Bunny was telling me the every now and then she calls her brother up on the telephone. I believe she said he lives Arizona or somewhere there abouts. Anyway, she said she doesn't get much time to see him and that we are lucky to live near our family. Of course, I reminded Bunny, that we are busy with the farm and since we have the horse and buggy, we don't see each other but once a month anyway for the ice cream suppers. Bunny reminded me about our "round letter". Oh my word. That Bunny is a funny one.
These letters are actually called circle letters, and they are how we all keep up with the families. I don't know if all Amish do this, but I know of many who do. Let me explain how it works, using my family as an example.
Mommie makes a list of each of the children's (my siblings) addresses. Then, Mommie will write a letter. This letter can be about anything Mommie would like. Most common things said would be about the weather or things happening on the farm, or who is sick and what not. Basically, just anything to keep each other up to date.
Then Mommie will put her letter, along with the address list, in an envelope and mail it to me, as I am the oldest. I will read Mommie's letter and then write my own letter about what is going on around here. Then I will put BOTH letters back in with the address list and send it off to Josie. She will read our letters and place one for her family and then she will mail all of them to Marvin (Mandie), an so on. So, basically, it goes to each of us in turn, and we each submit our own letter of the latest news.
Once the letter has come full "circle" you take out your old letter and write a new one as well as read all of the letters that are in the envelope.
This is a nice way to keep up. Eva always shares a little poem or verse in her letters.
Now sometimes, someone will accidentally keep the circle letter for too long at one time (Ben-Stephanie's had it for a month once). But there really isn't a strict time limit. We just make sure to circulate through each family member from Mommie all the way down to Lori Jo (Thomas). Mostly just the women write. But sometimes one of the husbands will write. Well, mostly just Ben. He's a funny one.
Well, I hope that helps you understand about the circle letter. Maybe you wanna try one in your family.