(Giveaway alert! Check out the bottom of this post for the info!) 🙂
On my birthday this past spring, I was surprised to receive not one, but two lovely birthday cards in the mail. Actual paper cards in the actual mailbox! I realized I didn’t expect them anymore, as most of us are busy and that extra effort doesn’t seem necessary when greetings on Facebook and through email make it so easy to send birthday wishes. I’d also gotten a few funny get-well cards from friends when I broke my wrist, and those brought a smile to my face at a time I didn’t feel a lot like smiling!
When I had a book giveaway last November to celebrate my tenth release, one of my winners, Mary L. from Florida, sent me this photo of her waiting for my book. It made me laugh – isn’t she the cutest? It also made me think, again, about how nice it is to open up our mailbox to find a package or card amidst the bills and junk mail.
Remember when we had pen-pals, and the fun of getting that overseas mail? When I was a young teenager, my grandmother, who was from Bolton, Lancashire, England, found one for me through a friend who still lived there. She and I wrote back and forth for maybe six years until she got married at 19 and worked as a nanny, and I was at college. Since our lives were busier, the relationship ended, but somewhere, I still have her wedding photo stashed away.
When I cleaned out my late parents’ home, I found huge stashes of letters my father had written to my mother during World War II. I’ve read a few – some she’d separated out because they had a lot of detail about events unfolding in the Pacific, with some of the information physically cut out of the paper. I found that astonishing – obviously they couldn’t risk classified information going out to families, but can you imagine having the job of editing every single letter sent home? The rest are in boxes and this Navy duffle – there’s no way I’ll ever read all of them and, frankly, I’m not sure I want to. Some of them are very personal and odd for me, as their daughter, to read what my twenty-three-year-old father said to his new bride. Surprising and a little uncomfortable! 🙂 But that’s the nature of a letter, isn’t it? A piece of paper that endures and can be kept, unlike electronic mail we can’t hold in our hands. That doesn’t bring with it the kind of personal feeling that reading someone’s handwritten words do.
Mailboxes themselves can be so much more interesting than the basic one we have. Here’s a photo of one I adore that I came upon while walking on a Florida vacation trip. Isn’t it wonderful?
Our neighbors across the street enjoy wine, and have an entire vehicle (an old Jeep) covered in slices of cork from wine bottles, with the words “Cork my Ride” on the back – it’s much enjoyed by folks at wine-festivals! Here, she’s put just a few on the top of her mailbox. 🙂
One of the things I’ve decided to do more this year is send old-fashioned mail. Birthday cards, cards to friends who are ill or struggling with life difficulties, and of course, mail out books to readers who want them!
How about you? Do you think mail is mostly obsolete, or will always be with us in a physical form? I’m honestly not sure it will be. Have you ever had an interesting-looking mailbox, or know someone who does? A pen-pal you got to know through only the written word? I’d love to hear about it xoxo
And speaking of wanting to mail things more often, I’ll be giving away a print copy of my May release, Tempted By The Brooding Surgeon, to a winner commenting on this post! 🙂