Life Doesn't Fit in a File Folder Summer Writing Life

The Last of the Handwritten Letters!

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The final entries in the Write-A-Letter-To-My-Son-While-He’s-At-Summer-Camp-Contest will, no doubt, tickle my boy’s funny-bone — although in profoundly different ways.

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Four pages like this one. On 12″ x 12″ stationery.

The first letter came from Michelle of Steadily Skipping Stones.

Y’all, Michelle shared a four page story about how she went to Camp Long Gone, in which she explained in elaborate detail how she and her bunkmates let their sleeping counselor drift down the lake on an inflatable raft and how a furious Miss Carlene confronted the girls after she stumbled out of the woods.

Michelle wrote: “She was all scratched up and there were twigs and leaves and stuff stuck in her hair and all. Really.” Later, Michelle recalled an unfortunate incident at the campfire. Apparently, Miss Carlene wore this shawl thing that was “kind of knit or crochet or something — you know, one of those things that’s made all out of yarn.”  Anyhoo, Miss Carlene’s shawl caught on fire while roasting marshmallows.

And then Miss Carlene quit.

It was one disaster after the other with mean Miss Carlene.

Terrible, but delicious.

At the end of the letter, Michelle shocked me when she wrote:

“Okay, so I have to admit I made some of that up. Well, all of it.

Truth is, I never went to sleep-away camp. And the truth is, it’s one of those things I would have liked to have done, but was too chicken to try. I’m glad that’s not you.

Even though I might not have summer camp memories, I have a lot of other memories I treasure. I hope you’ll write down some of your camp memories and get your friends to record stories for you, too — real or imagined. You’ll have a nice souvenir, and when you’re 43, you’ll be glad you have it. Even though you’ll read some of the names and you won’t remember who they are to save your life, you’ll be able to recall flashes of scenery and snippets of conversation and the texture of everything — the smell, the sound, the joy of it. And one day, you’ll be driving to work and some small shifting of light will bring your camp memories back to you. Only they’ll be real.”

Are you crying? Because I was.

If you don’t follow, Michelle, check out her place or follow her on Twitter @skippingastone. Really.

• • •

The grand finale to this series comes from Don of Don of All Trades. Don’s blog is not about anything in particular. He’s not promoting a cause. He doesn’t bather on about his kids. He doesn’t have a disease. (Anything Don has contracted can be cleared up with a double dose of penicillin.) He’s just a regular guy  — who’s sometimes a little over the top.

Before I received anything via U.S. Postal System, Don warned me emailed to say he’d understand if I didn’t forward his letter to my son, but he’d written the kind of letter he’d write to a 14-year old boy. Admittedly, his one is a little more naughty than some of the other letters. But it had to be included.

Because Don’s writing voice screams summer camp. *ahem*

Don basically disregarded all my suggestions.

In his letter, he encouraged my kid to do things that would definitely get him kicked out of camp. He used tons of double entendres, and poked fun at my suggestion to use cute stationery! Don opened his letter by writing:

“Your mom said to use pretty paper and stickers and such, but since your a 14-year old boy and not a 5-year-old girl, I thought I’d pass on the pretty. I’m writing this on lined paper to spite your mother because she’s fun to heckle. Did you know she can suck on a cherry pit for like 30 minutes?!” 

He goes on:

“I promised your mom I’d not share a funny story about a time when I was 14 and met a girl at at Six Flags Park. She was 16 and had a 66 Ford Mustang. I loved that Mustang. I rode her real good and hard, let me tell you!! They don’t make ’em like that anymore. That 16-year old girl made me a man by teaching me how to drive a stick.”


And, of course, Don had to take things further. He had to write about this time he couldn’t seem to stay on a horse named Sugar Cane, a mare who wouldn’t let him ride. This is the part of the letter where Don used profanity. He also drew a picture to show what a good time he had:

Did you know Don of All Trades is an artist AND a writer?

Don, as usual, you are the icing on the cake. The cherry on top. The happy ending.

If you love these snippets from Don’s letter, check out his blog or stalk him on Twitter at @THE_DOAT.  Trust me, Don’s not afraid of stalkers. Or pervs.

Much gratitude to Don & Michelle for writing these fun handwritten letters. Tech will be home in a few days and after he has been deloused and declawed, I’ll wrestle him down and make him select one winner! I’ll get back to you soon!

• • •

To see other posts in this series read letters from:

Maria of BrickHouseChick

Stuart Sheldon

Misty of Misty’s Law’s

Rivki Silver of Life in the Married Lane

Daile of Kiss Me Out of Desire

Naomi Hattoway of Box 53B 

Pleun of La Vida Loca

Clay Watkins of Making the Days Count



tweet me @rasjacobson

27 thoughts on “The Last of the Handwritten Letters!

  1. haha, oy. I’ve really enjoyed reading all the letters. I hope that when I’m the mom of a teenager I’ll still have enough brain space to be this creative. 🙂

    1. Glad that you send handwritten letters. I soooo appreciated that all these people took the time to write to my son. Hopefully, he’ll be able to help me pick a winner.

      Lord knows, I’d have to award everyone a prize. And that would land me in the poorhouse. Seriously.

    1. So you heard about that whole incident, huh? When the Huffington post got hold of that bit, I wondered if people would figure it out. It was a bit sensationalized though. The headline read: “Teens Sneak Out of Jewish Camp, Multiple Tattoos & Body Piercings.” Really, they only got small tattoos. No big whoop, right? 😉

  2. Who better to communicate with a 14 year old boy than a man who can buy beer but has the mentality of, well, a 14 year old boy!?? He seems like a good boy, so I’m sure he won’t listen to my sage advice, but he’ll regret it when he’s older, no doubt.

    This was a fun series and a fine idea. Way to cop out of having to write letters to your son by having everyone else do it! Kudos to you, mom! I’d forgotten about that fine picture by the way…good stuff!

    1. Tech comes home on Thursday. I assume he will eat and sleep for a few days. When he perks up, I will drag him off to get braces. Once we finish these things, I’ll remind him that he has to pick a winner in the letter writing contest. Hopefully he’ll know what I’m talking about. Look for a winner early in September. Probably.

  3. Really, Renee? Really? You are exposing your young, impressionable, well-behaved son to the sick, twisted, derelict mind of Don? Oh dear, I thought you were a better mother than that! 😉

    This will be the moment you look back on and realize that it’s when it all went to hell. He’s gonna get piercings now. And ink. And . . . a girlfriend. Gasp! Mark my words. 🙂

    1. Hey now, I have no piercings or tattoos and I’ve never told my mom that I hate her! He’s in good hands, but don’t tell Renee that he has my cell number and that I’ve already mentored him on a number of R – rated issues from across the country.

    2. Don’t you secretly love Don’s letter? It’s totally a guy letter, you know? It’s filled with testosterone and growls and grunts and dirt. And I suppose ifif it all has to go to hell, at least I’ll be able to point to the exact moment, right? 😉

  4. Oh, good goolie woozie…Don had me in stitches. Sadly, I think my humor leans pretty heavily in his direction. The other letter was definitely sweet and made some great points… I think it’s why I kept so many of the letters my friends from the Philippines sent me after I moved away…They’re great for memories. 🙂

    1. Alas, my humor is rather grungy, too. I really enjoyed it and it conformed that men and women really do write and think differently. Even Clay’s letter was different from the women’s letters — albeit, it wasn’t like Don’s…but he also alluded to breaking rules, etc. I can’t wait to see which one Tech is going to say he enjoyed the most. I can’t imagine how he’ll ever decide.

  5. Michelle has excellent penmanship.

    I’m sorry I wasn’t around for this series. I would’ve sent Magic cards, but most likely the wrong ones.

    I’ll have to go back and read. What a sweet idea.

    1. No worries, Hippie! I was astounded that so many people were willing to write Tech while he was away. If more people had written, I would have been posting their letters even now — and he’s home! It was the perfect amount! Hope you are enjoying your summer!

  6. Loved all the letters! As soon as I read the first two you posted, I knew there was no way I could write anything to Tech that would be nearly as entertaining! So, I didn’t. Sorry. Plus, I barely wrote to my own first-time camper while she was gone (bad mom), so how could I write to yours? :-p

    1. No worries, Faith. You had to write to your own kiddies! I had to sai I was overwhelmed by the response here. I never imagined that 12 people would be willing to write to my son! He loved reading every single one, and he’s even selected a winner! So the next thing is working on writing that post! I’m glad that everyone is home now!

    1. Hi Katherine. I have to admit, I don’t usually draw stick pictures… but they were filled with so much life and energy, I’m pretty sure that my son loved getting all these letters! And now that he’s home, it’s time for him to select that winner — and write his response to the author of that letter in his own handwritten letter!

      Whaaaat? You didn’t think he was going to get off without writing something, did you? Stay tuned!

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