Letters to Charlie

Bring on the OLD, 2018!

Happy New Year!

There’s an idiom I’m sure you’re familiar with:

Out with the old, in with the new.”

I disagree with the philosophy of trading the old for the new, because old things tend to be significantly better. The Royal typewriter above was built in 1939 and still works like a charm, as does the 1951 Singer 66 sewing machine. Think the device you’re reading this on is going to work eighty years from now in 2098? How’s that flip phone working out for you?

I say:

“Ditch the new, embrace the old.”

Modern things are ephemeral. Within minutes it seems, things become obsolete or break. We photograph our lives more than anytime in history, yet rarely print a single picture. We communicate via texts and emails which get deleted and purged, instead of crafting letters to be held onto and savored for decades, like the love letters in the photo below.

A few weeks ago, my pal Rachael at BlackLuck Vintage posted a 1909 love letter on her Instagram account. She had stacks of these letters, all written to Charlie–and not just from one woman. I bought the entire collection.

The letters inspired a new feature for this blog:


My plan is to transcribe the letters and take some creative license, using period correct photos and filling in the blanks of Charlie’s life since we don’t have his letters in return.

If you want to follow this voyeuristic glance into the past, subscribe below or in the sidebar so you don’t miss a post. Once I get through my latest, greatest novel edit for my agent, I’m going to dive in. Since I’ve read only the first two, I have no idea what’s to come, but I do know I’m curious to read on. I hope you are too.

Also new for the blog in 2018…

Live Swellegant

Swellegant has long been our favorite word, so what better way to describe our life? Especially now that we are the Swellegant Vagabonds. It’s time I start chronicling our Vagabond Life, and other swellegant stuff too. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. The Live Swellegant feature will explore elements contributing to that happiness: Positive Thinking, Stretching, Exercise, Doing Things that Make You Happy–wrapped around the old things I love. The goal of Live Swellegant is simple: Put a little more happiness in the world, because HAPPY is good.

Oh, and I’ll also include health and my success with Dr. Turknett’s Migraine Miracle, since it’s one of the most popular posts on my blog, and something I get asked about a lot. There are far too many people needlessly in pain. After so many years being one of them, I want to help spread the word.


And so ends the first day of the New Year from tonight’s vagabond location, a swellegant mid-century modern house perched on a hill in La Habra Heights.

As for the rest of 2018? There will be no out with the old. Nope. The old suits me just fine, both old things and old habits. When thinking of my resolutions for this year, I had nothing I wanted to change from my life in 2017, just a bunch more things I want to do.

Have a spectacular New Year everyone. Print a picture or two. Write a letter. Make something that will last.

Until next time…

Later Gators!


  • Rosa Ordaz

    Lori, I just received a beautiful handwritten letter a few days ago, and it really warmed my heart. Ink on lined paper. So sweet. It melted my heart. So yes, couldn’t agree more with your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous

    So agree with you ..the old is always more interesting better built and nostalgic! Can’t wait to hear more about the letters I have every letter dad ever sent me from Guam in 1965 and I have many letters from my dad to my mom and even some of Gramps letters. They are wonderful !

Thoughts? Commment below!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: