Posted in Uncategorized

Cherry Pies and Letters

I can become nostalgic at the drop of a hat, but I didn’t see it coming yesterday when I stopped at McDoodles for one of their iced coffees.

I’d dropped my car at Canadian Tire to have a trailer hitch put on (another story for another post, maybe) and because it was only going to take an hour or so, I decided to take my power walk along a quiet, crescent-shaped street that begins and ends on the main drag through town. The early morning air was cool as I pumped along the shady road, but by the time I got back to the main street the sun hit me face-on and I was hot. Then, just ahead,  I saw the Golden Arches heralding a promise of  iced coffee relief.

Pie Box — 2012
written in both of Canada’s official languages.

Taking my place in line behind the retired crowd I waited, and while I waited, nostalgia quietly wrapped me in a wonderful memory. It smelled a lot like cherry pie.

And then, a nanosecond after the cherry pie thought, I was reminded of being a teenager. You couldn’t pay me enough money to go back to that age, except for one thing. In those days I didn’t think twice about eating the occasional deep-fried cherry pie, served hot and juicy in its little cardboard box. Worries about fat or calories never crossed my mind. Ever. I make me sick!

But back to yesterday. A moment after that cherry pie memory came calling, I remembered saving the little cardboard pie boxes to take home. As you can see, they were a bit different than the modern ones, especially that nice rounded rectangle cut in the top of the box.

I’m not going to give you enough numbers to do accurate math regarding my age, but I will say that my teenager-hood was spent with an alarming lack of internet, cell phones, and digital images. Back then, when we cool teens weren’t busy chatting on wall-mounted, corded phones, we wrote letters. We used pens, paper, envelopes, and stamps, and we put our stamped paper messages into actual mailboxes. Then, instead of pressing “send”, we raised a red metal flag on the box to indicate that a letter was inside. This is actually where AOL got the idea. On each business day a real mailman, in a real vehicle, picked up the paper mail, and off it went to the post office.

You could write your letter on anything, but what was really fun was using the pie box as an envelope. You’d slip your folded letter into the flattened box, tape the ends closed, and write the address in the small vent/window space in the top. After adding a stamp it was time to walk to the mailbox, drop the cherry-decorated envelope in, and wait for it to be delivered to your friend. Unbelievable, right?

After writing all this down I realize I sound like a bit of a weenie, but that doesn’t matter. Right now I have a real desire to send a letter to a friend, folded inside a McDonald’s cherry pie box.


Phyllis writes words: words for stories, and words for books. Phyllis writes words for blogs too.

6 thoughts on “Cherry Pies and Letters

    1. I too used to write many letters to friends before emails took over and in our recent move found many lovely letters I had received and kept through the years as well.
      They were hard to dispose of and I am afraid many have made the trip here to our new home to be reread at some later date.
      I too am guilty of now using emails in their place for the swiftness and convenience, although I do not do the texting.

  1. I went through a period a few years back where I wrote my friends real letters – long ones on lined notebook paper, just like the notes we’d write in class and pass to each other in the halls between classes. I couldn’t keep it up, and my friends said it made them feel guilty because they couldn’t reciprocate, even though they loved getting them. When I read the letters that people used to write, so full of love and life, I can’t help but think we are missing something in our age of instant communication.

  2. Tee hee! What a novel use for those cherry pie boxes. Luckily, those boiling hot pies were about the one sweet I didn’t like when I was a teenager. But, I would have bought one if I’d known about their cool envelope factor. I recently threw out a box of old letters I’d received as a teen. I was amazed at how often I communicated using good old fashioned mail back in those days. It was kind of neat to re-read all those letters from people i barely remember. What a different world it was then.

Leave a Reply