There’s no question that it’s more convenient – communicating with friends and family via social media. But more convenient for what purpose?

We used to check the mailbox (the traditional one where a postal worker delivers, among the bills and flyers, cards and letters and stuff) with anticipation and be rewarded now and then with some real communication.

There was the old-fashioned tweet: a postcard – some picture of somewhere the sender was on one side and a scribbled “Wish You Were Here” on the other. 

But we used to send and receive cards with notes inside of them; and letters. Ah, letters. Letters from friends, from kids, from cousins, parents, a favorite aunt and uncle.

And we used to send letters. We used to scratch out notes, mostly, perhaps. But there were those long letters we sent, too. The ones where we sat back and thought things over for a bit, put our thoughts in order and wrote them down and sent them off to someone we cared about.

Getting a letter was great. It was like spending a little time with the sender. And writing a letter was good for the soul – you had to sit back and think a bit, exercise your brain in order to describe something, use your memory banks to explain details from one generation to the next.

Modern communications are all about mass quantity and speed and convenience. I’m not saying it’s bad. In fact, it’s good. Out of every hundred friends on Facebook, 90 of them are people I’d lost contact with and now we’re in touch ... it’s fun. There’s nothing at all wrong with it.

But it’s not the same and it’s not as good for some things. Self-reflection, long-term and in-depth connection, edification, historical value.

I’m worried we’re letting something really valuable fade away. 

Parents, please, take time now and then to write a letter to your kids. Kids, there is nothing better you could do for your folks and your grandparents than to send them an actual letter.

Everyone, write a letter now and then. Please. (Don’t forget to write a letter to the editor now and then, too.)

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Thumbs Up: Hey, it’s supposed to cool all the way off to the upper 90s today; perfect traditional weather for the annual Peach Festival. 

Put on your wide-brimmed hat, wrap a moist towel around your neck, and strike out for downtown Marysville ... there will be thousands of people there today and this evening enjoying all sorts of peachy creations, visiting and shopping. Don’t miss out.

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Thumbs Down: It looks like it might be a bad year for West Nile Virus. There have been reports from around the region, and a warning came from our Sutter-Yuba Mosquito and Vector Control District on Friday. 

They’ve detected the virus in Sutter County – mosquito samples collected north of the Buttes, in the town of Sutter, in the Tierra Buena neighborhood and west of Yuba City around Township and Bogue Road, tested positive.

“Mosquito populations of the WNV vector are higher than normal and production has increased with the high temperatures,” it was noted in a news release.

They’re asking residents to report dead birds (which can be a sign of the disease in the area) to the California Dept. of Public Health website at www.westnile.ca.gov.

According to sources, less than 1 percent of people bitten develop severe symptoms. But for those few, the disease can be serious. Take precautions against getting bitten.

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Ugh (courtesy of a variety of “old” friends ... a real group effort):

A weasel walks into a bar.

The bartender looks up and says, “Wow! In all my years tending bar, I’ve never had a weasel stop by. What can I get you?”

“Pop,” goes the weasel.

And then ...

A horse walks in a bar and the bartender says, “Why the long face?”

And the horse says, “I can’t find the water trough.”

And the bartender asks if the horse would like a glass of water.

“Neigh.”

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