A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Lost Art of Postcard Writing

Letter writing, unexpected smilesThere was an unusual item of mail in the Anderton house last week that  made a change to the usual bills, statements and advertising junk. It was  a postcard all the way from the US in an unfamiliar, difficult to decipher handwriting. I read the thing (as you would), smiled at the content I could read and quickly put it down again - deciding that it had been delivered to the wrong address.

On the way up to bed that evening, I mentioned to Mr A that we'd received mail that wasn't ours and did he know of anyone by the name of Mr Kent, (which was how I'd read it) who lived locally? I'd racked my brain several times over and failed to come up with who it might be. It transpired that Mr A had no idea either.

The scribbled lines were filled with anecdotes and humour that I suspected only the true recipient would understand. I couldn't bear the thought of them not receiving their postcard all the way from Washington State with news from their friend or relative when such care had gone into its words - albeit in handwriting that was barely legible.

Letters and postcards seem to be a thing of the past with modern technology and it transpires that we can stay in touch from wherever we are in the world. Although that wasn't the case this summer for daughter, Sophia. There was no signal in the middle of the Oregon wilderness where she stayed for almost three months. Apart from the occasional email, I wrote to her each week with news and crazy anecdotes from home in an attempt to make the 5000 mile distance between us feel not so far away.

Doesn't that make a letter or postcard something to treasure? Will anyone hold onto a memorable email to reflect on in the years to come I wonder?

Picking the postcard up again the following morning, I finally managed to fathom out the name of the sender... it was Smudge. Next I noticed the recipient was KatKat. This was my daughter's nickname at Camp America during the summer. Staff are referred to by nickname rather than their actual name and I vaguely remembered my daughter, telling me she'd met a friend called Smudge.

Talking to my daughter over the weekend via Skype, I decided against telling her about the postcard. Instead, I've written to her and tucked the card behind my letter for her to discover for herself.

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton   


  1. I do miss snail mail! I remember writing incredibly long letters to my parents and a couple of friends when I was living abroad...then absolutely treasuring all the post I received. Somehow they were more personal and special.

  2. What great detective work and such a thoughtful surprise in store for your daughter! You're such a lovely mum and I agree about how nice and rare it is to receive something handwritten nowadays x

  3. That's lovely - I'm sure she'll love receiving it. :)

  4. Aw that's a lovely story! I hope your daughter enjoys her postcard. We also had a couple of postcards over the last couple of weeks. I do love receiving nice things in the post.x

  5. I have to agree, there is something special about receiving hand written mail. When I was growing up, I had several penpals, some of whom were arranged via the school. I doubt that happens now, which is a little sad, but makes those written letters all the more special. #pocolo

  6. How wonderfully thoughtful. What a lovely surprise she'll get. I love getting things in the proper post. It always makes my day :) #pocolo

  7. With all the technology we have connecting us, I still miss snail mail. There's just something about holding a handwritten item in your hands. What a beautiful surprise for your daughter! #PoCoLo

  8. It's a joke in our family that when my mum goes on holiday she writes a postcard the minute she arrives. If we haven't received one by day three of her holiday the kids always comment! It's a lovely surprise for your daughter though, our family still always send postcards. #pocolo

  9. Hi Izzie, there is something special about receiving snail mail. You've reminded me that I've actually got a postcard for my niece and nephew that I've not got round to writing yet. I hope your daughter enjoys receiving her postcard and it was lucky that you never threw it away.


  10. Oh that's lovely that you are going to surprise your daughter with it. I love receiving postcards - yet I am so bad at sending them! Hope she loves it! x


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