Saturday, June 1, 2013

Totally Deleted!

I poured my heart out in my previous post and published it. Then this afternoon I checked it,  noticed a couple typos and went back in to correct them. Well, I corrected them alright! I hit some key and deleted the entire post. All of it. Pictures! The story!  My inspiration! Gone! I decided it was time for a revival.
My precious hubby, I call him Super Man, helped me search the internet for over two hours to try to find a way to recover my post! After all that struggling and whining (me, not Super Man -- he doesn't whine, really!) I realized that it was not an accident that I totally deleted my heartfelt message. God is sovereign-- there are no accidents -- and He can do anything He wants. He wanted to remove that message and entice me to write another one. So here I am. I am rewriting this with the knowledge that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13). That's the only way I'm going to be able to do this. Ok, here I go.

Two days ago I was looking in an old file cabinet in our basement and discovered some old letters that were sent to me in the late-70s and early--80s. I was delightfully surprised -- and almost instantly sweet memories started to flow as I looked at the faded letters. These are things that money cannot buy. God makes me rich with things money can't buy. These are love letters from my family members who were living in Coral Gables, FL, and Atlanta, GA. I had just moved to Encino, CA, for a job as associate editor of Woman Golfer magazine. I was f-a-r away from any family member! So we all wrote letters, to stay connected and entertain each other with our stories and activities. Wow. Three of these beloved people in my letters: Mom, Aunt Philly and Uncle Ken (all passed away in the past few years). So to have these in my hands is truly a gift from God.

Now I'm thinking, "Why is letter writing a lost art?" Comparing letter writing to texting is -- well I can't even compare them. North and South Pole, maybe? Look, I text on my phone every day and I have and use a computer. Yes. I use them every day. Why? It's convenient. It's quick.
But letter writing is  personal. People who write letters  take time to communicate with ink, paper, envelopes and stamps. The author's personality -- because its handwritten -- is all over the letter. When the letters are read I can hear the author's voice! Then there's the envelope...when you receive a personal note or letter you can savor the anticipation of what message is inside. Letter writing is made up of passing thoughts, intimate thoughts and encouraging words, all handwritten! And you can hold the notepaper in your hand and read the messages over and over. Think of it.
Well I've had a blast looking through the huge pile of letters and I want to share a letter with you. I need to give you a little background before you read it (below). The letter was written by my Aunt Philly (really Phyllis and not my real aunt but my mother's best friend).  Mom and Aunt Philly established Brown & Kessler Realtors in Coral Gables. Aunt Philly was serious-minded with a dry sense of humor. She was talented in accounting and wisely tried to hold the company purse strings tight. Mom loved interacting with people, was hilariously funny, full of life and always seemed to put other people first. She didn't seem to care about impressing people, she just wanted to love them. It was a gift. They both loved to play golf -- and were great players -- and played in loads of golf tournaments all over Florida and the Southeast...for decades!
Aunt Philly's letter was written in 1977 while she and Mom were rushing through the  Miami International Airport on their way to catch a plane to the Early Bird Golf Tournament in Asheville, NC.  Here is the letter...all in blue font.
On Air Florida
(Almost--She just stopped at the snack bar for hors d'oeuvres)

Dearest Polly,
I am a curiousity walking down the concourse writing away. (She just stopped again--another snack bar.) The last time we stopped I got a hot dog and when she went after her bite she dumped the whole blasted mustardy thing in my purse. Then she wet her pants laughing. X*&#*$?*# embarrassing! Now, would you believe this? She just traded an egg salad from the first place for a turkey on rye at the second place, and got 20 cents to boot!
Poor Hilda--[golf partner in Asheville tournament] I'll probably have a let-down tomorrow --coming off a hot 85 today. You guessed it, we're headed for the Early Bird!
I have been keeping up with your news and love it. It sounds like a great adventure.
Your mother just gave the ticket agent the turkey sandwich instead of the boarding pass -- but he let us on. Now we're in our seats and she's fretting because she just spotted the pilot reading "the manual."
We have been busier than ever what with getting ready for the new office to open in December and suddenly having the sales gals decide to transfer to us last week. It's going to be a hassle to operate [#1 Coral Gables office & #2 Jupiter, FL office] -- we'll either make a lot of money or I'll soon have to conduct a raffle with your mother as the prize. (I just took away her checkbook --- the credit cards are next!)
Everyone is fine here. Things are normal. Ken just killed the cherry hedge--he was putting weed killer in the driveway.
Miss you and wish you weren't so far away but I'm delighted for you to be with such great people.
Peanuts are coming down the aisle -- your mother's all a-glow. I know she's wondering if they have Beefeater [gin] on board.
Be well. Love you much.
Aunt Philly
I can hold this letter in my hand and the words in my heart over and over. It is gushing with memories and gentle reminder to not take anything for granted.  Sweet, sweet memories that God is allowing me to enjoy again! And when I read it I can hear Aunt Philly's voice. And look, her  letter to me was written in blue ink on 5X8, lined yellow note paper.
Reading my letters opened the flood gates of memories and I then started looking for old pictures. I dug up more treasures!
And here they are again! Fishing in the Everglades!
Aunt Philly's letter is only one of the many treasures I've discovered in the old file cabinet downstairs. It's now a treasure chest for me and I hope to share moreand keep telling of God's goodness. I know Jesus came to earth to give His people abundant life (John 10:10) -- that's fullness of love, joy, peace. I believe God ordered that I would dig these up for such a time as this so I would remember how rich He has made me. He gives me riches that money can't buy: knowing that I'm loved, and giving me His peace and unspeakable joy.
I think I'm going to start writing letters...and spread the joy.