You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Love's Labour Lost...and found.

Last weekend when I was going through the closets, preparing to pack for our trip and doing random excavating that I seem to find myself doing every few months, I took a moment to go through an old box from my childhood.

Here are some random things in the box:

1. a black canvas fisherman's style hat from the year our high school went to the state championships in basketball. If I remember correctly, Onalaska won the championship in Division II.

2. a framed professional picture of my high school friends; we were all wearing different colored T-shirts. I was wearing orange. I'll have to post that picture here sometime.

3. my ceramic collection of 101 Dalmatians that I bought at the Walt Disney World gift shop. No, not all 101. I picked out the parents, Pongo and Perdita, plus three puppies. I remember my mom helping me decide.

4. an old art book called: How to Draw Dogs. I collected drawing and painting books and I have to say you can learn a lot from these if you want to paint. I think I have them memorized.

5. My kindergarten report card, plus several other report cards from middle school. For some reason I have nothing from high school, though I do have my diploma, so apparently I did learn something.

6. An old love letter

Now I use the term "love" loosely here. This is a letter that my boyfriend Nick sent to me after he moved from Wisconsin to South Carolina. This was in fifth grade. I was ten. When I say boyfriend I mean that we wrote notes to each other, made sure we ended up on the same kickball team, and we held hands. I think we only got to hold hands twice. Both times mine were sweaty...

I was really sad when he left, although I ended up moving to Onalaska the summer after fifth grade ended.

So I read this letter. It is wonderful. And then I wondered if kids write letters to each other anymore. Do they pass notes in class like we used to, or do they just text? And I felt sorry for them...when they grow up will they remember? Will they have letters to remind them? Technology is great but there is something about a letter. You can hold it in your hand, you can see the emotion behind the writing, you can examine the penmanship. There is something unbearably sweet about it that you just cannot get with email.

So here it is. I blocked out the address, even though this was written in 1985. And it still gave me the same thrill to read it as when I did when I was 10 years old. I scanned it, but will translate as it was written in pencil.

Dear Mindy,
Hi. Whats going down*, up* there? I'm fine. School is O.K. Except nobody is cute. Nobody! I hope this isn't as boring as my notes were. Are your glasses helping?** We might come up at Spring break. I hope we do. I miss you. Write back soon. My sister is being a (?) now because I just wrote to Kim. (Because she wrote to me.) I still like you. No matter if I'm in Africa, (don't worry, we are not going to move again) I'll probably still like you. Are you going with anyone? If I know you it is probably Chris Lindquist***. Who do you want to win the world series? I want the Cardinals. I have over 2000 baseball cards, over 50 of them are Cardinals. My baseball team here is The Braves. The Colloge football team is the Clemson tigers. The big pro football team is the Falcons. I wear your rabbits foot on my Lee's jeans. Well hope to hear from you soon.
Nicholas P.

I hope you are doing well, Nicholas. Thanks for the letter. Twenty- three years later.

* couldn't find the arrow keys
** I just got glasses that year and absolutely hated them. I was always a nerd, but when I got glasses I really looked like one.
***Not the same Chris I punched in the face. That was on my 25 list.


Anonymous said...

Awwww, this is AWESOME! So cute and endearing. Maybe you should try to find Nick on Facebook!

Melinda Braun said...

I was wondering if I should, or maybe someone will read it and recognize who it is. That has already happened with another reader, a total 6 degrees of separation kind of thing.