National Postcard Week May 6-12th
April 28, 2012 § 1 Comment
During what promised to be another drab fourth grade English class, I was introduced to rules of formal letter writing. Using my Schaffer blue ink fountain pen (ball point pens were not allowed in Catholic school) my assignment was to improve my penmanship by writing a letter, following the examples in our textbook.
The letter, addressed to an unknown recipient, Jane Smith, began, “Dear Mrs. Smith, It was a great pleasure to have made your acquaintance last summer. How is the weather there? We are having a lot of rain here.”
Copying the format of the example letter was excruciatingly boring. But then my teacher made an announcement that changed everything.
“Our next assignment will be to write a letter to a real person. Each of you will be given the name of a child in Europe. This child will be your Pen Pal for the rest of the school year.”
Another kid! Someone who lived on the other side of the world! And the best part: I ‘d get some cool foreign postage stamps. No more talking about the weather. I could ask questions about clothes, movies, sports and of course … boys.
My Pen Pal was a girl from Holland, Alexis Bergen. Unlike the kids in my class, she was not just improving her penmanship. She was also learning English. So for quite a while, our letters were limited to talking about the weather!
When I was finally old enough to see Europe for myself, I discovered, the postcard. It offered the same joy of receiving and sending mail without the drudgery of filling up an entire letter-sized page with words.
And then there where the pictures…glimpses into places I wanted to go, places I’d been and reminders of some of the happiest days of my life.
Nowadays, my handwritten correspondence is limited to “I’m going to be late, dinner is in the oven”, “Dear FedEx guy, leave the package on the porch” or “Please excuse Harry for being late to school, he….”
Yes, modern day life doesn’t always leave us time to communicate in words that are perfectly composed, carefully thought out and inherently romantic. But even these mundane messages are somehow forgivable when written on an interesting postcard!
So, this week being National Postcard Week, I’m encouraging you to send a postcard to a friend, either a traditional printed postcard or an electronic postcard.
Everyone loves to get mail!