Last week I travelled to the province of Saskatchewan to work on clearing nearly 60 years of living from my parents' house. My dad built the house, then a few years later added on to it, including a full basement. He was a good builder, as well as a farmer and cattleman, and built in storage wherever my mom asked for it.
She had a lot of interests and boy, did she fill up those cupboards, shelves, and closets. Amongst the articles discovered were lots of old letters and cards, some nearly 100 years old.
An old scrapbook contained beautiful little cards and handwritten notes from my mother's bridal shower and my parents' wedding. They would have been married 68 years this November so that gives you an idea of the ages of these delicate papers.
I don't know if printed cards where difficult to find in those days, or if people simply couldn't get somewhere to shop for them, but many greetings were hand-written on tiny slips of paper; some well-wishers even drew pictures on the folded sheets and created their own cards.
Among my mother's things, stored away at the back of cabinets in her sewing room, I found letter stationery in beautiful boxes, some never opened. Letter writing was common before email supplanted it as a means of communication and boxes of pretty stationery made lovely gifts.
I remember collecting such things when I was a teenager and had pen pals from different parts of the world. One year for Christmas my mom ordered monogrammed stationery for my sister and me. She was a classy lady.
Do you remember the thrill of receiving a letter in the mail? I do. The words, "You have a letter," never failed cause excitement. Chores were finished faster so I could sneak away to savour those precious words from a friend.
When I was in high school, my sister went on an extended backpacking trip around Europe (these were the '70s) and wrote letters home on thin airmail paper detailing her travels and what she had seen and done.
I still love receiving letters in the mail, though it seem like now they are mostly stuffy, business-like things, such as bank statements. My mailbox is down the street from my house (here in Canada they're called community mailboxes, I think), so when I get a "real" letter, I can't wait to rush home and open it.
Letters tell us that someone cares, and that they are thinking of us. Even more exciting is receiving a package in the mail, especially when it contains a gift. Oooh, joy!
I've always loved writing and paper, and I know I'm not alone in my love a receiving delightful letters.
Just look at these adorable papers and cards. It takes so little to make life pretty — just a touch here and there, a small detail that brings joy, or a moment of silent reflection.
My mom was one of my most ardent supporters. She subscribed to everything I've created and insisted on paying me for anything that I had for sale. I wrote and painted always knowing that mom would be seeing what I created. I sure miss her.
Just when we thought it was over, winter showed up again. The snowdrops in my front flower bed were about to open their darling white blossoms but now are buried in snow.
It has snowed steadily for a day and a half, covering cars, causing bushes to bend under the weight, and forming icicles from eves. And it shows no signs of stopping any time soon. While the temperatures are not terribly cold, blasts of wind blow snow around into drifts and into faces. Here is the forecast for the week. Showers after snow...very messy.
How pretty this window is with its fringe of icicles. Notice the little snow hats on the shrub on the left. It's a sure sign that the temperature is not deep cold when icicles form. It has to be warm enough for ice to melt a little.
From a bedroom window, I saw this little Junco taking a break in the honeysuckle thatch. I love how these bird fluff their feathers up so they look like balls with beaks and tails.
The street was nearly empty except for a few hardy souls. Most rushed from one stop to the next, heads bent against the wind and blowing snow. In winter, you get to see the trees in different form than when they have leaves. They are quite beautiful both ways.
There is something melancholy about an empty park bench in winter. It's like it is waiting for spring all alone. Of course, you can sit on such a bench but you're likely to get a cold, and possibly wet, bottom from it.
My boots are short so I don't generally attempt walking in deep snow. But to cross the street to the park, I had to plunge through a drift. Yes, the snow went over the tops of my boots and left me with wet ankles. Don't you love my jazzy pants, though?
I bought this new parka to go to Saskatchewan for my mom's funeral in January. I thought I would wear it on the prairies then come home and hang it in the closet for the rest of the year. Alas, it has turned out to be more needful than I expected and I am glad to have it.
I read somewhere recently that winter is a time for the earth to rest. While I might differ on that idea, one of the best things to do when the snow keeps falling is stay inside and get cozy. I don't have a fireplace but I do have a thermostat and a warm wool throw to wrap up in.
My husband and I cuddle up on the sofa and watch travel videos or Netflix movies.
I could use a season of rest from the wheel of the mind, couldn't you?
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