Musty, Old Love Letters

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.  l5

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.

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You’re not seeing things- that’s a 15 cent stamp!

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.)

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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.

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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. ❤️

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15 comments

  1. What a beautiful post, Cindy. For all the ease of communication our technology affords us these days, there’s nothing like the anticipation of sending (or waiting for a letter) — and Skype will never come close to the intimacy of receiving something from a loved one, written in their own hand. Thank you for that reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I come from the generation that traded stamps on the school bus and spent hours writing to pen pals in “far away lands..” I used to seal my letters with a candle wax stamp with my initial on it..HAHA! 😂 I still love sending and receiving cards..and I am especially enjoying a few good belly laughs reading our cheeky (and oh so corny) letters to each other..I may need to burn a few of them to preserve our reputations in case someone else reads them one day after we croak. 😜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How wonderful to have all those written memories! My Hubby and I never had a need to write letter to each other but when we were first dating he faithfully kept a journal. Now and then we get a kick out of rereading some of his entries from when we were first together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was thinking yesterday that the letters, put together in order, are just like a journal. What really stands out to me is how supportive we were of each other at such young ages…esp my husband..always trying to stay positive and encouraging me under some pretty trying circumstances. It’s so sweet. 😊 For this reason alone, I would want my kids to read them..(after I edit them of course..HAHAHA)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband and I also exchanged love letters while he was away at college and I was in my senior year of high school. Once in a great while he’d call me but it was expensive. He’d borrow the phone at his friend’s house and then pay the friend for the charge on the phone bill. I have a stack of letters from that time that I will not get rid of.
    We still write each other letters and notes to keep our relationship fresh. I have a box of notes and letters he’s written me over the past year. The written word means so much to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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