the week, I believe email is a great technological tool, but the e-mail lacks “personality.” A handwritten letter is more intimate. The letter-writer learns the art of handwriting. The recipient of a handwritten letter sees something of the character of the writer in the handwriting. Writing by hand with a pen can be quite rewarding. Did you know that some professional authors still write by hand? Hand movements help thinking. I take all my notes by hand.

powerofsong-graphicsfairy008sm      I challenge you this month to write a letter to someone outdoors. It doesn’t matter where you are, just try it – at the beach or from your back yard. When we are at the seashore enjoying the sunshine, breathing the fresh air, and hearing the waves break, we can directly convey the experience with pen and paper to our family and friends. We can also convey the beauty of the mountains and woods in letters. Something of every environment and season fills us with ideas and perfumes the very paper we write on.

Letter writing is an art. Think about the beauty of handwritten letters. Do you have some from a past love or ones that were passed down in your family? Letters are often saved for many years. Some letters have been kept for hundreds of years. Have you ever opened an old book to see a handwritten letter fall out? Few people can resist reading a handwritten letter or card. Antique collectors buy and sell postcards and often find much pleasure in the handwritten messages they carry. We all appreciate a handwritten letter. Why? Perhaps because in this day and age, it requires a bit more planning. One must purchase a letter, stop to write it, put on a stamp, and mail it.

This month, my column is dedicated to Fred. Keep up the letter writing, Fred.

    Warm Wishes,

    Rachel Hoffman

 To learn more about Rachel’s Appraisal practice or contact her, visit

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