but then i came across this letter last week. from a woman named clara to my grandmother, frances. written at the height of their womanhood, when they both worked at the u.s. postal service and were living on their on in washington, d.c. truth be told, the letter is a bit gossipy, in the most polite way possible. there are spatterings of "i'm not sure what she told you" and "i think it only fair that you hear this from my side of the fence too."
but a few paragraphs down, clara begins describing her dream life. what truly makes her happy. and though time and space and seventy years separate us, i felt my heart sink to my stomach when i read her thoughts that so mirror my own.
that's the funny thing about being a woman, i suppose. the fashions change (or do they?) and hairstyles go from big to feathered to flat to big again, and technology finds its way, every decade, to sneak into our homes and lives and rearrange the way we do dishes, fold laundry and relax in the afternoons. we are different colors and shapes and personalities. but every so often, we find that in some ways, we are so very similar. perhaps we don't all love living in the country. i know some very fabulous women who make entire cities light up. but that need to communicate--whether by telegraph, typewritten letter, phone call, e-mail or facebook chat, remains.
i'm just glad my grandma had the wherewithal to save such a treasure. little did she know i would unearth it from an old album whose plastic pages had long decayed. and i hope clara, wherever she is, is sitting on a rocking chair looking up at the birds, her head thrown back laughing, her drama resolved.