I remember a funny moment years ago when my daughter pointed at an ‘LP’ on display at the Smithsonian museum and exclaimed “Hey dad..check out this HUGE CD!!!” She had never seen a vinyl record. My goodness, life does rapidly evolve, doesn’t it? Nowhere is that more evident than in how we communicate. I still love stationary and go out of my way to pick out pretty stamps, but let’s face it..snail mailers like me are going extinct.
I have been slowly rummaging through our home cleaning out long forgotten boxes and drawers and recently stumbled upon a large container full of the letters my husband and I had written to each other years ago.
The first batch of mail was from his time at the Naval Academy. I was a 17 year old townie ( Annapolis local) who was only able to see my dashing, new boyfriend one night a week. Every so often I’d receive an exciting, but rushed, midweek phone call from the payphone the midshipmen would stand in line to use..but mostly we wrote letters to each other because it was the only way to regularly communicate and keep our budding romance alive.
The second, much bigger, batch of letters is from the year I spent abroad during my junior year of college. Once in a blue moon, I’d drop a few coins into a payphone and we’d profess our long distance love for each other in sixty second bursts, but the bulk of our communication was on tissue thin airmail paper… super small writing- ON BOTH SIDES- to save on the cost of stamps. (I’m pretty sure the ink on that paper will be fully faded by the time I’m 80.)
The third and largest batch of correspondence is from the period after we were married when my husband was away at sea. Phone calls were again extraordinarily rare and pricey, and telegrams were usually reserved for emergencies. Mail was also so extremely unreliable that I would number all of the envelopes so that my poor sailor would at least be able to read them in order when he finally did receive a pile. Once in a while, as a special treat, we would send each other rambling and awkward audio cassettes.
What a blessing it is for today’s couples who are physically separated to be able to text, e-mail and Skype. Communication is so important in a relationship, especially during times apart. While my husband and I would have loved to have had access to computers and cell phones back in our younger days, I guess at this point in my life, I’m kind of glad we didn’t. After all..if we had..I wouldn’t be sitting on the carpet in my bedroom today reading (and sneezing) my way through this treasure trove of musty, old love letters. ❤️