Treasures, Letters and Library Cards

Dearest Reader,

This has been a ridiculously chilly day for May, one that I've spent tidying about my room, nursing a cup of coffee, organizing my yarn stash, and inevitably, coming across boxes to look through and get lost in. Today it's the small pink rubbermaid tote that holds years of memoribilia: birthday cards, letters from my longest standing penpal, scraps of cloth that came from who-knows where, and other trinkets. A small pink chiffon gift bag with ribbon drawstrings hold a smooth rock--once a worry-stone that I kept in my pocket--and two bits of sea glass, scavenged from somewhere on the Gulf coast.The stone heft in my palm, admiring its ideal roundness before slipping it back in it's bag. 

Here's three library cards--the ghosts of libraries past--Onondaga, Gadsden and Cheatham. The signatures on the back, "accepting responsibility for all material borrowed on this card" range from childish to teenager-y. I pull out the Cheatham card, as I've just been hired at that branch and I'll need it.

A glow in the dark star and a canceled stamp float around in the bottom of the empty tote as I begin to dive into the letters.

Inside a 5"x8" manila envelope I've found three delightfully sappy letters-to-be-delivered-Someday. This is a long standing tradition of mine, to write to future versions of myself or friend, or to people I haven't met (or so I believe) yet. Even among my present folders and papers that fill my writing crate, I keep an envelope To My Someone. These old letters, however, are addressed to myself and two of my oldest friends on our wedding days, and were written when I was 15. (Which, by the way, was my favorite age to be, and the age that has probably most shaped present Me). Despite the strict instructions to not open before the set day, I've read mine over and over, laughing at myself more and more as I grow older. 15-year-olds have funny ideas and inclinations, but I love my 15-year-old self all the more for recording the dreams I had then of getting married... Someday. The only reason I don't shred and burn this this letter out of sheer embarassment is the last paragraph, which I will not be sharing with you. Suffice it to say that despite the immature imaginings of a 15-year-old girl that pervade the majority of this letter, there is yet a hint of knowing and wistful sweetness that I will most definitely want to revisit on my wedding day.

Over 80 percent of this totes contents are letters from one of my oldest and dearest friends. When we lived in the same state, she and I began write letters even though we saw each other at least once a week at church, and sometimes more. When my family moved away, I don't know who took it harder, me or Erica. The habit of letter-writing, which had been merely a novelty till this point, became a necessity as my family had no computer and emailing wasn't much of an option. I'm so thankful for these letters now, as they mark so much growth and becoming, and immortalize the little girls we were together. We had a silent period for a few years, where the mailboxes weren't as frequented, but we've ended the hiatus recently, picking up pens and paper again even though we both have facebook and cellphones and all the modern communication conveniences. Nothing beats the thrill of tearing open an envelope to read the words that your friend put on the page with her very hands. You just don't get more personal than that... and "whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal," isn't that right Ms. Kelly?

Till next time friend, I'm yours.


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