I rack my brain trying to come up with ways to manage our enormous piles of clutter. Though I am only 24 and my husband only 25, we have somehow accrued so much CLUTTER that our tiny little apartment is jam-packed. I feel claustrophobic on a daily basis and I end up scouring websites and blogs all over the interwebs trying to find ways to manage it all.
One thing I found the other day were two relatively large boxes, each filled with the letters we received from each other during the four years we were apart. When Rob was in Basic, we had no way to communicate for 16 weeks aside from letters. Sometimes I would write him 2, 3, 4 letters in a single day...and I would wait impatiently by the mailbox every day for a letter from him, which he wrote when he should have been sleeping. Once he graduated Basic in July '04, he had a little more freedom and we both got cell phones, but we never stopped writing letters.
An interesting note: we actually wrote far fewer letters when Rob was in Iraq. I attribute this to the fact that the deployment was so difficult on both of us that the words didn't need to be said anymore. We both knew, unequivocably, that we were in love and that nothing would tear us apart. The words became unnecessary, is the only way I can explain it.
Anyway, here are our boxes of letters from high school through his time in Alaska (January 2003-Summer 2006):
Any idea which one's mine and which is his? I'll give you a hint - mine is the one where the letters are clearly grouped by date range.
I realized that I wanted to use these letters for some sort of decoration idea in our house. As it is they sit in a box and we never read them - some haven't even been opened yet because they were sent at a time when Rob was really busy (we decided to keep the unopened so that our children or grandchildren can read them someday). While I want to preserve and protect them, I also want to enjoy them. So Rob and I came up with a few ideas and I've put them into action (keep in mind that this took little talent):
Idea one: Rob thought it would be cool to gather envelopes with different to/from addresses, since we both were at so many different addresses. Rob was in Georgia, Alaska, then Iraq; Caitlin was in various Maine locations and Wisconsin. This one isn't complete because we need to dig out a few of the letters I wrote to Rob while he was in Iraq.
Idea two: This was also Rob's idea. We took a bunch of different letters in different sizes, two of mine and two of his, and folded them together to create a no-glue, no-cut collage. I found a letter written on yellow paper and a letter written on a small notepad to make it a little bit more interesting.
Idea three: This was actually my first idea. I took a single letter that Rob had written to me in high school and framed it. It's in a place in our bedroom that isn't immediately seen by anyone who walks in, so it's more of a personal decoration.
My next plan is to get an even bigger frame, maybe 11x14, and add even more letters. Then we'll hang them all next to each other in our bedroom (we're thinking above our bed) and put the rest of the letters away for later viewing.
So that's it, the absolute apex of my creativity. Any other fun creative ideas with love letters? I take submissions!