Is it sad that checking the mail is the highlight of my day?

Postcard of Charles Dickens birthplace

Perhaps it is. Nevertheless, there we are.

Right after I graduated from college and got my first job in St. Louis, I couldn’t really afford to go out. I spent most of my free time in my postage stamp of an apartment reading. Going downstairs to check the mail reminded me there was existence beyond my couple hundred square feet. (Bear in mind, this was before e-mail, and cell phones weren’t as ubiquitous as they are now, so long-distance calls were expensive.

Yes, there really was a time like that.)

It’s still one of the routines I look forward to every day, even though most of the post now consists of bills, advertisements, and junk.

Well, and literary magazines that are piling up in the magazine bin and threatening to tip over. Why do I subscribe to so many?

I nany case, it was a very pleasant surprise yesterday to get an honest-to-gods handwritten postcard. From abroad, no less! Charles Dickens’ birthplace is one of the many locations being visited by A.N. Devers, who runs a website called Writers’ Houses dedicated to “exploring writers’ spaces and art of literary pilgrimage.” As part of this project, she used a Kickstarter project to help make possible a trip to London where she’s visiting 15 writers’ houses in 15 days. As you can see from the postcard, she made it to the Dickens birthplace. (She also reports that the garish sign overhead has been replaced by something much more tasteful.)

It still helps to get a reminder that life is going on outside the front door, beyond the city limits, across the border. For some reason, getting a piece of cardboard with a handwritten note halfway around the world from one country to another seems a more impressive feat than my inbox going ding. I need to write more letters. Heck, I need to write a letter.

4 thoughts on “Is it sad that checking the mail is the highlight of my day?

  1. I know–email just isn’t the same as a letter.

    But people who actually wrote letters back then were few and far between as well.

    I wrote great ones. 😦

    • This is my problem as well. I know that I must write letters in order to get them back. I do have a couple friends who are mostly holding out against email and Facebook and the endless online distractions. For them I have a drawer full of stationery that I need to start using again.

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