The older gentleman presiding over the quaint little Cape Elizabeth branch post office and I were bemoaning the fact that writing letters and sending cards are becoming lost arts. I, however, was there buying stamps so that I could send letters. We discussed how technology has taken away the art of real writing.

“Well, I guess it’s progress,” he said.

I’m not so sure. I love to talk and I love to write, which works out well for me since I have spent the past 35 years teaching verbal and written communication. I just can’t understand the preoccupation with text messages and e-mail. I feel we need more personal connections.

I like to hear voices on the phone, especially my land-line. When I was in college, I’d eagerly wait for my mother’s Sunday call on the dorm phone. Before cell phones, long-distance calls were expensive and scarce. Now if I even get a call, since most of my friends, near or far, e-mail me, it’s often on my cell phone.

The other night my friend Bobby called me at home. I told her how happy it made me to hear my phone ring and hear her voice. “Me, too,” she said about a live conversation.

Later that week I called my Aunt Joyce back. “Vicki Anne!” she exclaimed, obviously surprised to hear from me.

I miss cards and letters too. I wonder how future generations will be remembered? Will Iraq vets save e-mails instead of letters? Will children save cards or letters from their parents as I have? Will anyone have old love letters tied up in ribbons?

I’ve saved postcards from my parents’ first trip to Europe. My mother sent a postcard from every city she and my father visited. When I reread her messages, I can hear her voice and feel the excitement she had at seeing Europe’s cities.

In a scrapbook I’ve saved Christmas cards from my aunts and uncles and grandparents in their handwriting.

I’ve saved letters my sister wrote to me when I was away at college at Orono. I’ve saved cards received from two friends who since have died. They become alive to me again when I see the words they’ve written.

I will continue to write cards and letters. No e-greetings from me!

My Brazilian friend Fabio keeps sending me Facebook invitations. No way! I’d rather send a written message — much to the surprise of the post office.

Recently I went back to that same post office to buy Christmas stamps. Yes, I still send Christmas cards. We senders of Christmas cards are becoming a dwindling crowd, I gather.

The same gentleman and I discussed the decline in mail again and he dryly said, “Well, I guess that’s the New Age.”

If progress means instant messaging, all electronic communication, no written legacy for us and no personal connections, then count me out.

It might be the New Age, but I don’t have to like it.