Six Months of Good Mail Days

Today is my 6 month blogging anniversary! It’s been so much fun sharing my love of snail mail with you.  In January, I began this blog with my birthday request for friends and family to send me letters.  I have had a lot of great mail days since then.

I’ve been remiss lately in posting some of the great things I’m getting in my mailbox.  I wanted to share a few photos of the giving and receiving…and also share how I keep track of all the comings and goings.

Here is a pile of  recent incoming postcards:

The old-fashioned postman postcard is from my pen pal Maria.  The postcard was designed by the Missive Maven.  The Missive Maven has a great selection of snail mail-themed postcards and you can purchase them here. I have been sending out the “Snail Mail: Not Dead Yet” ones lately, because they combine my love of snail mail and my love of Monty Python!

The amazing sewn/quilted/dyed “Hello” postcard is from my pen pal Lisa.  She blogs about her quilting and other adventures at Upstate Lisa.  As her pen friend, I get to benefit from her mad quilting and paper crafting skills.

Here’s another pic of fun in my mailbox:

And I’ve been following the snail mail golden rule: Want a letter? Send a letter.  Here is a recent outgoing stack:

How do I keep track of all of this coming and going?  I use my handy Letter Writers Alliance correspondence log, of course! I think you may have to be a member to purchase it, but membership is inexpensive and, it does have its privileges!

The log provides separate sections to keep track of what you’re sending (and on what stationery, so you don’t bore your pen pals with the same old stuff each time) as well as what you’re receiving (so you can keep track of whether or not you replied).

I just love keeping track of my mail in this nice, old-fashioned-feeling ledger.  It makes my correspondence feel so official!

I hope you have had some great mail days recently, too.  And I look forward to sharing more stationery, stamps, and other fun tidbits to make your snail mail spectacular. And I hope you keep reading!

WY, MT, ND, SD, VT and NH

As Save Snail Mail gains new readers, I’ve been following which states and countries they come from.  When I started in January, I only had readers in the states where I had friends.  Now, I’m so pleased to have readers from across the U.S. (and around the world)!

Since I began, I have had readers from every state except six: Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

To mark my upcoming 6-month blogging anniversary (July 31st), I’d LOVE to have had a reader from all 50 states.  If you read Save Snail Mail and enjoy it, and you know folks in one of these six states who may also be interested, would you please send them a link? I’d really appreciate it!

Thanks for making my first 6 months a success and I look forward to bringing you many more snail-mail related stories, ephemera, crafts, and thoughts in the months and years to come!


Update: My initial post read that I hadn’t had readers in Colorado.  I meant Wyoming. I have corrected that here…and am pleased to say I had my first Wyoming reader just this week!

Birthday request update

For my birthday this year, I made a request to friends and family to send me a letter or note via snail mail.  I have already posted a picture of a day when personal snail mail rivaled junk mail and I’ve had quite a few other great snail mail days since my request.  I’ve responded to almost everyone who sent a letter (Jason and Allison, your replies are on their way, soon!).  Here’s a shot of a pile of outgoing snailmail I sent recently:

It was so much fun to have letters to reply to! To date, I’ve received thirty cards and letters. 

Responding to them all really put a dent in my crazy stationery collection (you may note the Asian beauty military stationery or the Pankunchi stationery that seems to tell a story about three friends–a slice of bread, a loaf of bread and a panda–going on adventures.  I’m not kidding!)

The snail mail I received ran the gamut from touching and sweet to laugh-out-loud funny.  Some did both.  My uncle, taking my request for a “letter or a note” literally, sent me the following:

He’s always been a comedian. 

I’m hoping my snail mail experiment with friends and family isn’t over or just limited to a birthday request.  Some have promised to send a letter at some point in the future (adhering to a birthday timeline was just too much!). 

But snail mail is always appreciated when it arrives.  It has no expiration date.

A birthday request

I love finding handwritten letters in my mailbox.  I know I’m not alone in this. 

Given the prevalence of email, texting, phone communication, and online bill pay, though, it feels like my daily trip to fetch the mail makes me nothing more than a conduit from mailbox to recycling bin (do you hear me credit card companies? You’re wasting your paper and postage!).  Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll find a movie or magazine to make the trip worth it.

I’ve decided I’m not going to give into this new reality easily.  I am making it my life’s mission to help people reconnect with each other, and with themselves, through the handwritten word.  I want to help save snail mail.  I’m doing this because I know in my heart the following are true:

1. Letters forge a tangible, personal connection between two people.  You both touch the same paper.  You can open it like a gift, enjoy it over and over again, and hold on to it as a memento.
2. Writing and reading letters are great ways to unplug from our increasingly wired world.
3. You can share thoughts, feelings, and memories in letters that some would hesitate to do so via email or phone.  A love letter spoken over the phone could sound hokey or trite, but written on nice paper in your best script can bring your lover to tears.  

With these thoughts in mind, I made a birthday request this year—sent via email!—for friends and family to send me a handwritten note:

Dear friends and family,
As I walked to my mailbox today, I wondered–as I always do–if there would be any “fun” mail inside.  Alas, nothing but Netflix movies and requests for me to purchase more magazines.
I realized that what I wanted most for my birthday was handwritten letters from friends and family, near and far.  Will you please write me a letter, seal it in an envelope, buy a stamp and drop it in the mail?  The letters can be short or long, funny or sad, in cursive or print, on gorgeous paper or on a napkin. Share what you’ve been doing, what you hope for the coming year, your biggest fear or regret, a story about your best memory, your thoughts about me, or German philosophy, or knitting, your kids, your pets, or crunchy vs. creamy peanut butter.  As long as you share something of you with me, in your own handwriting, I’ll be happy. 
Some of you will groan at this request, a few will happily take this on.  I just wanted to let everyone know what I really wanted for my birthday…a bit more happiness in my mailbox.
I promise to return your kindness with a heartfelt, handwritten note of my own!  I won’t expect that this will strike up a letter revolution right away, or expect you to write back again, but I hope it helps some of you rediscover the joy of sending and receiving letters.
Love and stuff,

Future posts will be devoted to the response I get to this little experiment, other mail-generating activities, and progress on my quest to help people reconnect with others, and themselves, through the power of the handwritten word.