Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dear LSL,

I've been organizing some of my boxes that are in a storage room at the back of my house. I'm the opposite of a pack rat, but I do save almost every single piece of personal correspondence that I receive - and have for the last twenty years. I found:
  • Beautiful letters from grandparents long deceased
  • A letter from my favorite grandfather that was three sentences long and ended with, "Didn't take long to tell you everything I know, did it?"
  • Notes from my brother when he was very young describing his schedule in school every year; I also found a series of notes where he changed my middle name each time he addressed another envelope - my favorite middle name was "Pimp-My-Ride"
  • Letters from a friend in college that were addressed "The Great Kimaroo"
  • A handwritten letter on Buckingham Palace stationery from a Robert Fellowes thanking me for a sympathy note I sent when Princess Diana died
  • Correspondence from a wonderful Priest from when I was about 16, which was an unbelievable 20 years ago (told ya - number 14, here)
  • Cards from an old boyfriend telling me he'd love me forever; I checked the dates - we already hated each other by the time he was writing those notes
  • Birthday cards from everyone at the office throughout my entire career; I know, but I just love those
  • A sympathy card from the branch from when my grandmother died, a week after I started my first banking job in 1993

By far the person I have the most letters from is my faithful, faithful, faithful mother. Telling me where she was having coffee, what she was planning for the week, what was going on in my hometown. Letters sent to me at college, in Portland, in Japan. How did she do that?

I'd forgotten how sassy my Aunt Peg was, how tiny my friend D can write, how tenderly my old friend Michael used to think of me (he was one of many that permanently stopped speaking to me when I stopped going to church), how hilarious my sister can be. And much more. What a pleasure to have all of this history. I admit to going through and putting them all in ziplock baggies in hopes of preserving them for another twenty years - at least.


  1. Wow that's awesome! I used to be a pack rat( not that you are one) but decided not to be one after moving from the mainland to Maui..all the stuff I thought I would keep forever went in a rubbish bag. All the stuff I have accumulated over the past three years will be much easier to pack coming home .

  2. Those are wonderful memories, LSL.

    When I have to pack and come to Hong Kong for my trip, I literally had to throw away all my stuff. Brand-new coffee table and couch, gone. Bed I had been sleeping on over 10 years, outta here. Now I have a 2 feet x 2 feet locker, and everything in there are either toys I have when I was wee big, and a few boxes of memories I have from people. Those I can never give them up.

    Well... can't say never, since being a monk, I have to give up everything anyway. LOL

  3. I'm impressed you're not a packrat. But I love old letters! The sad thing about being a packrat is that you can't find the stuff like that that matters.

    Now that I've moved so often my packrat tendencies have been thrown out. (Ha!) But I do have a few vintage dishes I love from various eras from my thrift store days - guess if I keep them since there's no where to put them now, I'll be a PR again?

  4. i have boxes of letters. i love rereading them. it reminds me, when i am feeling blue, how loved i have been.

  5. I think it speaks volumes of who you are... It's speaks of what you value most... relationships... people... acts of kindness, not just rhetoric of said values... it's just you!!!
    And thats what we value!!!

  6. A lovely post and one I enjoyed reading. Take care, Denys.

  7. Your grandfather rocks. The meaning of life can always be found in 3 sentences or less. :)

  8. What treasures! Good for you for saving them.