I have spent the last few days cleaning, sorting, tidying and purging the enormous piles of stuff in my sewing room. I have folded seemingly endless piles of fabric, now neatly displayed. I have picked up stray buttons and returned them to the giant button jars. And I have sorted though all my designs and patterns and found, new neat homes for them all.
And I tided out draws and boxes and containers. In my Grandmother's old sewing box, I found some pretty blue note paper, stamps and airmail labels. As a child I had been a keen letter writer with pen pals in Finland, India and the USA. Folded within these papers was a letter I wrote to a prospective pen pal in the US, a letter which was never posted. In my 14 year old handwriting, hinting at my adult penmanship to come, there I was introducing myself to 'Sherry of Washington State.' I had written that I liked 'shopping, travelling, writting letters, reading and listening to music.' I seems that little has changed in 21 1/2 years.
Reading that letter, I felt like I had gone back in time. I would have been sitting in my bedroom with the very Laura Ashley wallpaper, on my old brass bed, scrawling that letter on my good paper. Carefully choosing my words to this girl. Like you do when you start seeing someone for the first time. Those carefully chosen first words can make all the difference.
So of course I was intrigued by this letter that was never sent. And by this person that I had wanted to be pen pals with. And given I like a little research, I looked up their name on the internet. And I found someone with the same name, albeit now hyphenated, on a social networking site. She was not far from my would be pen pals childhood home town. I wrote, explained the little story, and heard back almost straightway. It was her, that girl from the US that I almost became pen friends with.
I wonder if Sherry from Washington State would have written back when we were 14? Who knows. But she did write back now we are almost 36.
You know what they say, about the world and how small it is. Its true, it really is.