29 August 2010


On the last day of my recent stay with my sister and her family, Liz brought out a huge plastic bin full of my parents' correspondence with my grandparents. The letters went from the late 1960s through the mid-nineties (when everyone got AOL). I had a great time learning about my parents' lives in college and grad school, and as very young parents, from their own hands.

(Honestly, it kind of made me worry about how much family history is being lost to e-mail and facebook. But then, all this family history would have been lost to the desire for less clutter, in a family with less tolerance for clutter than mine has.)

One envelope was postmarked from Salina, KS in 1981, and addressed from "Kathryne Alfred" to "Grandma Barten." Inside were a couple of brightly-colored pictures, and a sheet of ruled looseleaf in my mother's handwriting, but a writing style very different from my mother's. (An explanatory note at the bottom says, "pictures by Kathryne; Story written by Carol as Kathryne told it.")

I'm still giggling over this. Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, I give you--complete with illustration--my first ever YA story!!

Once a little girl met a little boy. One night when the little girl was 18 and the little boy was 19 the little girl said, "Let's kiss!" and the little boy said, "Tomorrow ask your mother and father if we can get married." Then the next morning they got married and lived in the apartment house and lived with their mother and father. And then they lived happily ever after. The end.

Of course I'm biased, but I see potential here.

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