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Postcrossing Blog

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

Posts tagged "usa"

Caitlin (aka Harbs0412) is a wedding planner and postcard-lover from the USA. For her own wedding earlier this year, she decided to combine her two passions and include postcards on her special day! She explains:

Letter and postcard writing is a big part of my life. I have been a postcrosser for over 3 years and I have 7 penpals – a few friends from college but also some I have never met. My husband and I also have a long tradition of writing letters as he is in the military and when we are separated we write each other letters."

For some time before the wedding, Caitlin collected postcards from different places via Postcrossing. She then used her favourite received postcards to make a back drop in a frame for cocktail hour.

Caitlin's weddingCaitlin's wedding

She also collected blank postcards and had all her guests write notes on them… a guest book of sorts, written on postcards. A friend then saved the written cards, and will be in charge of mailing them to the couple throughout the year. Brilliant!

Caitlin's weddingCaitlin's wedding

What did people write on the cards? Caitlin says a little bit of everything, from advice for the newlyweds to kind words about the wedding… They’ve gotten a few of them back already, and had a lot of fun reading the spontaneous messages from their special day.

Caitlin's wedding

Doesn’t that sound like a lovely idea for postcard lovers? Well done Caitlin, and congratulations! :)

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Anyone who has ever received a postcard knows they’re tiny windows to far away places, transporting us to different landscapes and realities. Sometimes those places are so enticing they make us wish we lived close enough to pay them a visit! The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota is one of these places. Have a look:

The Corn Palace 1

No… those are not huge tapestries on the walls… they’re murals made out of corn!

Built in 1921 in the Moorish Revival style, the Corn Palace is an arena where different types of events take place. But the special thing about it is that every single year its facades are decorated by local artists using corn ears, as well as other grains and native grasses. Corn is a major crop in the area – and they’re proud of it!

Postcards from the Corn Palace tell the story of each year’s theme. 1957's theme was “Popular Athletic Games and Attractions in the State”:

The Corn Palace

In 1999, the theme was “Building as a nation”:

The Corn Palace

And in 2009, “American’s destinations” were featured:

The Corn Palace

Between Memorial Day and Labour day each year, a theme is picked and new decorations are stapled and nailed to the walls, and you can follow the corn-structions on their Corn Cam. :) The theme for 2015 is “South Dakota’s 125th”, so if you’re in the area, go check it out – and maybe grab a postcard for the rest of us!

A big thank you to Brenda (aka 9teen87), who owns a huge postcard collection, and brought these great postcards to our attention. You can see these and other interesting postcard topics on her blog.

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Carol (aka carolreader) hails from Ohio, a northern US state. She’s been a postcrosser for over 8 years, juggling a stressful job, family life and distance running, along with sending postcards! :)

Here is what she had to say:

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

My daughter always finds new and interesting things. She told me that she’d joined Postcrossing and received a postcard from a teacher in Japan. I thought that was so cool!

When I first joined, I asked for only one address. I had no postcards, nor did I know where to buy any. So I took my lunch hour at work and walked around downtown Cleveland, Ohio, looking for a postcard to send. I found a nice one! Since then, I’ve learned where to find postcards, and try to have a variety of cards on hand to send.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

I am addicted to distance running, and I run between one and twenty amateur races every year. This was actually an obsession a few years ago – I spent two years trying to qualify to run the Boston Marathon — to do this, you have to run another marathon in a certain time, depending upon your age. I achieved my goal in 2009, and ran Boston in 2009 at the age of 58. I consider this one of the great achievements of my life. I started running in my 40’s, and I’d never been athletic. I worked for this, and got lucky.

But the older I get, the harder it gets to run. I keep at it because it makes me feel good, and good about myself. But I’m too old for marathons now!

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

This is the letter box at work where I mail many of my cards:

Mail slot at work

My postcards albums for received cards:

Postcard albums

And boxes of cards on hand to send out:

Cards to send out
What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

Picking out the right card to send, absolutely. I love trying to find different kinds of cards, so that I have the right card to fit even an odd request or interest.

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

I love quirky cards – and I love animals. Here are some quirky animal cards that I like a lot:

Fav card 3Fav card 2

The one below from Russia translates to “Smile, it irritates people.” I thought it was funny, and loved the great message on the other side.

Fav card 1

But another card sticks in my mind – it wasn’t just a card, it was a card and a letter and two photos. A group of girl guides from Poland sent me group pictures, and told me about themselves. I love all the cards I receive, but every so often one arrives that warms my heart –and often from an unexpected place!

Have you met any other members in real life?

A few years ago, I went to a small meet up in Minneapolis with forum members. It was great fun. I would love to see a meet up in northern Ohio. In a year or two, when I retire from my job, I hope to organize one. In the meantime…perhaps someone else will volunteer?

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

I love hearing from people all over the world, regardless of the politics between our countries. I don’t know if this type of person-to-person communication would have been possible 40 years ago. I can “talk” to people in other nations now that I would never have dreamed of back in those days. I need to hope and believe that this doesn’t stop!

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Maude Hart

Over one hundred years ago, in February 1913, Maude Hart and her husband embarked on a journey across the world. Postcards were at the height of their popularity back then, and Maude wrote back to their family often during their 9 month trip, especially to her sister Myrtle (who she calls Toots) and her mother “Mussey”.

Family mementos like postcards and their stories have a way of getting lost when people move or families unite and separate… but somehow, Maude’s postcards survived 100 years until Patricia Eacobacci (Maude’s great grandniece) discovered them in her mother’s things and put the story together. She scanned, deciphered and uploaded every card with a lot of care, and set up a blog to share her Postcards from Maude.

The first time we laid eyes on this collection we were quite speechless. Postcards are often seen as a one-off thing, but Maude’s postcards (as well as her photos and letters) tell the tales of a epic adventure from another era, one that took place over the course of 9 months. The trip, organized by Thomas Cook & Son, started in San Francisco, and went on to Hawaii, Japan, Philippines, China, Singapore, India, Egypt, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland and then back to the US. Here are some snippets:

Postcard from Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan April 5
Hello Toots
We are doing Tokyo – a wonderful City. 3 millions natives living here. Only 50 Americans. Just think of it.
Maude
Postcard from Egypt
Port Said, Egypt. May 22.
My Dear Mama, We are now going through the Suez Canal in Egypt. Can only go 4 miles an hour. It is very narrow. Tomorrow we get off & go through Egypt for 14 days. This is a most interesting country. Will take 18 hours to pass through Canal.
Much Love,
Maude
Postcard from The Netherlands
Amsterdam, Holland – Sunday night Sept 7.
My Dear Mama.
Hello Mussey dear, how are you? Here is a view of a wooden wind mill. You see hundreds of them here & the people are dressed just like this. We leave here tomorrow. Hope I hear from home when I reach Brussels.
Tons of love,
Maude

Towards the end, you can feel Maude’s homesickness and her eagerness to return to her dear family. On October 22nd 1913, she boarded the SS Majestic bound to the United States on the final stretch of her trip, and wrote again on October 31st, delighted to see New York once more.

These postcards (and the story within them) are a real treat. Thank you Patricia, for all the work and research, and for sharing them with the world! You can see all of Maude’s postcards and follow her voyage in the Postcards from Maude blog.

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I love perusing random postcard walls on the website, just to see what lovely cards I can discover. Apparently I’m not alone in my little pastime, since quite a few of you have found SeanPatrick’s gallery and sent us the link! :)

Sean uploads photos of his postcards to the website, but with a twist: featuring himself as well as the postcard! Here are some of his photos:

SeanPatrick's postcards SeanPatrick's postcards SeanPatrick's postcards

It took a little getting used to, but I must confess I love it and couldn’t stop myself from going through his entire gallery, like a mini-stalker! I was intrigued by his unusual approach to the postcard wall, so I decided to reach out to Sean and he explained:

I was curious what the postcards would look like upon arrival when I sent mine and I wondered what they might look like in the hands of those that received them. Then it occurred to me… why not take photos of myself with the postcards I received?

Brilliant! How often have I wished for the same thing, to get just a glimpse of the reaction that lights up someone’s face when a postcard I’ve sent finally arrives? I think we can all relate to that.

SeanPatrick's postcards 1

Sean’s photos are taken by either himself or his daughter, and a bit all over the place: his home, his wine shop or while he’s out and about outdoors. He says many people enjoy seeing their postcards like that.

SeanPatrick's postcards SeanPatrick's postcards

Postcrossing is about connecting people, first and foremost, and the more I look at Sean’s wall, the more I’m reminded of this. At the end of each postcard’s journey there’s always a person who will receive and hold that card, just like he does… the smile on that person’s face as they open their mailbox and find an unexpected postcard there – that’s what it’s all about!

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