Since my folks got back from Florida, Mom has been sorting through boxes of “stuff” in the attic at the lake. After selling our childhood home in 2001, what didn’t get sold in a tag sale or thrown out, got packed away and moved to the lake. She is not a hoarder, but she is a pack-rat!
For weeks now she’s been telling me she’s “found some real gems”. So, last weekend we headed up to the lake for our annual “get everything ready for summer” trip. When we arrived she had a folder ready for me with my “gems.” There was the usual kindergarten art work, the family coat of arms project, and the 7th grade auto-biography, all good stuff, but the real gems were the letters!
Yes, hand-written letters on actual stationary and actual postcards from places I visited. The letters started in Sept. 1986 when I went off to college and they are so funny to read. They were multiple pages giving updates on everything from my classes, to my roommates and new friends, the cafeteria food, what we did on weekends, and anything else that came to mind. Basically what a real letter does…
We read them all and laughed out loud. Some of my favorites included the following gems:
“Hi, sorry I haven’t written, but I’ve been trying to get an education.”
“Hi folks!!! Sorry to hear about Mary Tyrell’s death, I remember somebody saying she had been sick. Wasn’t she the boozer?”
“Boy, they tell ya you are supposed to gain knowledge & wisdom in college, but I got a whole tooth to go with it – what a deal!!! I’m being silly – seriously my first wisdom tooth is in and now I have a flap of skin flipping around in there. It seems to be fine.”
“My Statistics teacher is a queer & my English teacher is a flower child from the 60’s. She discusses the “meaning of life” and our class is centered around the inner-self – WEIRD!!”
“I don’t know what else to tell you – I haven’t gotten any grades yet and I just talked to you Wed., but I thought I’d write a quickie while I had my pen out and running.”
“Hi folks – what’s up? just a quick note to you guys because wanted you to have my business card. Pretty official, huh? They had them ready for my first day. Notice they haven’t included my title. I guess “peon” doesn’t look too good!! :)”
The postcards were equally entertaining. Here is a gem from August 1993 – I was 3 years out of college and Greg & I went to Walt Disney World for vacation.
For those of you trying to read it:
“Hi Folks!!! Greetings from Disney…having a blast – mid 90s & sunny everyday, been to Magic Kingdom, Epcot & MGM, off to Universal tomorrow. I’ve had a cold since Wed. & I got stung by the pool (on my left boob – ouch!!). Greg makes a good nurse!! Mickey and the gang says “hello”. Can’t believe I finally passed that stupid exam!! See ya soon – love, Deb + Greg”
Poor Lefty, took a beating even back then! The exam I referred to was the CPA exam. I had finally passed! I knew the results were mailed that week so I had to use my calling card on a pay phone, call my building super, ask him to open my mail box, take the letter out and read it to me. Funny, today results probably get delivered in a text message on their phones!!
Anyways, we had lots of fun reading them all and I’m glad to have them 25 years later. These days everything is electronic and is small bits of information. Sure, I can scroll through my phone for pictures and old text messages, but I’m pretty sure in 25 years my current phone will not work. I think I am going to start sending postcards again…
Very true about the electronic messages and photos too! The next generation will miss out on digging through boxes of old photos and hand written letters. Missing you in Yankee Land! Surely you have a 4th of July trip to share. Looking forward to your next posting! Hope you are well!