There's nothing quite like getting a letter in the mail.
Don't get me wrong. I like e-mail and Facebook messages, too, but there's something about a letter that someone had to take not only the time to compose, but to then find an envelope and stamp and get it to the mailbox.
That takes some effort, especially if you're like me and you either never have stamps or if you do, you've misplaced them.
I've been lucky to get some really nice correspondence lately, something I truly appreciate.
One especially eloquently written letter arrived on my desk this past week, its author Elaine Snider. I hope I don't embarrass her by singling her out but sometimes, an unexpected letter or note can really make a huge difference in a day, elevating it from so-so status to something special.
Elaine wrote to thank me for the column that was in this space last week - the column about the family having been expanded by two. That happened with the anticipated wedding that united Dominique Snider, the daughter of Elaine and Scott Snider, and "little" Ronnie Hout, the son of my cousin Denny and Linda Hout.
But it also happened with the unexpected purchase of a quarter horse named Coffee in the days before the wedding. It was a coincidence that was meant to be, if that makes any sense, fulfilling at last my lifelong dream to officially be "a horse person," as my mother would call me.
Elaine wrote that I had captured the essence of the wedding when I had described it as being "peppered with tradition, yet punctuated with individuality." It was a unique ceremony in that Dominique walked down the aisle not to the traditional wedding march music but instead to the song "I Wanna Grow Old With You" performed by a quartet.
And as for the bride and groom's first dance, it was an entertaining choreographed number that still has me and my sister Cathy shaking our heads, chuckling and saying, "I can't believe little Ronnie danced like that."
Elaine's letter offered insight. "Perhaps the bride took a cue from the story of our wedding. I walked down the aisle to the song 'Follow Me' by John Denver, performed by a folk group," she wrote.
As for the dance, the newlyweds wanted to do something fun and unusual, according to Elaine. "They choreographed it in two days, amid lots of laughter, drawing on their experience as members of the Edison Wildcats marching band in high school as well as suggestions from other family members," she wrote.
"Isn't it wonderful that God gives us celebrations like weddings to enable us to launch our children out on their own? It was a beautiful day in every way, and we were happy to share it with friends, both old and new. Thank you for the lovely tribute to Dominique and Ronnie. We, too, feel blessed to have a new addition to the family!" Elaine wrote.
How Elaine wrapped up her letter to me really topped off how happy I've been feeling lately, how true that verse is in the Bible that says for everything there is a season - weddings and horse acquisitions included, I would say.
"It never ceases to amaze me how God demonstrates events in our lives to remind us how well He knows the desires of our hearts, as He demonstrated with your other new addition, Coffee," Elaine concluded.
How very true.
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)