So. We’re all stuck safe at home. What better time to send a letter or a note to reach out and responsibly touch someone? (Because who actually uses their phone for that talky talk function..? Weird.)
I have been sending notes every few days to my grandmother in her nursing home that is under lockdown in NY. I have also been taking the opportunity to tackle my reply pile and it feels pretty damn good. With the addition of 2 puppies (which one of you forgot to tell me that puppies are like toddlers!!?!) and a total hustler show and work schedule, my beloved snail mail penpals went a little neglected. However! No more!!!
It has been such a lovely treat to sit at my writing desk and let my peeps know all the new happenings in my life. Divorce. Dogs. Engagement. Travel.
You should totally send some mail, too. Right? Don’t have stamps and can’t shouldn’t go to the post office? Hit up usps.com. They ship right to your door. It’s pretty awesome. Now, go forth and snail the mail!
For probably the 3rd time in recorded history, I am caught up on my letter writing. Whoa. Did you feel that? The earth shifted. My adorable letter holder Herbie the Hedgehod stands empty and I assume exhuberant that he is for once not bending under the weight of paper and whitty banter.
He was a gift from my great pal Stephanie when she and her family were living in Japan (she found the coolest stuff there).
When I made my big announcement on Facebook, a few friends lamented that they wished they got mail….well…..
It is that time of the year again. Time to participate in LetterMo! Or in another words, a Month of Letters. I am a sucker for anything with badges and rewards and pretty stickers from the internet. And of course, mail.
The Challenge: mail something each day the post runs. A postcard, a birthday card, reply to a letter, etc. This isn’t about getting things, it is about reaching out. So, that is 24 items. Totally, do-able, right? You know you know someone who would love a surprise in their mailbox. And if you need some suggestions, find a penpal, or hey – I like mail.
I love sending and receiving mail. Finding something other than bills, credit card offers and fast food delivery menus in my mailbox is pretty much the highlight of my everything. However, actually stepping foot in a post office sends chills up my spine and my blood pressure sky rockets. On the best of days it is a total shit show…on the worst? I just can’t… So, over the years I have made sure to find ways to do all of my amazing postal-ness without having to set foot in the building. And I’ve gotten pretty good if I do say so myself.
Did you know you can order stamps online? Yep. www.usps.com is the best. For $1 shipping you can order as many stamps as you would like and they have a fabulous selection – like everything they are currently offering – far better than any walk in post office which seems to (as a general sweeping statement) only have flag stamps. And no one needs more flag stamps. Delivery usually takes about a week.
Did you know you can print postage at home and hand your package off to your regular mailman? There are several companies out there which offer this service, but I prefer to rock the USPS website once again. They throw in free tracking for doing it online and there is another discount tucked in there somewhere – I often save between $2 and $3 per package I ship online vs. a face to face interaction. You can also request pickup, but I just hand mine over to my regular mail guy when he delivers on his usual route. If your package is under 13 ounces, you can also drop it in one of those blue boxes on the street. The USPS site is set up for shipping mainly priority and express (that’s kinda their jam), so if you need to ship first class, parcel or media mail? Head over to paypal.
Yep. You can ship via paypal. On the left hand side of your main account screen there is “multi-order shipping.” Launch that in a new window and you have access to all of the postal speed options.
Have a kitchen scale? That means you also have a postal scale. Weigh that package!
Now….are you aware of flat rate boxes? These little cardboard beauties are amazing. And FREE! You can a) pick them up at your local post office or b) order them on usps.com and have them delivered to your door. Absolutely free. I have found that sooo many people are in the dark about these things. In a nutshell: if it fits, it ships. The box can weigh up to 70 pounds if being sent domestically and 20 if heading international. There are small ($5.25), medium ($11.30) and large ($15.80) – prices are commercial base because you are doing this online; a little more in person. Want to ship a ton of heavy things? Throw them in a flat rate box and forget it!
Sending things overseas? Both usps.com and paypal automatically print the customs declarations for you.
Now. Go forth and ship all the things without the stress or inevitable press conference associated with going postal at the post office.
Henrietta has been a very busy bird. She recently returned home from a trip to the city of brotherly love: Philadelphia, PA! She reports that she had a great time seeing all the sights, and the Morris family were great hosts (Philly Cheese Seed sandwich anyone?).
She even attempted the famous “Rocky” stairs. But it looks like Matt had to help her to the top.
Henrietta tells me she already misses hanging out with the Morris crew…but has already flown out on her next adventure! I hear she’s traveling around a place that looks like a mitten…Hmmm!
To date Henrietta has flown approximately 28,907 miles!
I have always wondered if those ads on the milk carton worked to help find people…and apparently it does! No sooner had I posted a virtual missing persons post, Henrietta returned home!
She was lucky enough to spend the holidays with one of my great friends and her adorable progeny. I hear rumors that she hung out near the Christmas tree, took a trip to kiddo gymnastics class, and helped to celebrate a 5 year old’s birthday. What a lucky bird!
The estimated distance traveled so far is: 22,169 miles
Henrietta was last seen in the vicinity of Orchard Park, NY (though her time there has not been proven, only rumored). She ventured where no bird had gone before, with head held high (probably not a bravery thing – more about the plastic). Though this area has been known to be a vortex for outgoing mail, she took the risk in stride. It is with a heavy heart that I report she has yet to return home…and as the days go by, hope falters a bit. If you have any news of her whereabouts, her Alaskan family would love to hear from you. No questions asked, we just want our Henrietta home!
Wherever I go I check out the mailbox situation. I can’t help myself. I need to know how people get their mail, and where I can drop my outgoing correspondence off (my never ending quest for postcards became a bit of a joke). There were all sorts of fun receptacles in Okinawa – I loved it!
Stephanie and I met through by brick and mortar boutique. She is a fabulously crafty lady who binds her own books and is just as stationery obsessed as I am. You should check out her work: you’ll thank me. We became friends over the years, and when she and her awesome family moved to Okinawa, we started exchanging regular letters and notes and are closer than ever. Not only is she awesome to hang out with, but was a huge help in regards to all things Japan. I would probably still be trying to buy postcard stamps at the post office if she weren’t there to help with the transaction (smiling and bowing only got me so far).
The holiday season is insane for me and it’s really hard to grab a spare second to do anything aside from have product ready and man by brick & mortar shopfront. But this morning I allowed myself to work on some of the mail that has been piling up the last few weeks and it was such a fabulous break! I’m ready to head back to the grind.
I even got Henrietta ready to head out into the world again with a few screws to make sure she doesn’t become an amputee.
There’s just something about a pile of mail that makes me smile!
Henrietta has finally returned to Alaska from NY and a few places in between. This was her craziest journey yet, heading to the small town of Springville NY only to be forwarded to Angola via a very weird system. Apparently she had to head out of NY to be forwarded back it to the correct address. We’ve asked what fun sites she saw, but again, the bird isn’t talking.
She went to visit my friend Bethanie and her super awesome Bicon Frise, Seftali. She oversaw the unpacking of a new apartment and took her job as Top Bird very seriously.
We heard Henrietta and Seftali became quick friends.
And just for giggles, Henrietta visited the meat department (just to see if she had gained any weight snacking on all those, well, snacks, as she travels). Because why not?