Thursday, November 17, 2011

Snail Mail!

I love getting mail. I used to have a bunch of pen pals from all over the world: Australia, Sweden, Norway, England, Germany, Russia, Africa...And the stationery/sticker/pen addict in me gloried in finding the prettiest papers, cutest stickers, and coolest colored pens for writing. And of course, I'd have to get the grooviest stamps at the post office, never the boring standard stamps! Then,, as always, got in the way.

Writing letters takes time, and focus, and being a mom, time and focus are a tight commodity. Slowly, however reluctantly, I let my pen pals fade away. There just wasn't time to sit and write. I'd tried whipping a letter off on the computer once in a while. It was quicker, it just didn't seem as personal to me, though. So, I stopped writing and the letters from all around the world stopped showing up in my mailbox. I miss that. A lot.

Then this morning, I somehow stumbled across the 52 Weeks of Mail challenge on Facebook. The objective of the challenge is to mail one letter or card every week for a year. I love that! So, of course, thoughts of pretty papers and stickers and stamps dancing in my mind, I signed up! I actually have a small pile of letters sitting in my stack of "Stuff to Pay Attention To" here beside me on the kitchen nook bench. I figure it's a great place to start with the challenge.

Then! Then, from the Facebook challenge page, I found a link to Postcrossing (, a website where you sign up to mail postcards around the world and for every postcard you send, someone from somewhere else in the world mails one to you! My first postcard will go to the Netherlands. I can't wait to see where my first one will come from!

I've also been encouraging Michael to write to some of his old friends from Ohio and Tennessee the past couple of years. He may only scribble a few short lines and add a drawing if he's feeling artistic. But he loves getting mail as much as I do and I think it says something special to get a handwritten letter in the mail, however short or scribbly--someone took the time to sit still for a few moments to think of you.  Plus now we have Kiran to write to and Michael just jotted a quick page for him the other day, complete with a self-portrait drawn at the bottom--I love it!

So, maybe you remember how good it felt to get an unexpected card or letter in the mail. Maybe you'd like to join the 52 Weeks of Mail challenge on Facebook (we're about a month late in joining or so but, better late than never and who says we have to stop once the original 52 weeks is up?) Or check out Postcrossing, toss a note out into the world and see if one comes back your way. Give yourself and someone else a reason to smile when they open their mailbox and pull out something besides a bill or more junk mail...

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