Although time apart can be excruciating, the resulting hand-written love letters are quite a treasure.
Love letters are a lost art to many, but for military spouses and girlfriends, they are a part of the package deal. They’re one of those hidden gems we all love but rarely talk about.
There is something beautiful about pouring your heart out onto a piece of paper, spraying it with a touch of perfume, kissing it and dropping it in the mail. Even more moving is the moment your soldier hears his name during mail call. Or after checking the mailbox all week, you pull out an envelope with his handwriting, read his words, and feel connected again.
These handwritten letters represent a snapshot of your relationship, much like a time capsule. Instead of letting them collect dust, preserve these incredibly romantic moments for years to come. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Box them up.Your love letters can be stored safely in a keepsake box in a cool, dry place. Find archival boxes in craft or photography stores, or purchase a military-themed one like these from Five1Designs on Etsy.
- Put them in an album.Place your love letters in acid-free sheet protectors in a three-ring binder, or in a photo album with acid-free sleeves. This enables you to easily flip through them when the mood strikes.
- Shadowbox them.For an artistic way to display your love letters, mount them in a shadowbox. Be sure to include a photo of you and your soldier for that personal touch. For inspiration, please see this on Pinterest.
- Scan them. Scanning will digitally preserve your letters and open the door to numerous printing possibilities. You can email them to each other, or take favorite excerpts to make a collage, mug, or ornament. Consider printing on fabric to make a quilt or his and hers pillow cases.
- Publish them. Turn your love story into a printed book. Upload your scanned letters or typed transcriptions and photos to a self-publishing website like www.lulu.com.
A self-described “Jackie of All Trades,” Army wife Jackie Toops chronicles her experiences in Europe through American eyes. Born in Florida and stationed in Germany, the mother of two enjoys writing, travel, art, languages, slow cooking, and peaceful parenting. She studied Interdisciplinary Humanities, Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management, and has overseen public relations for museums, galleries and universities. Currently she is a contributing author for Wall Street International Magazine and a recurring on-air guest with AFN Wiesbaden. She’s usually seen traversing Europe with her Cannon, a coffee and two small children. Follow her on Twitter.
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