I’m remembering letters

My grandmother on my dad’s side and my mother were letter writers. In fact my  grandfather on my dad’s side was as well. You know… letters… on paper, carefully folded and placed in an envelope which was addressed to the sender with a stamp in the corner. Does anyone write letters any more?

Granny’s letters were written on onion skin paper…I guess I would call it tissue paper… not the bathroom kind. Her letters were typed with carbon paper between the layers. They were long and told of the events surrounding her. I am her age now and I must say, I can barely write enough for a weekly blog. But then she did not have cell phones and TV and all this stuff to spread information.

My grandfather’s letters were hand written and saved in the envelope they arrived in. I have seen the pile, but have been unable to read them because they are back east in a nephew’s hands. I do recall trying to read them once when they were first discovered and decided it would take too long at the time to sit down and decipher them. I am sorry I did not take the time then.

Momie’s letters arrived faithfully every week when I was in college and continued when we moved to Virginia, and later to the west. They were short typed notes. They took seconds to read. I can remember thinking that there was nothing to write about, so I heard about the weather, or the birds, or the flowers. But they always started with “Deda Dear”, my family nick name and ended “Love Momie” . What else did I need to hear.

When I left home I kept the habit. There were camp letters the one summer I was a counselor at a camp in Maine. There were dialogs about the classes and fun at Radcliffe. Then, when Sea and I were married, they were about the new apartment, the neighbors, Sea’s job with the Navy department and then the kids. When the kids came, I adopted Granny’s method and added carbon paper between the layers and sent copies to Granny and my sister and possibly Sea’s parents. They were full of the trivia and trials of a young mother and what the kids were up to. I know this because my mother saved them all…… shoe boxes -6 or 7 – I think, with neatly stacked envelopes more or less in order, neatly folded back in their original containers.

I have begun to  place them in page protectors in note books. Most are the typed carbon paper pages. A few are not the original top paper , and occasionally they have to be held to a mirror to read as the carbon was put in backwards.

I am saving them, just as my grandfathers were saved. They may end up in a dump someday. I will never know. But for now I am enjoying reading them and recalling events that are long forgotten. Maybe someday my great great’s will find those notebooks and read my blog stored in some ancient I-cloud. I will never know, but it is a good habit to write about one’s life and reflect on what I have done or not done.

Happy reading—

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3 Responses to I’m remembering letters

  1. newtreemom says:

    I have boxes of old letters, too. And I wrote a slice about letters. It always strikes me how we find these similarities as we share week by week. The image of an ancient I-cloud and future generations reading old blogs is fun to think of. Hope you will get another chance to read your grandfather’s letters. We have one postcard my grandfather wrote to my grandmother before they were married. It’s a family treasure.

  2. Leigh Anne says:

    What a lovely heirloom. And to think that you are continuing this tradition in the age of social media. What a tribute to your family heritage. I can only imagine the stories they tell.

  3. As a long time letter writer myself and the mother of a stationery business owner, I say long live letters! And they do live long. Your piece reminds us why they have such value in our lives.

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