One of the nice things about downsizing is finding little surprises. We ‘ve had a few and they’ve all been nice.
There was one that seemed like it wouldn’t turn out so well, but I’m happy to say that it was a false alarm.
My husband found a plastic bag that contained a pair of boots that I had been looking for for a couple of years. They are a little more fashionable than my usual winter wear and I love them. Great news. I took them into our bedroom to try on and to admire myself in the mirror. I put my foot in and felt something. Uh oh! I had a little peek. I saw FUR! I (crazily) put my hand in, all the while praying, Please don’t let it be a mouse.
It was a child’s toy, a little cat, and I breathed as sigh of relief. I know I had those boots in my classroom last and obviously some child dropped the cat in there, either accidentally or intentionally. Did they want me to have a cardiac arrest???
The nicest surprise was also found by my husband – our love letters!
We got engaged at the age of 20, and were married by 21. I was already a university graduate and was teaching in Alberta, about 2,500 miles from my Nova Scotia home. I had known him for only three months; he was a fourth year engineering student, and we were planning to get married and go to Africa to work. When he graduated, he went to Montreal to work for a couple of months before our marriage. We were apart for 60 days. He wrote me 60 letters and I wrote him 120! (A little foretaste of our marriage I always tell him.)
Every day I went to the mail box and popped in two letters (cost of the stamp – $0.05). Hubby is rather shy, shall we say, and I really went overboard on those letters. I put heavy lipstick on and made kiss marks all over the envelopes. I sprayed each page with perfume and once even sprayed perfume into the mail box! When I think of how embarrassed he must have been in front of all his room mates, I still laugh.
He told me that the mailman used to say to the owner of the house where he was living, “Vous-avez un amoureur dans votre maison, M.” (You have a lover in your house, Monsieur.)
I have not yet reread them. I remember our letters as tender, funny, and yearning. We were two young people with dreams of the future. We wanted to make a contribution to the people of Africa, we planned our family and spoke of our dreams for our future children. I told him about the funny, sweet things my six year old students did and said. He told me about his colleagues at work and about meeting my parents and brothers and sisters for the first time.
We poured out our hearts to each other. We were young and in love.
I have not yet reread them. I’m saving them for a day when I have time. Time to revisit the past, time to remember.