Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mail Question

While I am sorting through 16 years of crap in the garage, I came across tubs and tubs and tubs and tubs or mail.

When Gunner deployed to Bosnia, he was gone for a year, and we had little to no communication by phone and email was not available.  We wrote hundreds of letters.

Now that you can add three deployments to Iraq in there, and in 11 months a tour in Afghanistan under his belt, that leaves me with more mail than I can haul around.

So my question is.....what do you do with it all?  What do you do with his letters?  What about all the other mail that he was sent while over there?  People have sent letters, cards, cartoons, etc.  No worries, he kept it all!

When I say tubs, I mean those big blue rubber maid containers that are about 36 inches x 12 inches x 18 inches.  I haven't ever gone through it, and I know it contains a lot of memories for him, because some of those cards and letters from random strangers appeared on a day that he really needed them.

If I mention them, he might just tell me to toss them, but I thought maybe y'all would have a better idea of what to do with them.  I'm open to any and all suggestions....except scrapbooking, I am getting rid of my thousands of dollars worth of supplies because I have no room or time!

Is there a way to organize it?  Do you just keep the stuff that y'all write back and forth to each other?  I'm sure our cards and letters back and forth are 2-3 tubs alone.  We've been apart for 4 years and this will make year number 5.  Help!

16 comments:

stephanie said...

Maybe you could scan them onto a CD? I'll bet it will take a long time with that much mail...but that stuff is just too precious to dump. Especially the letters between the two of you.

hmb said...

I would at least keep the ones that you sent back and forth to each other. The other ones...maybe you could see about one of the historical museums or colleges...They always like things like those :)

Jill said...

My hubby keeps all that stuff too - but he doesn't have nearly as much as yours. I vote for keeping all those letters that you've written back and forth. I also think scanning the rest and putting them into a CD or compiling them into a photo book would be great, too.

S said...

honestly, mostly were tossed during the last move. They are in boxes and I never ever went through them again neither did he, so we both agreed, why move them from house to house and take up space.

DB said...

I say toss them. It's great that you wrote so many letters to each other and that he received so much support, but that time is past. Are either one of you ever going to go back and read any of it? And scanning it--what an incredible amount of time that would take--probably more than scrapbooking! And what would be the point? Who would go look at it at that point? Keep the memories in your heart and get rid of the stuff in your garage!

Brandi said...

I would convert them to digital. Scan them into the computer, taking the time to order them properly as you go. It would be time-consuming, but it would also be a space-saver way for Gunner to be able to still hold onto those memories. Maybe you can take the best of them and put them into a photo book or something, and send it to him as a reminder of the people who care about him. Old letters from you, pictures the kids made, stuff like that.

Vintage Love and Photographs said...

Between the letters from my husband writing to deployed Soldiers for 7+ years I have quite a bit too. Why not save the ones you might want to give to your kids and then scan the rest that are important to him/you? I saved mine to make a scrapbook of sorts for our possible future kids so they could appreciate what our Soldiers did for them.

Vintage Love and Photographs said...

Between the letters from my husband writing to deployed Soldiers for 7+ years I have quite a bit too. Why not save the ones you might want to give to your kids and then scan the rest that are important to him/you? I saved mine to make a scrapbook of sorts for our possible future kids so they could appreciate what our Soldiers did for them.

ArmyWifeAsh said...

I would keep the ones you wrote back and forth with the most significance and for the others, see if any army museums want them. It may not be a big thing now but in about 40 years from now, people are going to read over those letter and I think it would be neat! I think it's amazing that he kept all those and that YOU kept all those! you both remind me of myself and my husband lol

Anonymous said...

Scanning them is time consuming but still a good idea. My idea isn't exactly scrapbooking but kind of.. I would take the letters and put them into clear page liners and make deployment binders. You should be able to get quite a lot in a binder. Nothing fancy. Of course, I am not sure exactly how many you are talking about either. Let us know what you decide. 8-)

The Burton Family said...

Scan them into a computer document. That way you can keep ALL of it without taking up any space at all. Make sure it is backed up on something as well.

Time For Something New said...

My and Sirs letters are put into big three ring binders. I have them in cheap page protectors with the date written on the top. I plan to have a binder for each separation. I wanted to scrapbook them, but I have to be realistic haha. This is quick, organized, and easy to read back through when we like. Maybe you could try that?

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

I have a ton too just from 5 months and then I'm planning on keeping all his deployment stuff. I am putting in all in chronological order and sort of scrapbooking it all in binders.

Crazy Shenanigans said...

If you haven't already, you can go through them and toss the envelopes that'll get rid of some stuff first thing. I'd definitely keep the letters that you guys sent between you. As for the others, I would think of either putting them into a book or scanning them?

Wiley said...

Keep them. We're talking history here. And precious memories. As I'm consolidating my worldly possessions into whatever I can take with me overseas, I have realised there are some things that you just have to take the hit on when it comes to space/weight/storage/shipping. And letters were it. I have boxes, not just from DM (he's not much of a writer..) but from family and friends. I truly treasure the ones from those who have died too soon - even if I only read them every couple of years when moving.

Vivienne said...

There are services that will scan your documents for you and convert them into digital files. My hubs is an attorney and he has mountains of paperwork that he is legally required to keep even after the cases are over. He uses a service to do the big jobs... which is what it sounds like you have.

I would definitely keep all (or at least most). It's history. Your kids will be so happy to have these later on.