A WOMAN is to be reunited with her long-lost pen pal after a chance discovery online.
When Elaine Jones and her family head to Florida later this month, she intends to catch up with the American pen pal who was “like a best friend” for 25 years.
Mrs Jones (nee Wilson) from Cornist, started writing to Karin Moore (nee Luce) when she was a student at Flint High School in the 1970s.
Now the two women, who kept in touch throughout their teenage years and 20s, are to meet up for only the second time in their lives.
Mrs Jones, 53, said: “I had two or three penfriends but Karin was the only one I kept in touch with.
“We were like best friends.”
Mrs Jones is unable to recall how it all began as Karin was living in Boston, Massachusetts, when the girls started writing to each other.
But after a visit to Flint in 1973, a postcard Karin gave the family records the special bond the girls shared.
Karin described Elaine and her family as “the nicest people I ever met” and said she considered them her “second family”.
“You will always be that,” she wrote. For more than 20 years afterwards, the two girls continued to write before finally losing touch when Karin moved house.
But 18 months ago, Mrs Jones and her husband Paul decided to take a special family trip – a holiday of a lifetime to America.
“I wanted a big holiday while the children were young enough to enjoy it with us,” she said.
The couple planned a two-week holiday to Florida with their three youngest children: Kathryn, eight, Matthew, 10, and Thomas, 14.
But the thought of her pen friend was still in her mind and with the help of her eldest daughter Samantha who trawled the internet, she tried to locate her.
“One name kept coming up but it was in Florida,” said Mrs Jones. “And there was only a postal address.
“I wrote explaining the situation in the letter and asked for a forwarding address if it was Karin and if she’d moved on.”
Karin didn’t live there but it turned out that her daughter did! And so it was only a matter of time before the two old friends were back in touch again.
When Karin emailed “the first thing she said was ‘wow’,” said Elaine. “We were both really ecstatic. Karin had me on speaker phone when we spoke so her family could listen in.”
Now the two plan to meet up for the first time since 1973.
“It was going to be a spectacular holiday anyway,” said Mrs Jones, “but now to be meeting up with my pen friend – it’s just really really exciting.”