Spring Break for the Brown Family has arrived. As I drove my bubbly boys and Nick to the Amtrak station early this morning to board a train headed to Chicago, I reminded them of the four requests I had mentioned over dinner last night (such an annoying Mom sometimes!!). Emmett piped up, “One, take lots of pictures (Nick finally turned in his flip phone for a smartphone which actually takes pictures!). Two, write postcards (the troupe is supplied with postcard stamps and addresses). Three, have fun. And four…I forgot, Mom.” I pleaded, “Write in your travel journal at least once Em!”  “Oh right, got it Mom.”

I laughed when I realized two of the four requests pertained to writing. No surprise here. But it’s the simple touches of handwriting which can leave the lasting impressions. That’s the drive anyway. The memories a child creates while not only documenting the journey, the “big city” moments, but the actual act of writing becomes a part of this experience.

SSong Book Rack With Card and Pencil Holder

I was reminded of this yesterday while sitting at the Easter service with my family. When I wasn’t trying to hush my kids down, I found myself writing notes to my Mom on the donation envelope with the small pew pencils. Flashbacks raced in my mind of many younger years when I was also waiting patiently in the pews, wanting to chat with my friends. We would use up every centimeter of paper with our notes to each other. As I subtly passed my Mom a note, I wondered how many kids still write or do most text each other while trying to stay quiet during a church service? I’m afraid we all the know the answer. Is there a loss in this writing as well, the passing of the notes, the feel of the stubby pencil, using the song book as a desk?


The Parts of a Church Pew thumbnailThere are those traditions I plan to hold while my kids grow…writing postcards, writing in travel journals.  And yes, maybe even writing notes in church versus the ever popular texting might just have to be added to the list.

8 thoughts on “ Amtrak

  1. David McNally

    I saw your writing those notes to your Mom Wendy. Hmmm! What would the Pastor say?

  2. Evelyn Brown

    This is so nostalgic and heart warming! I used to have pages stuffed in the back of my choir music folder full of notes written on donation envelopes or programs from my fellow choir members. I would say that cellphones/texting wasn’t quite so popular amongst kids, so paper was a necessity during a long service. But I’m sure you know I wouldn’t be caught dead with my cellphone out during church might my father see! Hope you loves had a great trip. Lots of love xoxoxoxo

  3. wendy Post author

    Such sweet thoughts Ms.Ev. Love that Mac is still ‘old world’ when it comes to appropriate moments for texting!! Missing you.

  4. Sally

    Yes, Sally is thrilled! Writing of any sort is always something to celebrate. Somehow I missed seeing you on Sunday. Can’t wait to hear about the trip to Chicago. I have a poignant memory of that train ride. I went up to the car with all the windows to get a good look at the Wisconsin landscape. A little boy was sitting there in all his Thomas the Tank Engine clothes, just like Evan used to wear. I sat down and sobbed.

  5. Danielle Arlowe

    I loved writing those notes with you. Trying to keep our giggles under control. But we managed to somehow take a lot away from those services in addition to our giggles.


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