Sunday, March 14, 2010


Tessa came across a craft project recently that involves hollowing out the center of a thick book to make a box.  It's more involved than that, but this is not meant to be a tutorial.  Actually, I probably did not have to even mention the craft project.  The fact that the gel medium that is needed costs $11.49 probably will keep almost everyone I know from even wanting to do it anyway. 

Back to the story.

While looking for a book at the thrift store, we came across an old letter.  It wasn't technically in *the* book we ended up purchasing--well, not until I stuck it in there, but I don't suppose it's really stealing as long as I did buy a book.  I mean it could have been in the book we were buying and then fell out and then got put into another.  Right?


There was something so mysterious about the letter.  I just had to have it.  It did not even look like it had been opened.  I'm sure it had been--very neatly--and then kind of glued shut again after years in the book.  I brought it home and then waited for just the right moment to read it  You may imagine that I sat in a comfy chair with a cup of hot tea while the rays of sunshine cast a warm glow around me as I gently reopened the letter.   Imagination is a wonderful thing.   

The fact is, though, that I was sitting around the table with my big, fat, Italian in-laws--not really fat, but you get the picture--trying to not repeat the dinner from hell of the week before that I could not write about.    I was not about to let the conversation slip into anything remotely reminiscent of the previous week.  I decided that they would enjoy sharing the mysterious letter with me.  Yes, I decided.  And they listened to me read it.  And we all laughed.  And that was a good thing.  The letter is so telling of the time, 1970, and it saddens me to think that with all of our electronic communications, the future generation will not have the opportunity to find such a priceless treasure in an old book in a thrift store.
April 6, 1970

Dear Mom,

Well, I bombed out on another interview today--another all-day affair at First Union.  It was really scary.  At this rate I'll never get a job.  I had to take an IBM programmer aptitude test which was unreal and unexpected!  You wouldn't have believed the last part, nothing but word problems.  I don't think I did one of them right!  The man told me I made a high C on it and then proceeded to tell me that they "couldn't always tell" anything by the test!  HA!  I took that to mean I blew it!  And he's just smoothing things over.  Oh me.  I'm at the depths of depression, now!  HA!  And I'm beginning to think programming is not for me.  They all want you to be utterly ambitious, want a life-long career and be an expert at everything.  Well, I'm just not that ambitious right now.  I can't be--I don't know what it's like, what I can do or really what I want to do!  So your daughter is still a good-for-nothing unemployed waste of good money!

Well, how are things in Union?  I really thought I'd make it home but Tom called and came down Saturday.  We went out to the state park again--all day.  It was perfect!!  The weather was so warm.  We had such a good time!  He even stayed for a while Sunday and went out to the shack and explored.  When he left, I practically collapsed from all that walking--but I wouldn't have missed it.  I'm so proud of him.  He's written the introduction to his paper and was expecting to finish the literary review (that goes over all the work done previously on the particular topic) Sunday night.  One experiment had to be redone, though; but he expects to be finished by July, I think.  He got a notice from the army.  He'll go in in September at Fort Benning for branch school and then what he, of course, doesn't know.  At least the dates are definite, so he can plan accordingly.  He's still hoping to get into the medical corp--but he wrote a letter to the Surgeon General and forgot to sign it!  HA!  So, I doubt it'll do too much impressing.  I hope he can get in, though, cause at least then he'll feel like he's doing something worthwhile.

Oh, the funniest thing.  Tommy's had to go on a special diet to try to get rid of his "jungle rot" he's been thinking was a fungus.  The doctor said it was a reaction to some foods--the weirdest combination of things like radishes and hot dogs and onions and chocolate and caffeine (no coffee or tea) and soft drinks and beer, and I don't know what all--oh, fried pork and fried fish or seafood.  Well, everywhere we went to eat all weekend, the menu would be full of the very things he couldn't eat!!  I just hooted--he loves food so much!  HA!  And it never failed that fish, shrimp, fried pork chops, even frankfurters and sauerkraut!!

I'm going to Raleigh this weekend.  I've already got two riders.  There's to be a big folk rock festival at UNC.  That ought to be interesting to say the lest.  I guess I ought to go out and get a wild outfit to wear!  HA!  Tom wouldn't believe it!  HA!

I'd like to report that I've caught up everything, but I haven't really.  I did get some work and ironing done this weekend, but this week is going to be a dilly.  Test Thursday and probably one Friday, I don't know!  Of course, it's only 25 or so days left 'til graduation.  How about that!  That reminds me, I got to thinking about that stereo I mentioned.  Now Mom, don't go out and make plans to get some big thing!  If anything, I want the portable kind, not furniture!  And it'd be much better just to save the money for a while 'cause I have a feeling it's gonna be awful expensive to set up housekeeping somewhere!  Besides, I don't have any clothes to start work in.  They're more necessary than anything else.  O.K.!?!?

I don't know when I'll be home.  The 25th is our big weekend here (Jr./Sr.) and 17th is the big shindig at State, although I don't know if we're planning to go.  I'd say we'd be home after Jr./Sr., but I may have to check cards that weekend--I'm not sure yet.  Anyway, be good and let me hear from you.  I'll try not to call 'cause it's too expensive.

Bye for now!


Okay, did you not just die laughing at some of Felicia's writing.  HA!  I loved it and wish that I could find her.  I want to know if she ever got a job or if she ended up being a good-for-nothing unemployed waste of good money!  And did Tom ever get cured of his jungle rot?  I suppose we'll never know.  HA!

Anyway, this opened the door for me to share a book that I had put together about my grandmother which included copies of the letters that she had written to me while I was in high school. Let me just say that the response from the in-laws was quite surprising.  I think they actually grew to like me just a little bit. 

If, in fact, I did not have that hour stolen from my sleep last night, then I would finish this post with more about my grandmother and my secret talent--which I'm sure you are all just dying to know about--but that will have to be another post on another day.

I am missing hanging with my blogging buddies and pray that this insanity in my life right now is temporary.


Mimi said...

Wouldn't it be nice if you could locate her????SHe would be maybe 62????She could be right in the AREA!!!!
lOVELY note and I Pray she found a great job or got married to a successful man, hopefully not the sick one!!!!haha

Kolein said...

oh my. I love finding letters from other people. Another part of my lunacy. Are you gonna try and find her? If you do, you might have some splainin' about posting the letter here!!!LOL!!!

Love what Mimi wrote about "the sick one"!

Linda said...

All I can say is HA! I hope if someone found one of my old letters they got a kick out of it. That was wonderful and it does make you wish you could find them doesn't it.

Funky Junk Interiors said...

So quit copying other people's letters and write yer own to your blog buddies already. :) xoxo

Seriously, glad to see you peek in now and then. Tell your work to chill! You DO have a blog life you know.


slommler said...

That letter was priceless and I am glad the in-laws enjoyed it and you as well! That would be something if you could find Felicia! I say "HA!" too!
I am looking forward to hearing your "letter" now?!?

Courtney Price said...

I love your inlaws stories :) If only I could be SURE mine didn't read my blog!

That letter was great. I love it.

Cottage Cozy said...

Oh...I just loved that letter! I am like unopened letter or even an opened one from the past is so doesn't matter if you know the person or not! How fun!

2 Soul Sisters said...


Jessica said...

i'm tapping my foot waiting for a new post! no rush!!
ha ha!

jess ;)

Deb said...

I really really enjoyed reading your blog. I would also like to say that I am 51 and YOU are not old. Keep blogging, I'll keep following and hopefully you will follow my blog journey as well.

Kate said...

Cute! I love reading other peoples letters too, its just natural to want to know how others think. In fact I just finished a great book of them called Dear Bob, Dear Betty , which I highly recommend for anyone with an inner voyer.