Friday, October 1, 2010



“I learned a lot from having a Senior Pen Pal...
I learned to be a better writer and better at my punctuation marks and for some reason
I think I got smarter.
I also think it’s wierd how this person I don’t even know cares about my grades,
cares about how I am doing in basketball,
and stuff like that...I have a cool pen pal.”

Natasha, student Pen Pal

My pen pals Molly and Sorrow have been treating me to some really cool postcards lately. In fact, Sorrow has become the Postcard Queen. Not content to buy cards, she makes hers. Recently she branched out from photo cards to ceramic and fabric ones. Both these ladies are gifted photographers, so even their "photo cards" are more than just cards. They are little works of art. I must say it is very fun to pick the mail up and find these treasures.

Photo by Molly

Ceramic Postcard by Sorrow
(I can't believe it didn't break!)

Fabric Postcard from Sorrow

Autumnal Fairy
Photo by Sorrow

P.S. While I was searching for a Pen Pal Quote, I came across this site that might be of interest to you snail mailers.
Not sure if it is an up to date addy or not.


I got two really cool postcards this week from my pen pals, but I haven't had a chance to scan them into the computer yet. That's on my ToDo list for tomorrow. In the mean time, I got this card via e-mail from my Uncle - kind of like old meets new. This is a picture of my great-grandparent's house in East Berkshire, VT circa the 1930's. Below it is a description of the house but I'm not sure who wrote it. Actually this doesn't look anything like the house I remember. In later years a second story or loft must have been attached. I used to love to visit my Great Grammy and Grampy for several reasons. They were old and soft. You kind of just wanted to curl up in their lap. Grammy was very faithful about sending $1.oo bills for birthdays. There was a post office was built onto their home - I guess it was a porch. Across from the PO window there was a big cooler filled with sodas and we were allowed to pick out what we wanted. A big decision. I think at the time Grape Nehi was my favorite, though now the very idea gags me! About the only thing I can remember about the inside of the house was that to flush the toilet you had to pull a chain from the ceiling. I'm guessing they were lucky to have a flusher at all. (Aunt Let, am I right about that? All of a sudden my memory of being 6 years old dimmed!) According to the writing on the card, my g.grandfather was also the train station master. Sounds like he liked to stay busy.

I've hit the proverbial postcard bonanza. Get a load of these: First the from my sister Linda who recently visited Lake Chelan. One of the cool things about postcards, besides seeing a little piece of a place, is that they often have very good information about the place they are highlighting. For instance, did you know that Lake Chelan is the deepest gorge in N. America - 300 feet deeper than sea level and deeper, even, than the Grand Canyon? How can that even be possible? I sure would like to be sitting on that tiny spit of land, right at the water's edge in my flannel shirt and sleeveless quilted vest. I'd take off my wooly socks and hiking boots, so I could wiggle my toes in the cold - you know it has to be ice cold - water while I eat a juice Washington state apple. Ahh, bliss! (At least until the first bear comes along and scares me into the brush with no shoes one!

These next cards are from AkasaWolfSong, another blog buddy. She lives in Beloit, Wisconsin. It won't be long before as far as your eye can see the hills along the Mighty Rock River will look like this. AWS says the Eagles and Hawks are beginning to return to this area.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Water Works Pump House is now home to the Beloit Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

The Stone Water Tower may be Beloit's real claim to fame. It was built in 1889 and used to maintain a constant water pressure supply to the City. At one time the tower supported a 90,000 gallon (that's a lotta water!) wooden tank. AWS says when she was in high school she'd climb the hill and sit next to the tower to ponder life. I'm guessing this might be where she acquired her love of and devotion to preserving the world's supply of clean, fresh water.
Below is the Hanchett-Bartlett Homestead. It is a restored 1857 Victorian Homestead, barn, smokehouse and one-room schoolhouse. It is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Thanks AWS for these peeks into your world.

Mandy, from England, has sent me two more pictures. These are from her recent 9 mile walk. If you want to read more about it hop on over to her blog. The pictures alone are stunning. It's always fun to read Mandy's posts because she is so British. By traveling the hills and dales (when was the last time you saw a dale?) she visits places like Goyt Valley, Lud's Church and the Roaches. Thank goodness she carries her camera along in her rucksack, or I'd never ever get to see sights like these.

A weather front moving in over Morridge Top

Hen's Cloud

My niece Shannon works at the Portland Zoo. The zoo has been a big part of her life as that is where she met her husband and where he proposed to her. The zoo is like a home away from home for her twins. When they go on vacation they usually visit to the local zoo. It seems to me like it might be a busman's holiday, but for Shannon and her family it always turns out to be a lot of fun. If you are ever in Portland be sure to go to the Bird of Prey Show at the zoo. Here's a postcard from Rochester, NY.

I'm really enjoying receiving postcards from all over the country (and England). What's cool is that I'm not just getting postcards, but also so great "photo" cards. This one came from my friend, Catherine, who recently moved back to San Diego. I haven't been in California for going on 15 years but as soon as I saw the name I recognized the place she was talking about. Funny the things my throws into its recycle bin.

Baby Hummingbird at Summers Past Farms
Photograph by Mark Whitbeck

An "almost" not quite postcard from my Pen Pal Sorrow.
You have to turn your head sideways to see this beauty in all its glory. I've just spent about 10 minutes, rotating and saving and it still imports wrong. It does not, however, distract from the colors that the Divine Artist uses when (S)He feels like painting on the sky.

Niagara Falls

My niece reports that the falls are amazing, as is the Maid of the Mist boat ride.
That's something that is going to the top of my bucket list.

It's kind of hard to tell but the black spots in the clouds are Eagles soaring.
Kind of makes me think of John Denver.

Here's a postcard from my friend Mandy over in England. Mandy likes to visit the US of A so this card is actually a picture of one of my favorite places - The Grand Canyon - instead of the British Isles. So far this card has traveled the farthest distance.

[I seem to be posting these in the opposite order from which they come. It's probably an easy fix, but my mind hasn't grasped the concept yet! The order doesn't change how much I'm enjoying these little notes that come flying through the mail slot.]

What's cool about being pen pals with Sorrow is that you never get just a postcard. You get a personalized work of art. She couldn't figure how to send me a hug through the mail, so she sent this instead. Doesn't it make you feel wrapped in love?

This postcard is actually a picture of an apple tree, not a cherry tree. But my sister wanted me to know it's cherry picking time in Selah, Washington.

To tide me over until she could post something from across "the pond" my friend, Firebyrd, sent me a couple cyber postcards - pictures from what must be her garden. I love Byrd's photos. If you want to see some more of hers and lots of others check out the Beautiful World Blog, Byrd started.

Let the Postcardarama begin!
Today I got 2, count 'em, 2 postcards from my new pen pal, Molly.
Both are photographs she's taken, which make them pretty special. I love Molly's pictures. I don't think the computer does them justice.
Anyway, I'm loving the whole idea of trading postcards with people. Hope you'll join me.


It seems there is a common denominator among my blog buddies. We all like to send and receive snail mail. Receiving gets the most votes. Maybe it has to do with the little kid in all of us. There was something exciting when we were kids (before computers) and the mailman brought dropped mail for us, not our parents, into the mail slot. Even now that I'm a grown up I'd rather get a letter from a friend or card from a foreign (outside Duval County) land than bills, ads from Geico and catalogs. Okay, catalogues are maybe the next best thing because I often ooh and ahh over things I can only see in a picture. I can't say that I lay in wait by the door like the dog has done every day at noon for the fifteen years she's lived here, but I do have a heightened sense of anticipation when I hear the clanging of the mail slot and the kerplop of the mail bundle on the floor.

Contrary to what others may think, I'm not too good at being in charge. So I'm going to be pretty liberal about what gets posted here. I've decided that pictures from a vacation are as good (maybe better) than the postcards you buy 5 for $1.00. In fact I've been known to use this sticky backed card that you can glue to a photo and voila, it turns into a postcard before your eyes. It helps keep the picture from getting all bent out of shape in transit.

Tracy of "My Journey not to Settle ... Anymore! blog was sorry to hear that I had not started the postcardarama earlier in the year when she and her family visited two fun Wisconsin travel highlights - Mt. Horeb -The Troll Capital of the World and, get this, The Mustard Museum. You see what I mean? How cool would it be to be sitting in hot sticky Florida and get a postcard from The Mustard Museum? Who even knew there was a Mustard Museum? Well, Tracy didn't have postcards but has shared pictures. They kind of make you want to plan a trip to Wisconsin don't they?

Kissing trolls for good luck.
Mt. Horeb, WI - The Troll Capital of the World

Col. Mustard and friend
The Mustard Museum, Middleton, WI

I just the mailman go by. Gotta run see if I got something!
Merry ME

- - - - -

I've actually had this postcard thing running around in my ever since I received this card from Sorrow's son, Seth, who had been studying in Europe for a few weeks. I felt quite honored to be on the list of things a teenager might be thinking about while he is abroad. I'm sure it was at the way bottom of the list, but who cares. I got a cool card!

Florence: S. Maria del Fiore and the Giotto's Church tower

Apparently I'm not the only one who gets a kick out of sending and receiving cards. Here's what Miss Molly from MollyBlogs has to say. To paraphrase her a little bit, make MY day - mail me a card!

Hoping you'll join in,
Merry ME


Fire Byrd said...

In the absense of your address Cause I forget to put it somewhere safe last time your wrote!) I'll send you a picture of mine and if you resend me my address then snail mail will come from across the pond.

Molly said...

I love your post card post. I fear I've fallen behind and need to get caught up, and this week is just the time for it!

Fire Byrd said...

I'm going to send you a photo in a minute of where I was walking this morning. Did 9 miles today, 10 on Saturday!
And going dancing later!!

AkasaWolfSong said...

I'm loving all the postcards you are getting and sharing with us Mary!

As well I got the gorgeous Manatee postcard from you today!
I love these gentle and much beloved many, many Thank You's!

I think a map of the U.S. within pins in it is a grand idea Sister/Friend! :)

Thanks for thinking of me! Have a Blessed Weekend!