Saturday, August 12, 2017

Is it any wonder I'm a hoarder?

These are letters my grandmother kept. The largest pile at the back is from my mother when she was in the WAAF during the war and afterwards working in London. At the front on the left are letters from Uncle, most of which begin with an apology for not writing sooner and end with a request for washing or money. The final pile comprises letters from my grandfather when they were courting - he lived on the other side of Swansea so they didn't see each other that often.

I have been fairly ruthless with the old photos: if they are of people I don't know or can't see clearly enough to identify I'm throwing them out. Letters are different though. One day when I'm in a care home and the grandchildren don't come to visit I'll go through all my mother's, sort them and write a novel based on her experiences. Maybe. I'm assuming I'll have time then.

I also found a letter from Auntie Dusty. She was my mum's friend from the WAAF. A Yorkshire girl she went to work in New York State after the war and lived there until she died a few years ago. Her letter dates from December 1952. It's in response to the letter my mum must have sent telling her of my arrival. In her letter Dusty admits she was shocked but the arrival of an illegitimate child makes no difference to their friendship. And so she proved; she visited the UK every few years and always came to see us, even after my mum died. 


Sharon Qualls said...

Sigh... I so envy you all those letters! What a lovely thought - to write a book all about your family and life - in your dotage!

nick said...

I'm the opposite, I keep nothing whatever to do with my family. I have one photo of my mother and father and one of my sister and me as young children and that's it. I know what they look like so I don't feel the need for photos. I have a lot more photos of blogmates and Facebook friends.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Why wait til later to do your book ...why not do it now. I have nothing from my grandmothers or grandfather's ....on either side ... nor nothing from my mum ... nor my dad ( who passed 50 years ago. ) I have moved so much in my life , I don't know if there are any letters or were any.

Lesley Williams said...

I've just cleared my late mother-in-law's house and have come across literally hundreds if not thousands of photographs and postcards - some came from her side of the family and others from my late FIL's. Postcards were sent on a daily basis - some delivered the same day! I found one from her father to her mother when they were courting arranging to meet at the Palace Theatre at 10 p.m!
Another lot from my FIL's side of the family follows an exchange between his aunt and a suitor - all very lovely until the one I found where he tells her he's to be married next Tuesday so will no longer be writing! The cad.
Lots of photographs are of people long since gone and unfortunately unknown to any of the surviving family - why didn't they write names and dates on the back of the photo? Oh hang on do I ??