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.
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