| Love Letters

One of my favorite projects to date was very personal—a book of love letters from my grandmother I compiled for my mother’s birthday.  My Aunt Laura had found a stack of old letters written by my grandmother, Idell, to my grandfather, Clarence Denzel.  They were very young and not technically allowed to be in love (he was a missionary during the time, which was just prior to World War II.) When I learned about the letters—and that my mom didn’t know about them yet—I knew what must be done!

Isn’t the penmanship amazing? The “and”s ! Sadly, the letters my grandfather wrote back were lost—he was the romantic who kept her letters safely organized for all those years. But the project grew into a collection of visual ephemera of their courtship, marriage, and family and concluded with memories and photos from their kids and grandkids.  I loved collaborating with family!

Even more though, I loved getting to know my grandparents. Its such a strange experience to realize your mom wasn’t always your mom—and even more surreal to imagine my grandmother (who ran a pretty tight ship) as a young girl giddy with love. And wasn’t my grandfather a fox in that pilot gear?

I was so excited to finally have a truly special gift to give to my Mom (her birthday is Christmas Day!)  So when Oliver tried to hijack the project by arriving a few weeks early, I had no choice but to haul the laptop to labor and delivery. If we ever have a third child, I will make sure to have a project to take with me to the hospital since its become a tradition.  Though I would have preferred more time to refine the book’s design, the project was a beautiful experience.

For anyone curious about self-publishing a book, I used blurb.com since it was the only one at the time that didn’t require a template, but I have heard a rumor Pinhole Press might soon allow that option!  (Pretty please Pinhole?)

P.S.—For any relatives reading; I am hoping to make some time this summer for your edits so we can order everyone a second edition.


  • Kellie

    April 26, 2012 11:06 am

    This is fantastic. I would love to order a copy. Thank you for all your hours on this project. It really is fun to read about that side of Grandma. And I LOVE her writing!

  • JILL

    April 26, 2012 11:54 am

    I really can’t get over her penmanship, I was thinking the same thing about her ‘ands’. I would LOVE to order a copy, please, please. Let me know and *thank you* so much for taking the time to make this & edit, too.

  • jana

    April 26, 2012 2:35 pm

    I love these letters so much. And the book you made is gorgeous. Absolutely amazing!

  • Janie

    April 26, 2012 3:07 pm

    Linsey I love this! Thank you for taking the time to do this. I would live a copy if you’re willing to share. Let me know……

  • Janie

    April 26, 2012 3:08 pm

    Love- it’s supposed to say “love” a copy……

  • ABBY

    April 26, 2012 3:12 pm

    I want to see this! So amazing.

  • Linsey

    April 26, 2012 3:15 pm

    Abby—When I first saw the envelope I thought, “something from Abby?”

    Cousins—Keep me honest and bug me all summer until I update and get you copies! xo to all of you.

  • Jen

    April 26, 2012 3:23 pm

    so awesome. Love old letters, photos, everything. that letter is pure magic, and i shall steal this post should my project ever see the light of day.

  • Craig

    April 26, 2012 4:30 pm

    I would like to order one. Thanks for all your work. This is looking great.

  • Aunt Carm

    April 26, 2012 6:05 pm

    Sweet Linzer, I had tears when I read this. Can I purchase a copy of this for Uncle Lance??? I am not going to say antything about this until I can get something from you. You can bet he will be a puddle of tears when he reads and sees the picures…..It was striking to me how much Idell looked like Kimmie (Maughan) when she was younger. Am I the only one that thinks so????Love to you a and your gang. Pls let me know about getting this in print. Thanks so much Aunt Carm

  • Tracie Atkinson

    April 26, 2012 7:34 pm

    This is SO perfect. I cannot wait to get a copy, please :) Her writing is perfect. Thanks for doing this!

  • Clare

    April 26, 2012 9:28 pm

    I am full of emotion once again. It is beautiful! Thank you do much! I love you! <3 Mom

  • Clare

    April 26, 2012 9:30 pm

    Oops “so much”

  • Laura

    April 26, 2012 10:01 pm

    I’m afraid that Uncle Kevin is currently the bottleneck in this venture. I’ll bug him this next week until he gets his submission ready and then I’ll get the book to Aunt Nancy for her proofreading skills. We loved the book.

  • Papa Laidlaw

    April 27, 2012 11:33 am

    A great reminder that we need to spend more time collecting and preserving family memories… nothing more precious or important than family… Thanks girl that I love!

  • Erin

    April 29, 2012 2:13 am

    Linsey – I would love a copy! Thank you so much for doing this for your mom and letting us get in on it.

  • Robe de mariée

    May 11, 2012 6:05 am

    it’s a very good Article,thank you very much!

  • website

    May 26, 2012 9:33 am

    I experimented with viewing your blog with my mobile phone and the structure doesnt seem to be right. Might want to check it out on WAP as well as it seems most cellphone layouts are not really working with your website.

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