I had previously written about the lost art of handwritten notes here. I had said there has always been something so exciting about receiving a long-hand written note from far away. I go through this ritual of looking over the envelope. I note the stamp, how colorful or symbolic it may be. I notice the postmark place and date. Then I enjoy the handwriting on the front panel. Then, I turn the envelope around and proceed to carefully open the back flap with a slim knife. If the note is long, I usually save it for when I could curl up somewhere with my tea-cup and cozy socks. I read and re-read the carefully penned news.
Because we love to travel, I get to see a lot of postcards for sale when we walk through towns and sites. For almost 40 years now, I have made it a point to send a postcard to someone during our adventures abroad. In the last 10 years, the practice has been going out of style with the Internet all-pervasive in our lives, with all the talk about carbon footprints and saving trees, with changing attitudes towards what constitutes as staying in touch. There are far more options, for sure, what with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, to name a few.
Am I just being “old-fashioned?” Is it a “generational” preference? Certainly, it’s all too easy to snap photos and post them on your social media page or to send them to someone through Snapchat. Fait accompli, right? But wait! I love the handwritten letter sent personally to me. I see behind it the time it took to purchase the card and setting aside the time to sit somewhere to compose a note, even if it may be short. Then, there is the effort to find where to buy the stamps and then drop them in the postal boxes.
There are trips where we stay in little towns. It’s usually not too big a production to walk over to the postal office to do all this. Along the way, we get to see the town, what locals do with their day, or maybe stumble upon a great cafe to have some coffee.
Whenever our daughter would travel without us, (and yes, she’s doing this more and more!), I can’t help but wait in great anticipation for a postcard. I just know there will be one coming. And when it does, I sashay through the day blissfully. It’s a snapshot of that moment of fun, thousands of miles away, and brought to our doorstep, for us to share in the delight of a newly discovered space.
This post was inspired by Erica’s Weekly Writing Challenge: A Lost Art.