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I finally had to deal with my childhood room this year. A couple of my friends teased me about still having a room in a parent’s home that was nearly just as it was when I was 18.

There was really no reason for me to deal with and, mostly, get rid of, all the papers, books, trinkets and toys in my yellow and cream room. My parents weren’t going to raise another child, so the room was still mine.

Nothing lasts forever. I tackled the room in the past few months over multiple trips home.

One of the best surprises from that process has been finding all my childhood and and late adolescent correspondence. (Yes, I’m grand like that.)

Before Facebook, we had letters and I saved many of them. I found letters written to pen pals in Italy, France and Belgium. Notes sent to me by friends over their summer vacations out of town as though we didn’t talk all summer long when they were home.

In the letters during my late junior high and high school years, I was reminded of crushes and he said, she said incidents that I’d forgotten. And even in college, over summer break, my friends wrote letters and sent postcards.

There were a few from girls I had met only once, including a friend I made during a weekend college visit when I was in high school. We really meant to keep up a friendship and it took just a couple of days to bond and a few stamps and envelopes to keep up our chatter.

I rarely write or receive letters now. Reading through a few of the notes was so much fun because it seems novel now. And also, because my friends were funny, even when writing about just how bored they were or how cute some boy we’ve forgotten was at the time.

For now the fate of the letters is in limbo. I am working hard to let go of paper and clutter, but I couldn’t get rid of those yet.

And then I can figure out what to do and say about the letters from the two long distance boyfriends (one became my husband) I had as a young woman. I loved reading through those, too.

Do you save your letters? How do you store them?

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