Did You Know…
“That according to a survey done by the post office, last year the typical home received a personal letter about every seven weeks; in 1987 it was once every two weeks. Increasingly, most of us are emailing the things we used to send through traditional mail like bills, cards, notes and invitations.” -Urbo
My cousin is a big antique store browser and found these beautiful old photos that had writing on the back of them, outlining details of each illustration. The penmanship was flawless, curvy and angled, and the recollections were short but sentimental. He found some postcards as well and framed them all in a dual-glass encasement: They caught my eye when I found them in his home and it made me think about my own friendships, letters sent back and forth to my closest companions today. Although so many communications are sent now via text message and Voxer, a walkie-talkie app that we use, my two best friends and I still send cards back and forth to each other on special days, in conjunction with “just because” gifts, and more. I save the ones I receive: It takes more time and care to pick out an appropriate message, write something worth reading, purchase a stamp, and put the item in the mail. The effort is always appreciated, the surprise in my mailbox always makes my day. I also think about someone finding these letters when I am older or gone- A husband, a child, a stranger- and smile at the memories preserved on paper, just like I did while staring at my cousin’s sepia art.
Using his décor as inspiration, I went onto Zazzle.com and decided to create my own postcards for my best friend in Maine. We went to high school together, she was a bridesmaid in my wedding, we now live nine hours apart but see each other at least once a year. Zazzle allows you to upload your own photos and make custom postcards- I had so much fun weeding through pictures of bowling nights, favorite book nooks, Instagram-worthy brunch shots at Cristy’s in Westbrook or Bill’s Seafood dinners, and other funny/ lovely/ special images we captured over the years. My best friend has two teenage daughters and I imagine them coming across these, years later, amused by our memories and appreciative of our friendship.
The Huffington Post wrote a great article in 2017 that noted, “Research has shown that the general act of writing by hand can promote quite a few physical and mental benefits, from improving learning abilities to fostering a more positive outlook on life. And when it comes to writing that is used as a form of communication between two people, namely letters and postcards, the impact of such messages lasts far longer than any alternative version offered in our high-tech world. From the careful intentions of the sender to the value experienced by the receiver, no true match exists for this old-time, traditional means of conversation.” -9 Reasons Not To Abandon The Art Of A Handwritten Letter
So let me ask, now: When was the last time you received a handwritten note amid daily stacks of catalogues, bills, and credit card offers? How did it make you feel?
I invite you to start a tradition of your own and put more written words into a world, so littered with electronic shorthand. Create custom postcards. Send anonymous hellos. Share your travels with others.
Together, let’s put some meaning into the mailbox again.