Postcards from far away

In this day of Facebook, email, Twitter, texting and — yes — even the occasional phone call, there’s something enchanting, reassuring and exciting about getting mail. And I don’t mean bills, of course, or credit card applications, coupons and flyers. I’m talking smudged-by-the-post-office, honest-to-goodness, postmarked-in-the-U.S.-of-A. handwritten correspondence.

The only person with whom I now keep up a penpal-like relationship would be my grandma — and she lives a lengthy 5-minute drive from my office. Despite the fact that we see each other often, we still love to write letters just catching up on our daily lives. To be honest, I think I tell her more in writing than I ever would in person . . . because writing is where I’m most comfortable. Putting my thoughts down in ink is very different than trying to speak them aloud, where I inevitably wind up throwing in an “um . . .” every few breaths. For good measure, you know.

A site I recently discovered after Nat’s mention at Book, Line, and Sinker gives me another way to break out the ol’ writing skills — and put them on postcards. Postcrossing is an international postcard crossing project that allows members to sign up for free, then receive the address and profile of another Postcrossing member. We check out their information, see what sorts of postcards they’re interested in receiving — and then we send away! After your postcard has been received by that member, you’ll receive one from someone else. Somewhere in the world.

I signed up a few days ago and have ordered postcards from Moo featuring my local photography. I’m highlighting Maryland, my home state, in all its many forms — so y’all know I had to get some blue crabs shots in there! I’m really excited to receive my cards and get them in the mail. The folks who will receive my first batch of cards are in Finland, Brazil and Poland — the motherland! When I make a trip to New York to visit Spencer’s family later this month, I plan on sending some more from Niagara Falls and the surrounding area.

It’s just another way to connect, grow and practice my penmanship. How else would I find Ana, a 24-year-old journalist in Brazil — and someone with whom I’d imagine I have plenty to discuss? I love projects that make the world smaller. And I love being a part of that world.

Just a note from London

I got a postcard from my friend Stacy in the mail yesterday — very exciting! She moved to London — possibly my favorite place in the world — to study and obtain her Master’s degree in late September. To say I’m crazy jealous of her adventures is an understatement! I don’t know that I would ever have the courage, but I can’t imagine what an incredible journey she’s on. Next time I get the chance to chat with her, I’m giving her a British culture pop quiz! I’m sure she already knows more than I do, but I’ll put up a decent fight!