Monday, November 3, 2008


When my mom arrived this weekend, she came with a car full of items she had taken from my grandparents house. My grandfather, now alone, decided to move into a retirement home recently, and my mom and her brothers took on the responsibility of sorting through what Nana and Grandpa had collected in their sixty years of marriage. Out of everything, there were only so many treasures we could afford to add to our quickly increasing collected of "stuff." I had already been given many of the things I most treasured of Nana's, she being one of those elderly people who seems to look forward to moving on, and wanting to see that her treasured things go to people who appreciate them before it becomes a great task of sorting through them all at once. Nevertheless, there were several things I was still attached to. One of them being a pair of bookends in the shape of the Buddha. Another a set of intricately carved nesting tables that I had always loved, and remind me of Nana's parlor. Do people still have parlors? I don't think anyone that I know.

Another interesting item that my mom brought with her was a large stack of letters that my grandparents had written to each other before they were married, during World War II.

The letters themselves we mostly updates on the doings of the day, written faithfully every other day. What was fun too notice was the frequency of the writing, and the stamps and envelopes.

It seems like people hardly ever write letters anymore. Nana used to send letters often, to a long list of people. She had a little writing desk, and I imagine that throughout most of her life she would spend a part of the day sitting there and writing letters to her many correspondents. I wrote to her and recieved letters from her often until she passed away recently, and I miss hearing about what she did during the day. I received a letter from her a little less than a week after her death. I was amazed and inspired to imagine her, knowing that she was not feeling well for quite a while, still sitting down to write those letters. It made me cry to see that letter, and to know it would be the last one. Her handwriting, on these letters postmarked 1942, we almost identical to the handwriting in her recent letters, and my mom and I chuckled to find that the content seemed almost the same also, even though it was about the life of a sorority girl at William and Mary instead of an 85 year-old woman.

I think I'll try to write more letters (I think I told Jed and Tracey I would write to them already, since Jed made a similar observation about the shortage of paper letters these days). I'll have to work on it, especially sending letters to Grandpa.


glo said...

It was fun reading those letters with you. A little glimpse into who they were back then. It was also fun reading your post about the letters. I wonder if your grandkids will be reading your old blog posts...Can you save these somehow?

natasha said...

What a sweet post! I strive to write letters more often but I have trouble even keeping on top of my emailing! I really think it's becoming a lost art because it's so easier to stay in touch in other ways.