Puzzling – New Streets – Old Letters
by Bella Rum
We’ve started puzzling again. It’s been awhile since we’ve pulled out a puzzle. If you have a place to put it, it’s fun to keep a puzzle going. We had a table in our bedroom at the other house that was just for puzzling, but we have no such place here. We put it on the end of the kitchen table. I’m going to get a puzzle board so we can move it when company comes. The kitchen table is really a better place for it. We put a few pieces in every time we pass by it.
I woke Tuesday morning thinking about a box of old letters. For some reason I was bent on throwing out most of them and keeping only a few – the ones from my mother. I knew I still had them because I found them a couple of years ago in the attic of the old house when we were decluttering in preparation for the move to this house. There were lots of cards and letters and some memorabilia in the box. Except for the letters from my mother, I wasn’t interested in most of the contents, but I didn’t take the time to sort through everything before we moved.
I asked H if he would find them for me. We had easy access to the attic (stairs) in the old house, but we only have a pull-down ladder for this attic. I don’t think a trip up that ladder or spending even a short time in that Sahara Desert of an attic is a good idea for me. It turned out that he remembered putting them in a closet in one of the guest rooms when we moved here. He found them in a few minutes.
The letters my mother sent to me the summer I spent on the Outer Banks were still there. I even found a few that I sent to her. I will read them later. I also found some S&H Green Stamps. Remember those?
There were a bunch of letters from Bobby, a boy who lived up the street from me when I was growing up. He was my brother’s best friend, and he was gorgeous. I fell in love with him before I was six-years-old. I thought he was dreamy. He didn’t even know I was alive, except in relation to my brother. I wrote to him everyday when he was in Vietnam. He was homesick and happy to receive letters from back home. I read a couple of them, and he actually called me “kid.” Ouch! In one of the letters he was desperate to tell someone about his friend who had died before his eyes that day. He said he had to tell someone, but he couldn’t tell his mother – which meant that I wasn’t to tell her either. I was such a silly girl with such a silly crush. I wonder if I even understood the grief and fear he was enduring. I doubt it. He was only nineteen, a Marine. I was sixteen. I guess we all thought the world was coming apart then, too.