Hidden Treasure

“Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.” ─ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I found gold!  Gold in the form of love letters written long ago.

While in Florida visiting my dad, he insisted I search the wall of boxes stored in the garage in order to find letters he and my mom had written to each other during World War II. This was not an easy task. My parents have saved everything from old ash trays to broken zippers. I should know. Each time I visit, I clean, dump, and organize closets and drawers. It’s a never ending job.

The garage presented its own challenges. Think Florida. Think bugs – lovebug season. (I guess that’s why my dad wanted me to find their love letters.) Most of all think HOT! Even though my dad thought it was cold, I was HOT. He pointed to boxes. I lifted them, opened them, and returned them to the shelves when the letters weren’t found. The treasure hunt continued. I was exhausted and dripping like a faucet when I hit pay dirt.

The box I opened was filled with letters – hundreds and hundreds of letters. Not only were there letters from both of my parents postmarked from 1942-1944, there were also letters from my grandfather to my grandmother before they married that were postmarked from 1921-1922.

My dad was pleased at the find and happy to see the letters were still in good condition, considering where they had been stored. He wanted to make sure they weren’t destroyed so he told me to take them. It was quite a lot of the written word to ship home.

I was awestruck, thinking of the history inside that box. I’ll be able to take a peek into the lives of my parents and grandparents when they were young and see them from a whole new perspective. It’s going to take me sometime to organize and read the letters, but I can’t wait to begin.

The letters they wrote are a lost art, and I’m so lucky to have them!

Books about writing letters:  Clementine’s Letter by Sara Pennypacker (Hyperion Book CH, 2008), First Year Letters by Julie Danneberg (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2003), Dear Mrs. LaRue – Letters from Obedience School by Mark Teague (Scholastic Press, 2003), A Letter  to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats (Puffin, 1998)

Coming soon:  Of Thee I SingA Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama (Knopf Books for Young Readers, November 16, 2010)

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2 Comments on “Hidden Treasure”

  1. lindamy Says:

    What a wonderful treasure! Hope you find wonderful insights into your family. 🙂


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