Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Letter Writing

In one of my Victoria Magazines from long ago, Catherine Calvert wrote, "Nothing brings us closer to fascinating figures of the past than their intimate letters, mingling matters of the heart with details of the day."
I love getting letters.
Who doesn't smile when a letter arrives in the mail?  I'm not talking about those friendly little postcards you get from the dentist reminding you of your next cleaning.  Nor am talking about photocopied Christmas letters that we get every year from our friends and relatives that give us a quick run-down of what they've been up to.  I'm talking about real, handwritten, letters, that could arrive at anytime throughout the month or year.

"What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters.  You can't reread a phone call."  ~Liz Carpenter

I love writing letters. 
I love getting letters.
My very first highschool boyfriend and I wrote letters.  He lived twentysome miles away and we hardly ever saw each other.  Sure, we talked on the phone, but a letter was something special.  Something permanent to actually hold and read whenever I wanted.  Later, after I first moved to Minot, during my college years I corresponded with another close friend who lived in another state and also my Grandmother back in my hometown.  My Grandmother and I wrote at least a hundred letters to each other, maybe more.  I kept every one of her letters and I treasure them. 

Just a few of Grandma Eva's letters that she wrote to me from 1995-2005

I wrote to her about college life and she wrote to me about picking apples, racking leaves and life back in Epping.  She let me know right away what she thought of Shannan after I'd brought him home for Christmas.  Soon I was writing to her about wedding plans and then a few years later, baby plans, and without fail, she always wrote me back.  She wrote about everything that had happened that week, even the most mundane things like her daily trip to the post office seemed important enough to tell.  And I'm so glad she did write it all down because as we all know, time marches on and things change.  The post office in Epping is on the closure list, Grandma's now in the nursing home and her house has been sold. Those busy days of her fixing window screens and tending to the flower beds are all in the past.  But I'll always have a permanent record of what life was like for Grandma, in Epping, during those particular years.  I think Autumn will enjoy them someday as well.

"Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company."  ~Lord Byron

I love writing letters.
I love getting letters.
I love reading letters.
I'm lucky enough to have my Grandfather's letters that he wrote to my Grandmother in the late 30's.  They almost got thrown away, no one understood WHY I would want them.  What I don't think they realized is that love letters written in the 30's are much different than those written the 70's.  They are sweet and innocent and tell of Grandpa's days with the threashing crew he traveled with.
Here are the cigarette tins that Grandma kept Grandpa's letters in.  Apparently, he rolled his own cigaretts.

I love letters.
But not only that, I love all of the letter writing stuff!  You know, the stationery, pens, stickers and stamps.
When I worked at Wicks-n-Sticks we sold sealing wax and Stamps.  They were fun to demonstrate to customers!

Image from the blog "Not Yet Published"

I found this desk in one of my old Victoria Magazines.  It's a tish over-the-top but still amazingly beautiful.  Imagine all the little drawers and secret hiding spaces this desk would have!

One summer, I purchased an old beat-up lap desk at a garage sale waaaaay out in the country.  And tomorrow, I will write post all about it. 
Until then, why don't you sit down and write a letter to someone dear and have a happy day.

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