Rare is the modern day vacationer who selects a picture postcard, addresses it, adds a stamp and puts it in a mailbox to be delivered several days to a week later to a lucky recipient. We phone or email instead. Even greeting cards nowadays can be emailed over the Internet. It’s a different age we live in, too fast in my opinion. Electronic mail to friends and family has become the norm. Taking the time to go to a store to carefully select a greeting card or stationary to write a personal note in cursive handwriting is no longer the norm.
I remember how fun it was to receive a card or letter from my grandmother in Utah letting me know of her love and interest in my life. I would watch for the mailman in California to arrive and then run to the mailbox to check if there were any personal letters with her familiar cursive writing. Now I just listen for the ding on my computer announcing you’ve got mail. I receive many more emails in one day that I ever received in a normal year of snail mail, but it’s not the same. The carefully thought out sentiments and time taken to sit down and compose a message are missing. Electronic mail can be sent and received so easily that it’s a temptation to not even think about what we are saying or maybe say too much or not be as courteous or thoughtful as we could be.
I remember making the long walk up Main Street in Eureka, Utah to my grandmother’s post office, then up three flights of steps before entering the ornate government building where her mailbox was located. Finally turning the key in her door’s post office box, I looked inside to see what surprises might be there. If she had a package, a card would be placed inside her mailbox to be taken to the postmaster’s window to retrieve it. Grandma loved receiving packages whether it was something ordered from a Montgomery Ward or Sears catalog or a gift from a family member.
Grandma kept the mailman busy with her weekly letters sent to family members telling them the latest news and remembering their special occasions. Her cards and letters were always signed with XOXO (hugs and kisses), GMJ (Grandma Johnson). Following her example, I try to send my grandkids little handwritten cards now and then.