Things You Might Find Going Through Old Boxes of Letters

Earlier this week I told you I’ve started going through old letters and cards in the basement closet. I thought it would be a simple thing: pitch or keep. But I keep having “whaaa?” moments at things I discover in the boxes. Like:


Rejection letters from high-end music conservatories.

Rejection Letters


The invoice for my flute.


More than one reference, in a letter, to the dawn of the email age. It makes me smile to see the awkward way we all talked about this new-fangled thing, and treated it like a fun little fad. Like a letter–as in, sent with postage–that said, “Our email address is ____. Please mail me your email address.” (Because phone calls still cost more than a stamp in 1998!)


Letters from my youngest sister that fill–and I mean fill–the front and back of three notebook pages and do not appear to include a paragraph break or margin anywhere.


One of Christian’s black dress socks.




And to those who said when I shared this on Facebook, “Just be glad it wasn’t a check!” I can only say….um….I found one of those last night, too. Tucked in a wedding card. To the tune of (mumble mumble ninety dollars mumble mumble). I had to make a very embarrassed phone call to my uncle last night.


But I also found a note from another uncle on the occasion of my grad school graduation, and his words resonated with where I am right now, the things I’m wrestling with, so I want to share a couple sentences that seem to speak to me right now:

Try to calm your “self” and maintain a spirit of humility and gratitude in all things. This can be very difficult for motivated individuals. We tend to fall into self-reliance and push God to the side. That’s when life gets chaotic.

Wise words for a work-at-home mom at the end of the first week of summer break.

(Joining up with Seven Quick Takes today…come on over!)