Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "usa"

Helen (aka Honney17)

Member Caroline (aka Luminarium) is a social worker from the USA. A few weeks ago, she brought to our attention that a postcrosser she was helping to send postcards found it funny that she was older than the age settings the website allowed. We were intrigued, as no one had ever complained about this bug before… but then again, we probably don’t have many postcrossers like Helen (aka Honney17) who celebrated her 101st birthday earlier this year! 🎉

We were so happily surprised, we decided to ask them a few questions!

What are your first memories of writing?

I used to write a lot of letters to my friend I went to school with; We were in the same grade, but I was a year older than her because I got sick. I wrote my friend Virginia McCafferty. Her family was from England, and she lived beyond me. When we got out of school, we’d walk together home. She was my dear friend. Her family raised prize winning black angus cows. After school we’d walk down the hill and through a cow path in the field. We’d get to her fence and she would jump over and we’d walk to our own houses. You could get a postcard for a penny back then. I wrote to her till I got married. Galveston, IN (where Helen was born) had eight houses then. The house I was born in is still there. Our first cousins lived there too. I think I’m the only one left of this generation. My mother’s family was from Ireland. I used to love to write. They always used to call on me because I made up good stories. They wanted me to be on the high school newspaper. I only got one semester of my freshman year. I was 14 and didn’t have a home then, so I went to work in a dry goods store.

A framed painting of Helen's family barn, painted by a friend from a photo.
A framed painting of Helen’s family barn, painted by a friend from a photo.
How did you hear about Postcrossing?

I heard about Postcrossing in a place I used to live, but didn’t start participating till my helper introduced it to me.

What do you do and what do you need help with to participate in Postcrossing?

I think up stuff, but I have trouble writing because my hand is clunky, so I need help writing. What you don’t use, you lose! I save the postcards I get for my helper to register them. She gets the addresses for me and I tell her what to write. I sign them all.

Helen (aka Honney17)  and Caroline (aka Luminarium) Helen (aka Honney17)  and her postcards
Helen, Caroline and some postcards they’ve received.
What are your first memories of getting mail? How has mail changed over the years?

Back in the beginning, a horse and buggy brought it to us in the country; then they got a car, a Ford. A rattling good car. Sometimes if you didn’t live in a city you had to go downtown to get mail because they wouldn’t deliver it. I had a cousin who delivered mail. We had a little mailbox along the dirt road and I mostly remember when the mail carrier had an old jalopy and would bring it to the box. It was a Ford, I think. They were the first cars anyone knew about. “Shake, Rattle, and Roll.” There was a box on the side to help fix a tire and you had to crank them! And, if you didn’t do it right, the crank would go backwards and break your arm. My brother used to push it (our Ford), to get it up and running, and then had to run and jump in.

What do people think about you participating in PostCrossing?

People that work here notice I get mail; it doesn’t look like anybody here gets much mail. Maybe people have family here that don’t write. My son and daughter visit me. I lost my cousin and my friend so it’s nice to get mail.

Helen (aka Honney17)  and her postcards
Helen and her postcards.
What does Postcrossing mean to you?

It’s interesting because you get personal, and that’s big—to get mail. We all live in our little worlds, and you don’t have many activities to do, and this is a hobby you can be busy with. And the cards come, and people are living all over the world, and it’s interesting to read about their families and work and see the cards they send. I bet they wonder about America the way I wonder about the places they live. It’s almost like taking a trip—you get a picture in your mind. It’s like a little vacation. The postcards are something I look forward to. It really makes me think about places and people differently than I have before. Every postcard is something to look forward to.

Do you have a Favorite post card?

DE-7117460. It looks like a dog I used to love that my grandson adopted when he was going through a hard time. He got that pup and it helped him out of his depression.

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What kind of post cards would you most like to receive?

Besides birds and dogs, it would be nice to have pictures of your country. Your buildings, and how they are built, and what the people look like.

Thank you so much to Helen and Caroline for this lovely interview!

As Helen mentions in the interview, people in her Senior Assisted Living community don’t get much mail nowadays… so how about we send them some? With the permission of her family and Activities Director Valarie, we’re publishing here the address of the place where she lives, so that if you want, you can send a postcard there and make a senior’s day a little bit brighter. 😊 Send iconic images of your town/country with a fact and greeting from where you live, and then Caroline and Valarie will organize them so that everyone can enjoy them! :)

Here is the address then:

This action is now finished, so the address has been removed. Thank you to everyone who sent Helen and her friends postcards!

Shall we fill their mailbox with postcards, and give Helen and her friends the opportunity to travel around the world through them?

PS – Caroline says that postcrossers are welcome to include their address, but please understand they won’t be able to write back to everyone.

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The PhillipsFamily lives in a small town Minnesota, USA, where they homeschool their daughter Maya and use Postcrossing to teach her about geography and cultures all over the world. Some months ago, we received a very nice email from them, letting us know that Maya had won 1st place on her county fair’s 4-H project by submitting a presentation about Postcrossing and her postcard collection! 🥇 We were so proud of Maya that we decided to interview her for the blog — here she is:

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

I found out about Postcrossing from a friend who thought I would like it because I really like geography. I was hooked right away! I LOVE getting postcards from all over the world and learning about different countries and people. I’m always excited to get the mail everyday to see which countries I can add to my collection. Recently I received my first postcard from Spain. I have postcards from all 7 continents!

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

My family really likes geocaching together. We have seen so many beautiful places hunting caches. I also really, really like to read and play board games. My favorite books are the Harry Potter series. I play Legos a lot (thanks Denmark!), and also scrapbook.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
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I keep my postcards in a nice box. They are sorted by continent and country. My mama really likes that I can have such a big collection without taking up much space.

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.
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One of my favorite postcards is from Gordon the Great. He is a cat from New Zealand who has to put up with Fat Dog and Skinny Dog. I’ve showed his postcard to lots of my friends because it’s so funny.

Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?

I entered my postcard collection into the county fair as a 4-H project. I made a big display showcasing some of my favorite cards and wrote a description telling everyone about Postcrossing and how they can join.

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I won first place in my age group and second place overall. I got a big ribbon for it! I was so excited because it was my first time entering anything into the fair. I hope a lot of people signed up after seeing it.

Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

I was surprised when I received a card from San Marino. I didn’t even know it was a country until then.

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

I am passionate about reading. I like reading new books and rereading old books. Besides Harry Potter, some of my favorites are Calvin & Hobbes, Anne of Green Gables, and A Series of Unfortunate Events. I’m currently reading through Mensa’s Excellence in Reading book list. It has a lot of classics my parents like.

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Becky (aka BeckyS) is a postcrosser from Port Orchard, a small town in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. She is a trained electrician, but a homemaker at heart and has a very cool hobby… Read more to find out!

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

I no longer remember how I found out about Postcrossing. I imagine that I read it somewhere on the internet. What I do know is that I am glad that I joined Postcrossing. It gives me the opportunity to “travel” the world and to connect with people from all walks of life.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?
Becky and the pinball machine

I enjoy reading and spending time with my two granddaughters. I am also a competitive pinball player or what is affectionately called, a “Pinhead.” I am a member of the Bremerton Pinball League. Many of the other members are much younger than myself. Fortunately, for me, they generously share pointers on how I can improve my “Skillshots.”

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
Christmas postcards on the wall

Each November, I edit my Postcrossing profile to include Christmas themed postcards. This holiday season I have received 193 Christmas postcards from Postcrossers. Often, Christmas postcards arrive as late as March. Which is okay, because I keep them up on my wall for the entire year.

Stamps and recipe postcards

I keep a good assortment of stamps and I also collect recipe postcards. Over the years, my Postcrossing Family has introduced me to many delicious foods. One of my favorites is the Steam Pudding postcard, GB-348590. I love food and trains.

Many postcards!

Once upon a time, I received 18 postcards in one mail delivery. Which made my mailbox very happy!

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

One of the first postcards that I received through Postcrossing, and the first that I received from Russia, was from nata_, RU-56490. She drew and painted the postcard. Also, on the flip-side of the postcard, she wrote an original fairy tale. She continued to send handcrafted postcards to my granddaughters for a couple of years.

Nata's postcards

Her work is really quite amazing and she must have spent countless hours creating them.

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

I enjoy everything about the Postcrossing experience. Although, my favorite part has been reading the emails. It gives me great pleasure to discover that my postcard brightened a fellow Postcrosser’s day.

Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

I am always impressed by the kindness and generosity shown by Postcrossers. In my profile, I mention that I share the postcards that I receive with my mother. I also mention that she is a fan of Elvis. Guess who now has an impressive collection of Elvis themed postcards?

Elvis postcards that Becky's mom has received

Look at how happy Postcrossers have made my mother!

Have you met any other members in real life?
Puget Sound meetup

Ever since I received my first meetup postcard, I have wanted to attend a meetup. This past Summer, I discovered the Puget Sound Postcrossing Group in Seattle. I have attended two of their meetups and enjoyed myself tremendously. We share stickers, write postcards and chat about Postcrossing over cups of coffee. If you ever get a chance to attend a meetup, please do, you will enjoy the best of times.

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

People are my passion. My husband says that I have never met a stranger. I savor that moment when I make a human connection with someone. It is simply delicious to see a smile light up their face. I’m looking forward to making more connections through Postcrossing. Keep a lookout, someday, I just may send a smile through your mailbox. Happy Postcrossing!

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Connie (aka clouisesz), from Illinois USA is a teacher who shares her passion for postcards with her young students, and has once been to a Postcrossing meetup in a very saccharine location… read on to find out more!
How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

I was looking for pen pals for my students (ages 4 and 5) and not having any luck. While searching the web, I happened upon Postcrossing. I really liked the idea and thought if I could get a few postcards I could share them with my students. Even though it wasn’t a pen pal, I thought it would be a great way to introduce my students to the world they live in. I loved learning about other countries but soon realised it wasn’t the countries that I loved learning about as much as making the amazing connection. It didn’t take long before I was hooked.

Clouisesz shares her postcards with the class

I ventured out and started investigating some of the forums and made many more friends. After that, I decided to try setting up a forum post of my own asking postcrossers if they would enjoy writing to one of my students. The response was absolutely incredible! I have students from 3 years ago that are still writing to a person they met from our postcard project. People all over the world are so lovely and my students experiencing that, was a lesson I had not planned.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

My hobbies are few, I love Postcrossing and hanging out with my family. I live in a lovely area filled with bike and walking trails so I am able to walk and enjoy the outside all the time.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!

My favorite place to mail my postcards and my students postcards is the Wayne Post Office. This is a quaint little post office with great postal workers.

Wayne Post office
Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

In my profile, I had mentioned that my class is trying to collect all the alphabet flower fairy postcards. We have almost all of them now either through Postcrossing people sending them to me, or through Random Acts of Smileness.

Alphabet flower fairy postcards

I will also have to say a very good Postcrossing friend introduced me to the Mainzer Cats and I do love them.

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

I love all of Postcrossing, but I think when I see the word Hurray in my email and I know a my postcard has made it thousands of miles or hundreds of mile, to me that is thrilling.

Have you met any other members in real life?

Once I was lucky enough to attend a very small Postcrossing Meetup in Wisconsin at the Jelly Belly Factory. It was very nice sharing our passion for Postcrossing!

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

I am passionate about many things, but I would suppose right now I am most passionate about my job. I love being a preschool teacher and knowing I have the chance to touch lives. I am passionate about helping children learn that there is so much good in people, even though we constantly hear the bad.

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a spotlight interview on the blog, but we haven’t forgotten about them! Today, we’re happy to interview Courtney (aka ColorfulCourtney), who is the from the USA but lives in Germany and is a fan of archery! If you’ve been hanging around in the forum, you might have interacted with her already, as she’s quite active there, helping newbies and answering questions.

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

I was still living in the U.S. and trying to find Christmas postcards, which are not so common there. On Amazon I saw many reviews of cards where people said “These are perfect for Postcrossing, ” or something similar. I decided to find out what this “Postcrossing” was, and signed up.

I think it was the Forum and doing tags that got me hooked, because I was able to exchange more cards while I was still limited in what I could send on the main site. Now I hardly ever do tags, because I can have more traveling than I can afford to send, and I like the random element of the site.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight

I have made my mailbox into a postcard – the last time I sent it out was as DE-6420999. This postbox is across the street from the library. There is one closer to my house, but I do not use it as often. Also unfortunately the other postbox is routinely vandalized, which makes me both sad and angry.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight

I store my incoming postcards in boring random boxes, I’m afraid! But I do display some of my favorite current cards in a mirror in my living room.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight
What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

That is also a really hard question. I love getting great postcards and messages, of course, especially when it is clear someone put a lot of time, effort and heart into them. Sometimes people send me amazing bookmarks for the library – I recently received some beautiful handmade ones that were so creative! I also like picking out cards, writing them, finding the right stamp and washi tape, etc. Over all, though, my favorite part is when I get a “Hurray” message from someone who especially appreciated what I sent to them. Then I feel super all day, and cannot wait to send more cards!

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

That is a super-hard question, because I like so many cards for so many reasons, often because of what is on the back or something someone slipped into the envelope. I have some of the cards on my “Favorites” wall where I actually do not like the image at all! But I love what the person said on the back, and seeing the image reminds me of that.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight

If forced to choose right now I guess I would say for the front image, NL-3817868 from Aafjeknuffel. In my profile I say I like old cards and also ask people to tell me something that makes them smile. She sent me a beautiful vintage card, together with a self-painted postcard that illustrated the things in life that make her happy. It literally made me cry a little bit, it was such a happy card!

Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

I was totally surprised that my first card came from Finland! I did not know at the time how active a Postcrossing country it is, and it seemed very exotic to me.

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

“Passion” is a pretty strong word. Postcrossing has made me passionate about our postal system. It makes me so angry when people intentionally under-postage cards, when vandals deface mailboxes, when the government wants to reduce mail delivery, things like that.

Outside of Postcrossing, my “think global” passion is about trying to achieve what I call the Star Trek universe, where the Earth is at peace, and poverty, oppression and violence on our planet are things of the past. I am especially passionate about women’s rights and I wish that women and girls all over the world had the rights and opportunities I have enjoyed growing up and living in the U.S. and now Germany. I worry a lot about the progress we are making as a planet, and about women’s rights, and the condition of people in general, slipping away in many areas of the world.

ColorfulCourtney Postcrossing Spotlight

My “act local” passion is our Gemeindebücherei, the town library. I was a librarian in the U.S. and after moving here I wanted to get involved in some sort of volunteer activity. Long story short, since 2016 I have been the town librarian, and work as a team with another volunteer assistant. We are both really passionate about reading and books, and about trying to get people to see the library as a vital resource to the community. You can see a picture of the library in DE-6500814.

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