I love snail mail, the making, sending, and receiving of it. Not much else that appears in my mailbox makes me smile the way snail mail does, and certainly not the bills. The junk mail, at least, has the possibility of ending up in my journals as "art."
I also think that life's simple moments make the absolutely best memories.
So, a few weeks ago, I conned convinced my most awesome sister, Denise, to participate in a project where we would snail mail each other memories from our childhood or more (much more) recent past. The snail mail could be note cards, letters, post cards, whatever fit the moment. We'd do it when we could, no specific timetable. I wanted this to be workable, or as we say, the most "awful fun."
A few days ago, I received the card you see above. Denise wrote, " Do you remember peeking inside the trunk of the cherry tree near the kitchen? A mama bird would build a nest in a hollow spot in the tree trunk each year. We would wait for her to fly away and then run to steal a peek of her babies."
And, yep, that long forgotten memory came flooding back. We've each sent two now, and I wish I'd thought to document and share them here before.
I first sent her a postcard of Chincoteague, reminding her of the time where we swore to my dad that we'd be sure to take the rental key with us, since he'd not be around to let us into the house. You can see where this is going, right? We left it behind, and when we got back, sure enough, Dad was gone, and we'd locked ourselves out. No way on God's good earth were we going to wait for him to return and suffer his laughter. So, we broke in, all the while laughing like loons and hoping no one would see and report our efforts. Long story short, I tumbled through a window we'd prodded open, fell onto the kitchen floor, and could not stop laughing to let her inside. We kept that secret from Dad for YEARS until my husband blew it wide open in casual conversation, which immediately ceased while Dad raised his eyebrows and just gave us the "LOOK."
Denise replied with memories of running and jumping along a pile of rocks that created a jetty in Rehoboth. I never could understand why this activity caused my mother to have near heart attacks, until a few years ago when I stood and looked at that jetty, wondering where in the hell my mind was all those times! We had absolutely no fear back then, and we did it as often as we could.
I then sent Denise a card reminiscing about the time that Mama Cat and her daughter, Katie, each had a litter of 6 kittens withing days of each other. Two mamas with 12 babies between them. My mother wept, and even my dad's face blanched. Another sister proudly told everyone that we had a "real cat house in our garage."
And, now, I've got another memory ready to be dropped off at the post office, and in a few days, when I think she's gotten it, I'll reveal its contents here, because I don't want to ruin her surprise.
I love the idea of all of this - the memories surfacing and being shared, the cards that brighten our mail boxes, and the thought that after a period of time, we'll each have a wonderful bundle of memories, for us, and for our kids after we've gone, not that either of us plans on making our departure any time soon!
As we say, it's just the most "awful fun!"