I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

National Reread Old Letters or Magazines Day

This is one of those holidays in which it pays to be a packrat, and I certainly plead guilty to that. I can remember a time in my life during which I never threw a magazine away. I had a shelf in one of my closets that I piled them on. When the piles got too big, I eventually bought magazine holders and I kept adding to my collection. This was before the days of the Internet and online archives. I always had a fear that as soon as I threw a magazine away, I’d need the information.

Eventually, they took over my shelves and I had to make a decision. Do I throw them all away and make room for something else, or do I just pare down? I opted to pare down, getting rid of many of my sports magazines and current event publications. I held on to my Writer’s Digests though, not having any idea how much the market would change over the next twenty years. Much of the information is obsolete now, but I’m sure if I went fishing through my old copies that I’d find some writing inspiration or just some good old fashioned instruction about the craft. Problem is, I don’t think I’ve ever gone through them once they made it to my shelf. So, in recent years, I pitch magazines once I’ve read them.

But I’ll never do that with old cards and letters. I have a huge file folder full of correspondence my dad wrote to me. I’m glad that email didn’t exist back then because I don’t think I would have been as good about saving it. Something about seeing his handwriting on an old sheet of paper moves me.

I just reached into my file and pulled out an old newspaper dated February 24, 1999. In the margin Dad wrote “Lee, Good reading” and he drew two arrows to editorials he wanted me to read. He always loved discussing politics with me, so I guess he figured he’d give me something to read so we’d have something to discuss the next time I saw him. I’m glad he did that.

Next, I pulled a birthday card out of the file. Dad jotted three paragraphs in the card. One of the paragraph reads:

Thanks for taking the kids out while they were there—hope they weren’t too much for you. Time flies doesn’t it son! Hope to see you soon. Dad.

Dad has been gone for over eight years. And when he wrote those words the children of his second wife were kids—at least in his mind. Now they are both adults. One is married and has a child.

You are right Dad. Time does fly. And I’m so thankful that I have your cards and letters to help me re-live a few moments.


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