Thursday, May 17, 2007

On nostalgia and mail.

This past semester, I made a show of destroying old printed-out emailed love letters into a paper pulp. Yesterday, as a favor to a family at my synagogue, in which the youngest of the three boys has hoof-and-mouth and the father has leukemia, the mother had to move because their landlady lost the house in a divorce, so I was helping this stranger unpack her and her husbands' office. There were two huge 5-gallon bags of yellowed paper with blue and red spot colors, in packets--correspondence of her fathers' parents, dating from 1944 to 1947. It's sort of disappointing to think that that legacy won't be left to our childrens' generation, the sort of understanding that comes from reading old letters--because the 1's and 0's will be lost to the ethers.

I spent last summer in Minnesota, and while I had access to a couple of staff computers with internet access (and, indeed, spent a good half hour every other day early in the mornings, before my girls were up, trying to keep tabs on the world), I ended up writing at least a post-card a day, a few letters a week. And to those who weren't at camp, my parents, my school friends, I think of those postcards and letters as pretty darn special.

That being said, those Gees Bend stamps are awesome. The two-cent stamps that sully their image? Not so much.
Somehow, I lost a pair of pants at school, so I'm on the hunt today for a new pair of jeans, and some SmartWool socks. I am trying to resist getting a $70 Helly Hanson raincoat from Sierra Trading Post, but I think I'm losing the battle. Is it sad that all I seem to do in southern California is shop?


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