10.03.2008

Letter Affections

I love letters.

Correspondence. Letters between friends. Letters of love. Letters tucked away in a box, tied with ribbon.

I treasure the letters my mom wrote to my dad when he was in the Air Force. At one time, there was a bulging shoebox full in our old hall closet. Yes, I snooped. Not too long before her death, she went through them, throwing several away. I wonder.

She saved a handful, and I am thankful to have them.

I treasure a note written on an index card, in perfect, albeit faded, penciled handwriting, from my Aunt Bernice to my grandmother. December 3, 1940, the day my mother was born.

I treasure letters from high school and college boyfriends. {I wish Scott and I had corresponded. Maybe we should start?}

I treasure journals and diaries.

I treasure letters from my friends.

Boxes to keep cards, letters, tidbits.

I love letters. Especially handwritten letters.

I imagine the life of a Victorian lady with dedicated portions of the day solely for correspondence. With real ink, heavy paper and a wax seal. I have this dream of writing scores of letters to my family and friends, of leaving a legacy of letters. And they would tie them up with ribbon and treasure them.

I dream, but I don't necessarily do. I should.

I also have a weakness for books written in an epistolary style. That's just a fancy word for a book of letters. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is written in that style, and was a delight to read. It's the story of an author searching for her next subject and discovering the interesting characters of Guernsey Island, which was occupied by the Germans during WWII. It's also a story of the effects of war, friendship, courage, love, quirkiness and the joy of reading. Pick it up if you get a chance, I think you'll like it. Sandra Dallas and Lee Smith have also written novels in the format of letters or journal entries. Another novel in this style I'm looking forward to reading is 84 Charing Cross Road. Maybe this format comes across as more personal, and that's why it appeals to me. Glimpses into their lives. Hmmm...perhaps a little like blogging?

Do you treasure handwritten letters? Do you write them? (I don't as often as I would like) Any must-read epistolary or diary recommendations?

22 comments:

  1. I love hand written letters, (both writing them and receiving them) and am thankful I have a few penpals that share that love with me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I used to enjoy writing and recieving letters. But then came email! Darn technology! Although, my husband and I did correspond for a while before getting married. Thanks for reminding me! I'll have to dig those out....

    The only book I can think of is 'these is my words'. But, I see on goodreads that you have already read it! I LOVED it. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love old letters and journals too. I have a binder full of notes from my parents and siblings to me growing up and a few from my grandparents as well. They are so much fun.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love handwritten letters, old postage and correspondence. I think it's so cool and so significant. I also love reading books written in that style.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have some of the same kind of letters written back and forth between my parents. The letters I treasure too are some from my Granny Price who when she was already blind would write over and over and over on the same line and we would try and decipher them. Picking out words like love and our names. We always knew what she meant to say!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've been wondering about that book...so glad to know it's got your seal of approval! I'll get it for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have a handwritten Valentine that I found in my great-grandmother's attic before she died. Does that count?
    I love a good handwritten letter!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Old letters and cards are especially significant to me when I know the writer or recipient. But you know what? I love the ones written to people I don't even know. I love to fill in the blanks with my imagination. I love the yellowed paper and retro designs. But most of all I love imagining the life behind the words.

    I scanned my Grandmother's Bible because one page is where she wrote all of the births and deaths as they came and went. They weren't in perfect order, some were written in the margins, and some of the dates were actually wrong. But just to see her handwriting keeps her real. I used that as a background for the cover of the program for one of our "Ladies' Inspiration Days" at church when the theme was "Our Roots".

    One of my favorite finds was after my Grandfather passed away a few years ago. We were going through some of his things. Mind you, things he had kept after my Grandmother passed away. It was a box full of little cards from flower arrangements sent to a funeral. They are yellowed and distressed. Some of them have a little window with crackled and yellowed glassine. The most interesting thing is, none of us can figure out whose funeral they were from. One of my great grandparents perhaps? We just can't tell. I used one of them in a shadow box I made about my Grandfather. Now I think I will have to blog about it.

    Sorry to be so long-winded! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. what treasures you have!

    that book sounds interesting. will have to look for it.

    there is a fun young adult book called Ella Minnow Pea. It is written in epistolary style. I have a copy if you want to borrow it...

    ReplyDelete
  10. I enlarged your photo of your AMAZING journals! What a motivation! Not only am I an abysmal correspondant, I am an inconsistent journaler. Sigh.

    But your stack of journals (and your boxes to hold tidbits) is inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
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