From The Days Of Courting

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Howdy!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my readers out there. Whether you’re in a relationship going out for date later tonight or sitting at home on your couch drinking a glass (or a whole bottle) of wine, I just wanted to tell you that you’re beautiful and loved just the way you are! ♥

I wanted to do something a little differently for Valentine’s Day. We need to talk about a time where “courting” wasn’t such an old couple, grandparent kind of thing. You never really hear the word unless you watch the many TV shows about the Duggars, as they don’t use the term “dating” they say “courting” because it has a different meaning entirely. Dating could be for a couple of months to a year whereas courting is being with someone with the intention of marrying.

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Today, I’m talking about the days of my grandparents’s days of courting. I wanted to say a little bit after my papaw passed away last year, someone found a strange long box that was used to store Penicillin. It was fastened together a few rubberbands with the words, “save” and “mom + dad, love letters” and at the other side of the lid there is a medium size heart filled in with a red marker. I remember looking through it because it reminded me of my Great Grand-Uncle Gen and Aunt Mary’s love letters that they had written to each other. I think the only difference is that theirs were written while they were married, and my grandparents started to write while she lived up north and he worked down south, it’s roughly 2-3 hours between both places depending on how fast you drive!

When she showed me the box for the first time, I wanted to write up the blog post that day but I kept putting it off for some reason. And then while everybody was down for his birthday, my nana brought it out of his room and showed them to my mom and Aunt Laurie. They spent a good half hour just reading different ones and realized that my nana was a little minx while reading several of the letters! The first time they wrote to each other was Christmas Day 1961 and they stopped in 1962 when they were engaged and married. The big story is that my papaw was going to propose to her in March, the 13th to be exact, but he’s always been a little superstitious so he ended up waiting until the last of March or first week of April to ask for her hand and then they finally married that summer.

My papaw always had “bad” handwriting since I’ve known him. It was brought on by his work as a pharmacist, he had to write pretty small on everything. We still have big pieces of paper where you have very tiny handwriting in different places. So when I went through the box to take pictures, I wasn’t finding any of his letters, just nana’s. My nana doesn’t have this problem, she has very sophisticated cursive and whenever she goes quickly that’s when it can get really hard to read. Trust me, everybody has to ask her what a certain word is on her grocery list if they cannot read it themselves. The really sad part about it is that sometimes she doesn’t even know what she was saying! So we have to guess or just cross it off until two days later, she’ll figure it out!

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One thing that I think is very cute, and nana still think it is too! At the end of the of their letters, besides a “PS” section here and there, they’d end the letters with a “I love you” of course but she would add a hundred “xoxo” signs but she found one of his with the hugs and kisses basically trailing off the page when he ran out of room. I’ve done that before, but it’s a pretty sweet gesture coming from him!

Hope you enjoyed this post and didn’t think it was too sappy for your tastes!

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Have you ever found old letters from your parents or grandparents before? What are your thoughts on the whole “dating” vs. “courting” thing? I want to know where you stand as far your opinions of how dating has become and what we see as “courting” in the older generations?

snowflake

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The Definition Of A Love Letter

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Howdy!

I know a lot about writing love letters, but I tend to think they were more like little notes that you folded up so small they could fit into the palm of your hand or in my case in between my toes! I think an actual love letter is different. I look at soldiers years ago and their wives or girlfriends, writing back and forth to each other throughout the course of a few months or a year while they’re away.

In November 2015, my nana was busy cleaning out a section of her office. She went through her drawers and found a lot of things belonging to the aunts. I’ve tried to do a few posts of the aunts here and there. I like the fact that they are considered “The Aunts” in my family, even though they’re like my great-great aunts. They were my papaw’s aunts, as his father was their brother.

The aunts were very proper, like extreme! However, I’ve been told they are also very sweet too. I had a total of four aunts: Mary, Regina (Ra-kee-na), Elsaleah, and Lula. The one I am going to be talking about on today’s post is Aunt Mary, she married a man named General, and we thought the recent generations were bad! He was mainly called “Gen” in the family. He died sometime in the 80’s, way before I was born, but they had been married for 77 years! Mary died in the early 00’s, because I remember seeing her a couple of times in the nursing home and going to her funeral. It was my first funeral and surprisingly, I remember a lot more than I probably should since I was like in the first grade!

While my nana was going through the drawer, she found a huge envelope full of Aunt Mary’s things. According to her, she wanted to be buried with them. including her love letters that were from and to her husband Gen. I thought it was a sweet gesture to want to be laid to rest with them by her side, but somehow in the process of dying and having the funeral, the letters were never sent with her, which is really sad if you think about it. However, when nana showed me her pictures of her life as both a teacher and wife to Gen, she has a totally different personality as I thought as a child. She was a scary woman whenever we’d visit her at the home!

As much as I wanted to respect their privacy, I wanted to do a blog post about these letters. My nana found these old torn up letters written by Gen himself. There was one she could tell he had written it to her before they were married because it still had the date on it, the rest we had trouble decoding! My nana attempted to read the torn up letter, there were a few words ripped out of it but I have to say they were so sweet! It was strange to read somebody’s words in such a loving way. He called her different names like “sweetie pie” and “marigold” and he wrote the letters as if he was talking to her face-to-face. They were deeply in love. I understood why she wanted these things to be buried with her, she wanted these things close to her. This was the definition of a love letter to me.

They never had children, but he had a son with his first wife, by the name of Bruce. He married and had a son himself, named PM. Do you remember that name from my summary post? He is the grandson of Uncle Gen. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to explain how that works after I put it into that post! Gen and Mary were both teachers, both had their master’s degree! She taught sixth grade and could he taught a math and science teacher, plus he was a track coach (he coached his grandson PM when he was in school!) and Mary was a librarian in our hometown.

There was something else that I thought was a little adorable was the fact that they both loved to garden. They would raise rose bushes, at one time they had over 200 roses in various colors! My nana said that Gen would get really into it and would have hybrid roses, which I thought was pretty cool!

What do you think defines a love letter? Do you have any cringing moments in school where you sent a note to a boy or even a girl that you liked them?

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snowflake

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