Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Looking through the Letter Box
I have two boxes of treasure.
The brown box is mostly filled with letters written by my late mother.
The blue box is filled with letters written by my grandparents, my father, and one or two others who I'll tell you about later.
I had a bit of a rummage and a read this afternoon and I learnt some things I hadn't known before. For example, I discovered my maternal grandfather was 5' 7" tall, which is also my height. Trivial, I know, but I quite like knowing it.
I also learned that he was one of ten children, which presumably means that there are a whole host of relatives out there, of whom I had no knowledge. Why, I wonder?
Some of the loveliest things I read this afternoon were letters written by my paternal grandparents. I grew up living right next door to them until I was seven years old which was when we moved to Hong Kong for three years.
As I read the letters I could hear my grandparents voices, their beautiful Norfolk accents. I could see my Nanna's decidedly roly-poly shape encased in her pinafore, and the light glinting off her spectacles, just as I could see Grandad's hand holding the pen. His hand which was lacking a finger (due to an accident), the big leather belt around his waist, which he used to pretend would be used on us if we didn't behave ourselves.
My grandmother was kicked in the head by a horse, when she was a child. She made a 'full' recovery but was left profoundly deaf, so Grandpa had to write notes to her and their house always had plenty of scrap paper and pencils lying around for this purpose.
I smiled at one letter where my grandmother was chiding my father for having put a 5p stamp on his letter, she told him that he should only have used a 4p one. Typical Gran!
My mother was an extremely good correspondent, she wrote long and interesting letters to all the family and it was lovely to see how much they appreciated them, even though the responses were rather stilted as they struggled to find something newsworthy to write.
I took a trip back in time and it was a very enjoyable experience.
I was quite surprised to find that my mother had kept letters from some of the young men I had been out with before I fell instantly in love with my handsome husband!
Those letters went into the bin, just as it began to get a bit noisy out on the patio.
Two of my grandchildren had decided to call in for a visit - they live right next door, so it gets busy over here during half-terms and holidays.
Today they wanted to visit the hens, walk the dog, and bake some cakes.
No more time for looking through letter boxes and walking down memory lane today!
It is time to build some happy memories for my own grandchildren.