Papers, letters and cards - fewer each year in my files, since we began communicating online - fun, but we've lost balance.
So I decided to refresh letter-writing and found proper Crane stationery; an American icon founded six years before the Declaration of Independence and first choice for our best letters always.
So far, the box sits on a nearby shelf to glance at , from to time, deciding what I will write and when, and most importantly, to whom. Savoring is important !
The purchase of the papers brought back memories: format, penmanship, spelling and grammar, and much more:
Mother's desk was full of wonderful papers and boxes with the letters she shared with my father - lost now but grand at the time, since they include their love poems. She was always ready to share.
Grandmother Smith's pride was her proper "Lady's Writing DesK" - a holy thing since literacy was even a larger issue for women than it is now. The drop-front would open to reveal a world to thrill a little girl - like a doll's house, the little "rooms" full of letters and family papers and the tiny drawer of stamps - and the exciting Air mail tissue stationery to let it travel as light as the air itself.
And her Jim "the Chief" presided over the Unofficial summit of the many Irish Uncles, discussing all matters of import, since the last gathering. Being welcome to join with the rest of the women, in the joyful palaver, of praise and reportage - and warnings about no-goods, "wouldn't spend a stamp on him" - big eyes, small mouth, taking it all in.
On my visits i would run to set mail for pickup and collect the incoming at a run for Gram. Oh! how she'd smile to see the letters of several pages - enough for a good read and the fine glow from it would last all day and then some.
I remembered these lessons about letters today, so many years later and wondered. This letter-writing project is getting fun already, maybe thanks to the post office in Southport and Carlson's card shop next door: we'd shop for cards and stationery, sign and stamp and mail it immediately. If we were lucky to arrive just then, we'd help with the tall pendulum clock and then scoot out on our way. My childhood neighborhood was surely designed by Norman Rockwell ! Thank you Angels!
And the box of love letters between my late husband and myself is treasured. IN WRITING - the promises fulfilled ,from years of dreams and plans and prayers and lessons and wishes and fears and fidgets and longing. Most of them written in college and Military days to sweethearts , newlywed and then new parents of such a baby boy! And his sister soon after a promise to never be apart again. Promises kept till death are as good as promises get.
This is a thing to think about - Letters. Let's see how this goes.....