Friday, January 18, 2008

Show and Tell Friday - End of An Era


Ah yes, some exciting photos of a computer paper box and file folders. I'm sure you've never seen the likes of that before have you?

Well it's what's in the boxes and folders and binders that are the real treasure. Problem is - I can't give you a closer peek. Oh, well I could - but then you'd be seeing some very personal information...not just about me - which I could choose to show - but information about the daily lives of those in our circle - that we love.

These are hundreds...maybe a thousand, I've never tried to count them - of letters written to me and to my dh ever since we were teenagers.

When I married my dh 12.5 yrs ago, I found out that he did the same thing that I did. He saved every letter (for the most part) he ever received... So these are stacks and stacks of letters written by our parents, our friends, our relatives and some penpals. These letters span a period of about 27 years.

Some of the letters are from people we loved, that have now died. Some are from people we are no longer in contact with. But nonetheless, all are or were a part of our lives at some point.

They are special for that reason, but also because those letters represent the end of an era, so to speak. The era of the written letter. Handwritten for the most part. With the arrival of computers and email - letters became quick notes, not lengthy epistles. Sure with email you get a quick as it's happening or happened account of something in someones' life. But it's not quite the same. You miss out on the (sometimes) beautiful paper it was written on, the (sometimes) beautiful handwriting...or just the familiar... Sometimes a newspaper article, or a comic or some little do-dad was included with the letters.

I believe in this stack is every single letter my dh wrote to me, and I wrote to him - beginning when he was 10 and I was 14. We lived 1000 miles apart and were "just friends" for most of those letter writing years. What a great written history we will have preserved for our children.

Reading the letters I wrote and sent to my dh is like reading a diary. Events that I have long forgotten are there in front of me.

This huge lot doesn't even show all the letters that were saved in scrapbooks and the letters that are still in our file cabinet (letters from the past year or so).

Do I save all the emails I receive? No. Sure they are saved in my "mailbox" - but they have not (for the most part) been printed off and saved "for ever".

What will I do with this huge collection of history? How will I preserve it? I don't know. But I want to figure something out. Some of the letters were laid flat, hole-punched and stored in binders.

I found this website just now, that talks about how to preserve old letters - they are specifically talking about war letters, but the same procedures works for any kind of letter. I haven't had a chance to go through all the information - but I will.

For more Show and Tell Friday items - check out There is No Place Like Home.

9 comments:

Lady_MSnow said...

Aren't hand written love notes...or any note...the best? I save all that my husband give to me as well. :D

Penless Thoughts said...

So wonderful you've saved all these and what a nice treasure for your children.
Susan

Barbara H. said...

I've saved many letters but not every one. I knew if I saved every one I'd be less likely to go back and look through them. It's special to go back and read a few at a time.

Sharon said...

Wow, how special! That is just so wonderful that you both have saved letters all these years! I hope you can figure out a neat way to preserve them!

Hugs, Sharon

Lisa said...

Thanks for the website about the letters. My husband has some war letters of his great grandfathers that we are trying to preserve!

And, THANK-YOU so much for explaining the happy face Mr. Linky thingie...I feel silly for not figuring it out before!!! Makes complete sense.

nannykim said...

That is really amazing and so cool that both of you held on to them. I only have a few!

Cheryl said...

I look for old letters and ledgers at estate sales etc. I use them in art pieces I make... better be careful, years from now you never know who is going to get ahold of those :-P and glue them to who knows what lol ~Cheryl

Lana G! said...

Wow! That's great that you saved them. My in laws have letters saved that they wrote to each other also.

cookiesunshine said...

Bittersweet

-Cookie