Overdue Replies

Kim Haynes Johnson wrote a slice that mentioned sending post cards to her grandchildren so that they know the pleasure of getting mail.  I told her I’d saved a bunch of cards from when I was little.  I also realized I probably never wrote back.

Dear Grandma,

Sorry I took 58 years to respond.   Thanks for the post card with that cool new ‘astrojet.’  I got three new matchbox cars for my birthday that year.  One was a Lincoln Continental. You could actually open the doors, the trunk, and the hood.  I played with it for another six years, but somewhere along the line I decided I wasn’t a car guy.  Maybe it was a good thing that Uncle Michael and his racing cars lived 1000 miles away.

Love,

Peter

 Dear Mom and Dad,

Thanks for the beautiful picture of Maroon Bells.  Maybe this card was what inspired me to climb all those Adirondack Mountains.  The swimming was coming along fine, except that I couldn’t float and I was still scared to jump off the diving board.  Don’t worry, by 1972 I could swim across the lake and jump off the tower.  I’m a late bloomer, like those flowers, you know.

Love,

Peter

Dear Grandma,

Thanks for the card with the pictures of the pelicans.  I remembered that rhyme because Mom always likes to recite it.   I’m jealous that you got to see pelicans every morning.  Here’s a fun fact, 11 years after you sent me this card, I got accepted to that college I was waiting to hear from the last time I saw you.  I became an English major just like you, but instead of becoming a journalist, just like you, I decided to become a teacher…who writes.

Love,

Peter

Dear Farfar,

Sorry it’s taken so long for me to write back. Thank you for the card from Belgrade.  I’m glad the FBI didn’t notice that it was a picture of Marx and Engels Square.  They might have confiscated it.  You might be interested to know that Belgrade is back to being the capital of Serbia now, not Yugoslavia.  I’ve never been to either place, but I’d love to see the “Grey Danube” some day.  There’s more fighting in Europe these days. It’s sad and infuriating. Here’s a bit of brighter news:  Your great granddaughter, Sarah, who you never got to meet, is studying to be a Physicians Assistant now.  She’s very proud every time she finds the name of her famous great grandfather in an article or textbook.  

Love,

Peter

12 thoughts on “Overdue Replies

  1. Holy moly! Tears welled up in my eyes as I read these overdue replies to the postcards of your grandparents and parents, your responses echoing through the years and the threads that have been woven through decades to touch the future – like the reason you climb mountains. Postcards are packed with powerful bits of voice. I’ll bet you can still hear their voice saying the words as you read each card. I’m inspired that you sliced with postcards so creatively today – it makes me want to look through my boxes of correspondence and do the same. I like how you included the front and back of each card. The pictures are fascinating, and the details of handwriting and voice, if date and postmark are captivating. You sliced a grand slam home run today!

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  2. For someone who was limping, you sure found your stride here! This is an amazing slice! The writing from the past woven together with the present if heart warming. I love the responses that capture pieces of your life! I particularly love the fun fact to Grandma where you share your journey from English major to teacher who writes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Agree with Jess- those cards are treasures. What a great idea to respond. You make me want to go in the basement and pull out my box where I saved old mail!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved reading this post – the postcards themselves, your charming replies. The idea to respond to these postcards after all the years. It just makes me smile.
    Part of me is wondering. I have my dad’s letters, the ones he wrote to his family when he served in Japan during the Korean War. I wonder what those response letters might have looked like…

    Like

    1. That could be a really interesting project. My dad also served in Japan during the Korean War. He worked in a hospital in Tokyo and became a lifelong friend with the Japanese doctor who supervised him.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! I love this post. I love that you saved the postcards (though I now fear that you may be a hoarder) and I love how your responses tell so much about your relationships and your story. Such a great idea – such a great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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