I have a treasure chest

I have a treasure chest. No, it’s not the top half of my body, with those things perched on it. Although, ‘perched’ might be the wrong word to use now for those things (as well as ‘treasure’, but let’s not dwell on that). Life’s a funny ol’ bag of weasels, eh? It’s such a liberation when we relinquish the stress of maintaining our ‘desirability factor’, and we can just be ourselves once again. But before that, we can’t imagine a time when we would ever be glad to relinquish it – at least not whilst still drawing breath. Yet, it happens. Whilst we may remember with fondness the things that once perched and perked in all the right places, somehow we still survive very nicely when they don’t anymore.

Which is nothing to do with actual treasure chests, but that’s where my thoughts wandered off to, being the free-spirited things that they are. My actual treasure chest, which is actually a (pretty) cardboard box, has no gold in it, nor ill-gotten gains. I’m too much of a goody-two-shoes to have ill-gotten gains. I hold onto the hope, though, that I will achieve some sort of badness before I “shuffle off this mortal coil”, to quote Shakespeare, of whom I have absolutely no knowledge. However, I have a major handicap to achieving true badness – I can’t help thinking about how the other person will feel if they’re ripped off, or treated unfairly. It’s a bit of a nuisance, really. A truly bad person doesn’t give a rat’s arse about this. My only hope is to get creative about how I can ‘do bad’ without being bad. It’s a work of art, I reckon.

Coming back to treasure chests, which I seem determined to wander away from (does this count as being a bit bad – or just a bit mad?) – we no longer need them to keep stashes of gold in, now that money’s mostly a virtual pie-in-the-sky concept, and we have plastic cards instead. My treasure chest contains memories. It bemuses me that when I was younger, and couldn’t even conceive of being 62 years old, I actually kept things in order to enjoy the future memory of them. I can’t quite figure out what part of me was at work there. However, we don’t always need to know the answers to everything, especially now that I am closer to the end of needing to know things, than the beginning of needing to know them. I still have an incurably curious mind, but I’m more discerning with what I load it up with these days.

One of the memories in my treasure chest is a letter I received from my young nephew in 1992. Firmly eschewing any desire to pop out my own rug-rats, I kept some of the things that my nieces and nephews bestowed upon me, instead. This letter, featured in the header pic and below, which was crafted, folded, and taped up by wee hands, made it to me several hundred kilometres away impressively intact. This rather ragged and fragile-looking affair is a work of love, and 28 years ago NZ Post got it to me without mishap.

This got me thinking about what other treasures we have in our lives, those we don’t give much thought to. I decided that the postal service was of them. Yep, that’s the snail-mail postal service. Before the internet, we only had snail-mail, and I think of the billions of letters that would have been sent around the world in the postal service’s heyday. Letters that are now treasures from long-dead recipients and senders. Letters that are kept in museums. Letters from little nephews. I know that anything put on the internet is there forever, and maybe one day we’ll have retrieval services that dig for treasure, rather than just dirt. But right now, if you have hand-written letters from anyone, keep them, because they are fast becoming rare items. Especially keep them if their contents will shock your family, after you’re dead 😊 (Note to self: make some shit up for this very purpose! With any luck, death isn’t final, and I’ll get to have a laugh or two about this afterwards)

So, 28 years after getting my nephew’s letter, I wrote – i.e. emailed (yeah, I know) – to NZ Post, and thanked them for getting this delivery so spectacularly right. The reply was fairly quick coming back to me – and probably from someone who wasn’t even a twinkle in her mother’s eye 28 years ago – lol!

NZ Post National Contact Centre <help@nzpost.co.nz>

Wed, 4 Mar, 12:24 

Dear Katrina,

Thank you for contacting NZ Post.

I appreciate the time you have taken to write to us. Its not everyday that we receive emails as such.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Warm regards

Crystal

Customer Services Representative

National Contact Centre

And, no, I don’t have too much time on my hands. This is just the kind of thing I do, because that’s how my head works. Maybe it makes me a tad weird, if anything, but one thing about getting b’older, it’s that ‘weird’ increasingly feels just fine 😊

Letter from Lins_1992

11 thoughts on “I have a treasure chest

  1. I also have a cardboard shoe box full of letters that have special meaning for me. Every now and then I add a special card or note. It’s now bulging and has to be secured with rubber bands.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Katrina,
    I absolutely love that fine letter and am very pleased that you saved it to share with people half-a-world away. I have a couple of good-sized boxes that contain such gems. The ephemera of the past is the ethereal of today. Perhaps it is due to my being a decade older, but there is something about the analog survivors: those without digital backup mechanisms. I have a photo album that contains black and white pictures from 1961 that I developed in the basement sink in that very year. You inspire me to actually get such stuff converted into a format instantly available at a (seemingly) distant geography. Please know that I am giving you the credit when they suddenly crisscross the globe. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Who would have thought all those years ago when I carefully saved that letter, that one day I would be sharing it with people half a world away 🙂 I’d like to see some of those black and white photos from 1961 developed in the basement sink. Just knowing that much of the backstory already makes them interesting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I actually have two blogs, but you wouldn’t know that by how seldom I have posted recently. A protracted hospital disaster threatened Lisa every day from December 16 to March 3. Robert Burns states it best:

    The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
    Gang aft agley,
    An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
    For promis’d joy!

    I am plannng on setting up a separate blog for pictures, sketches, and curious items of interest.

    My second blog is a place where I share memories of the 1950’s. It’s at:

    I have a deadline in mind — real soon now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is it indeed, Katrina. During an extended hospitalization (circa 2005), I used the white marking board, found in seemingly every hospital room over here, to fashion mythical creatures that take on unique and absurd character traits. Lisa took on an owl-like creature and I a moose-like fellow. They have taken on a universe of their own, sketches of outlandish alter egos. There are actually so many that it’s cost-effective to purchase a scanner. 🙂
      The months spent in hospital since 16/12 are worth a volume of their own.
      Wishing you a grand Sunday-in-progress. Still Saturday here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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