Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Just Write: Mailboxes and love letters

Among my most cherished memories growing up are the years of exchanging snail mail letters with my childhood best friend, Rachel.  It all started when we packed up and moved the day after Christmas, from eastern Washington to small town Oregon, and I waved goodbye to the bestest friend I'd known in the ten years I'd been alive.  We promised to keep in touch, and boy, did we.  Each week, we'd each send and receive at least one letter, if not three, and I'd check the mailbox daily in anticipation.  Over time, we got increasingly creative, designing newsletters and crafting stories, often writing in "character" based on a family of stuffed dogs we'd made up while living in the same town.  This went on until we grew out of it, several years later, but I have a dog-earred manilla envelope stored in a box somewhere that holds many of these letters and stories.  

And then came the birth of email.  Quick and convenient, and don't get me wrong, I love it, but... it's not got the same personal touch as a letter or a card.  At least not for someone sentimental like me.  I'm the girl who can go through her closet and purge clothes and shoes fairly painlessly.  I can clear away inanimate objects without regret.  But those notes my friends and I passed in high school, the cards received from loved ones through the years, the letters from my childhood, I can't seem to toss those away without considerable internal conflict.  And that's why I told my husband, when we first started dating, that one of my "love languages" is cards and love notes.  I'm a writer, after all, and as such, I love written words that I can hold in my hands.  I'll cherish sappy, heartfelt cards forever.

So my sweet husband, not being a writer and never having been in the practice of giving sappy cards, is learning over time what touches my heart.  I have a box that now holds my growing collection of cards and notes folded up in little triangles, written mostly in Spanish.  Every now and then, I'll pull the box down from the top shelf of our bookcase and read through them all, reliving the moments, relishing the memories, remembering why I first fell in love with him.  

And, I, in turn, have a very good reason for picking up my pen and leaving notes for him.  Which, to my delight, he cherishes as well.

Then a blog post the other day along the lines of "keeping the romance alive" in marriage got my creative juices flowing.  A mailbox for love letters, I thought.  That's what we need.  I'm not a particularly craftsy girl (much too impatient, I'm afraid), but I searched the craft store yesterday and found a few simple items to construct my idea.  In less than thirty minutes, it was finished, and I sat back on the bed and studied it with childlike glee.  

Who said cutesy mailboxes and love notes were only for Valentine's day and anniversaries?

Go ahead - get creative with the ones you love...

* I linked up with Just Write for this post, which was created by a phenomenal blogger, Heather, for writers to share their posts on life every Tuesday.

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