Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

In a box


Mom's handwriting232  cropped 2xWe’ve been sorting stuff here. Boxes of stuff that has lived in the basement for almost a quarter century. Today I worked through several boxes of books, most of which I donated to our local library for their regular book sale.

And then there was the box of ‘office supplies.’

Most of what was in there turned out to be the dregs of my desk, emptied when I left the employment of a bank back in 1992. A rolodex filled with Realtor business cards, phone numbers to county water departments, tax offices, appraisers. Old business cards of my own, a clock, pens. Spent rubber bands.

And down at the bottom was a hanging file containing a pile of letters from my mother.

I’ve only read a couple, both from the mid 90’s. They’re nothing extraordinary, filled with weather and what’s blooming, lake temperatures and levels, birds she’d seen. Baby ducks. Many of them are handwritten, though in later years when she learned that newfangled word processor called a personal computer they began to be typed.

When I was a kid I watched my mom write a postcard to her mother every week. Tiny little script filling up every inch of the postcard surface. Often she ran the last sentence up the side of the card. There are a few postcards to me in the file too, completely covered in her writing.

I don’t have to read them all to feel good. Just seeing her handwriting makes me smile.

I know that eventually I should sort them out, maybe get them into a binder for easier reading. But suddenly that seems too hard. I’ve been scanning family pictures for days. Her face and the faces of all of us are everywhere I look, spread across the table, entrenched in the back of my eyes. Such young faces, all of us, even mom and dad.

We were all so young.

And now here are her letters and it feels as though she and dad are just off somewhere on vacation. That I’ll get another letter in the mailbox next week or the week after that, sharing the latest trip, the daffodils in bloom now, the bluebirds building in the nest box down by the water. Even now, eleven years later, when I go out to the mailbox there’s that little bit of anticipation about what might be there.

But now I have this treasure trove of letters.

I’m glad I kept them, and I’ll read them all again someday. It’s not the same of course. But it’s not overtly sad, just tinged a bit with wistfulness. I know I’m lucky she was a letter writer and I’m a saver. It’s good to see her handwriting, it’s almost like hearing her speak.

I guess there is some benefit to sorting through boxes. I found a hug from my mom.
Mom's handwriting234

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

19 thoughts on “In a box

  1. Such a sweet find, Dawn! I’m so happy that you’ve got these treasures 🙂 While you’re scanning photos, you should scan some of these, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I will. A few. Maybe those that have more memorable stories, and a few of the general ones. I need to read them and it got a bit sad and overwhelming. So for now they are probably going back into a protective box. But at least I know they are there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a treasure trove you have! I see a book of photos and letters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. precious memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting you should post about your folks today, Dawn. I dreamed about Daddy last night, and I guess the wistfulness never goes away. You’re blessed to have saved these letters — indeed, they’re very much like a hug!!


  5. How wonderful to have that. 🙂 My mother didn’t write letters. I’m not sure I have anything with her writing on it. Perhaps some cards, somewhere in the attic.


    • I think remembering handwriting is like remembering a voice…it fades with time. So I know I’m lucky. I also have recipe cards with her writing tucked away in my recipe box, things she gave me over the years. We haven’t split up her own recipe box yet, I think we’re going to give it whole to my sister who is the only other one of us that cooks.


  6. Happy story, Dawn. Maybe you have planted the idea of writing a letter in the heads of your readers today.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Aww, Dawn. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That was a wonderful post. I remember coming upon a grocery list in Mom’s handwriting and being flooded with memories. I also remember finding a box of letters from Mom to her mother (Gram saved everything and then a little bit more). How are people ever going to recover the poetry of daily life when all of it disappears a pixel at a time? Ah well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think people are missing out by not writing handwritten letters at least some these days. But then, I’m sitting here scanning paper photos into pixilated images…so I guess it goes both ways.


  9. your way of expressing the universal feelings we all share in beautiful. thank you for reminding me of the connections we have that reach beyond space and time. take care and happy scanning.

    what kind of scanner do you have?


    • Thank you Bess. Our scanner is an Epson. It works great. But I have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds….of photos to scan. Huge project. I do a little at a time until my neck and shoulders hurt.’s better than working a full time job! 🙂 🙂 🙂


      • Barry’s mom left us with photo albums which contain photos of his aunts and uncle. his cousins want copies and scanning seems to be the best way to go. we also have photos of our own that need to be scanned.

        costco has a scanner that can do photos or negatives. how big of a screen does your scanner have? 4X6?
        i am enjoying your blog so much. thanks!


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