14 March 2011

51 Weeks [in which we keep the mailman busy]

A few days later Daddy sent Jared an email, the essence of which was, "Go to it right heartily."* I, meanwhile, was told that a real letter was en route to my mailbox. A real pen and paper letter. Snail mail, people . . . it's how we roll.

While I waited, I told a few close friends at school about this new adventure. (Thanks for sharing my excitement, girls. You know who you are!) I had never dated anyone, so it was foreign territory, but I was not nervous. I knew that we'd be walking this out with the help of many wise people, including our parents. It just seemed like the perfect timing. I couldn't wait to see what would transpire.

But his letter had to come first.

I checked my mailbox twice a day . . . a few of you can attest to this. Finally the blessed envelope arrived, and I retreated to a quiet corner of the student union. As I read, I was astonished to find out that Jared had been interested in me for so long. My faith for the courtship grew even more as he explained why he had chosen to pursue me now and described how he wanted our relationship to look-- purposeful, yes, but also guided by faith. I couldn't have asked for a sweeter or more thoughtful letter.

Jared suggested that we stick to letters until I came home on Spring Break (both snail mail and email). That was fine with me, since writing often requires more thought than talking. I wanted this first stage of the relationship to go slowly. Thus, we both stocked up on stamps and envelopes, and settled in for some old-fashioned correspondence.

I was an RA that year and spent many nights sitting desk.** Once my homework was done, or sometimes before, I would sit filling sheets of creamy paper with questions, stories, and the occasional illustration. Off the envelopes went to Lancaster, and back came the replies. With each new letter from Jared I grew more excited. I felt as if I had a permanent grin on my face; I couldn't believe that this wonderful young man had reached out to me, and was now putting up with all my silliness and sauciness. Jared made me laugh, encouraged me, and asked great questions. When I got horribly sick in February, it was good to know that he cared, although he couldn't be there.

It was a giddy, exhilarating time. I can't say that I worked very hard on my thesis.


*Those were his exact words. I believe he also quoted Roz from Monsters Inc: "I'm watching you, Wazowski. Always watching."
**Mostly making sure that boys were out of the dorm by midnight. We did indeed have visitation rules at our school.

{image: one of the classroom buildings at Hillsdale, on a typically snowy February day}


  1. How sweet! This explains that sneaky little smile I saw on your face all of that semester. :-)

    Keep writing -- this is such a beautiful story!

  2. This isn't about your blog post (although I thoroughly enjoyed it), but since you're not on FB anymore, I thought I'd leave this for you here incase you might find it amusing:


  3. Haha. Oh goodness... English major jokes never get old.