Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I love you

If I ever wondered how I spent my time before I got my own computer, this weekend I found out. I was writing letters. On paper. By hand.

I have a beautiful, leather chest that I bought second hand at an auction twenty years ago but it is rotting away. It was repaired once but the humidity of Thailand hasn’t done it any favours. It was full of correspondence which I have been meaning to go through for years.  On Saturday I bought the contents a new home, a beautiful box, bamboo with a lacquer interior, and so finally I have emptied the chest. I threw out all the cards, *wincing* reading only a few. A brave move because I am a hoarder.

But I am saving all the words; the letters and postcards which so many people have written and sent to me at all the places I’ve ever lived and worked, I am keeping. The envelopes alone chart my life.

There were gems in my trunk (and a desiccated spider;) letters that I’d rather forget: “I was disappointed to see that at close of business today the balance of your account was…” And many that I treasure: an envelope, from my sister, full of drawings of shoes and swatches of material for my bridesmaids’ dresses. There are letters from pen pals, family, school and university friends and work mates.

And there are love letters… Oh yes; love letters.

Not. Just. From. Husband.

I spent the afternoon reading and grinning. And then feeling sad that I don’t still write letters, and my children don’t write letters.

What will happen to their love letters?


liz fenwick said...

I miss of the greatest gifts I was given was when my best friend handed over all the letters I had written to here when I first moved to the's like a diary of me falling in love as I met DH 2 weeks after I arrived...

Love the box and keep those letters safe.

Sue Guiney said...

As the old song says, "I second that emotion." I don't save anything, but I wish I had something like this, and letters to chronicle my life. Yes, I do have my journals, but that's different. Remembering via someone else's perspective is well...a gift, isn't it?

BEAST said...

Love letters? Not from me?

Right! I want names and addresses. I'll sort it. When I'm done, they'll have to write their next love letter with a pencil between their toes.

Well done throwing away the 20yr old letters from your bank manager, I know that must have been hard for you ;-)

Word Veri is 'arces', I assume there is only one way to pronouce that :-)

Jenny Beattie said...

Oh Liz, so do I. That's such a lovely thing of your friend to do. A lot of my letters were from my bf Lucy but I don't know if she's kept them or not.

Sue, my letters were my diary which is sad since I don't have the ones I wrote... but yes, these are really special.

Beast, I've got nothing witty to say... but you are funny.

Chris Stovell said...

OH is a hoarder - I'm a chucker... although I do have a photo of younger self with Unsuitable Boy that still makes me smile! Lovely post.

I've thought about you often with all the news about flooding. I hope you and yours are keeping safe... and don't have to resort to the spam!