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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Empty Mailbox

In attempts to save paper I've set most of my bills to arrive electronically. I pay them that way, too. Via the U.S. Mail I receive a lot of stuff I don't want--advertising, mostly. I can't remember a time in my life when I've purchased a product from a direct mail ad; all that stuff goes directly into the recycle bin.

Snail mail hasn't lost its value for me. Until my employers give in and choose direct deposit, I still receive my paychecks that way. And I like my mailman. To keep him working, I mail the occasional greeting card.

But I can't remember the last time I received a hand-written letter. Nor have I written one, sealed it in an envelope and mailed it to a friend.

28 comments:

Andreea said...

I think I wrote my last handwritten letter about eleven years ago. I had just moved to the US and I sent a letter to my grandmother who never touched a computer in her life. Wow. I can't believe it's been so long.

Cafe Pasadena said...

You want me to smail a longhand written letter to you, Ms. Burchard?

I don't know what subject to write to you about, but I'll just pick something outta de hat. Maybe I'll try out investments on you. Like "The Biggest mistakes investors fall for." And send you a gift too! Yeah, that usually works.

Plus...I'll use my very best stationery too. P, U like aromatherapy? I'll perfume up the mailing to get your heart racing & brain fogged over even before you've opened it!

So what you think about my idea of an old fashioned, quaint, letter mailed to you: Yes, Yes, Yes??

I really hope to hear from you soon! I just need your mailing address. You still have one of those, don't you!?

Maybe nothing will come of this brilliant idea.

Dina said...

I'm with you.
But a mailbox with cobwebs--heart-breaking picture.

I haven't had my own mailbox for 14 years.

Shell Sherree said...

I love the way the light's bouncing off the top of this, Petrea. And I can't imagine not having a mailbox. I sent off a few handwritten cards and postcards not long ago - I love them as a briefer way of keeping the handwritten touch going.

J.J. in L.A. said...

I do it every July (birthday thank you(s)) and Christmas (cards).

Turquoise Diaries said...

I miss snail mail. I received couple postcards from time to time but that's all. I would love to receive a handwritten mail though... When we were young and living in different cities my husband used to write me letters every day. It was such a joy to receive them..

Petrea said...

I'm trying to think when my last one was, Andreea. I have some older friends who do email. As long as they're around I'll write to them in longhand, but I think I owe them a letter.

Ha ha, Cafe! You'll have to see Altadenahiker's post to get the full meaning of Cafe's proposal.
http://altadenahiker.blogspot.com/2009/08/kenny-gee.html

I hope you have one to share, Dina.

Shell, I'm not surprised. I'll bet you send out hand-made cards.

J.J., that's good manners!

TD, what a sweet memory.

altadenahiker said...

Great picture.

I realized the other day that I rather dread mail. It's nothing but bills, ads, and the occassional governmental bad news.

Kate G said...

I totally agree. I much prefer snail mail over any other type of correspondence. Many it's my romantic tendencies, but I love the sentimental meanings that are often a part of handwritten notes and letters. I love to send postcards and would even send letters to my husband while we were dating.

Escapist said...

We had a box long tym bak,it was then stolen and never replaced that again......

joliiieeesss:-)

AmyR said...

I love the light in this. I make it a point to sent handwritten notes once a month or so. I save up postcards from my travels and at least get a quick note out to some family and friends. I like writing letters and notes, but I like receiving them even more. I encourage people to write back instead of emailing back. :)

Kelly said...

I'm with KB - I dread mail. But right now I'm planning my high school reunion, and people are snail-mailing me their checks and registration forms. I'm rather enjoying that, though I was thinking this morning that I probably should set up a PayPal option for folks because the way I'm handling it now seems antiquated.

Ugh. I say ugh because now I have to figure out how to do it. I know it won't be hard, but it's just another thing to do.

Virginia said...

Actually I just sent a picture postcard bought in France, to Vancouver today and a thank you note to Paris. Don't get all impressed. I hardly ever send handwritten notes other than thank you notes anymore. That's sad really!
V

Petrea said...

Hmm, perhaps I should travel and send out some post cards. Everyone likes getting those.

pasadenapio said...

My maternal Grandma and I didn't see each often but we wrote newsy letters to each other from when I was about 10 years old until her death when I was about 40. I still have many of the letters she sent to me.

marley said...

Yeah, its funny to think how things have changed. All I seem to get are a few bills (most sre electronic now) and junk mail. I had quite a few birthday cards the traditional way but just as many text messages with kind greetings. Of course i keep the postie in work by buying lots from Amazon!

Margaret said...

Ooooooh. Very Halloweeny.

Bernadette Joolen, Beautiful Dreamer... said...

Petrea, i love how you still have a bent for photographing the occasional mailbox.=) I like that. My father was a mailclerk at the arroyo annex for some 15 years, so whenever i mail a letter, i feel like i am honoring him.=) cheers from seattle!~~bernadette....

Katie said...

This is an amazing photo Petrea; there's a story here waiting to be told for sure. I don't write many letters anymore, but I still send postcards when I travel. You definitely need to go on a trip if only to write some postcards! I used to write regular letters to my grandparents, and I cherish the large packet of letters written to me by my grandfather. Why is it so easy to delete people's emails, but hard to throw away their letters?

Bellis said...

With old-fashioned letter writing, there's no chance to correct mistakes, or spell check, and then there's the hassle of finding an envelope, addressing it, getting the right stamp (always a problem for overseas posting), and finding a mailbox. Our nearest mailbox was taken away recently and it's a long walk to the next one. By the way, Petrea, what were you doing down the side of my house? Those cobwebs look awfully familiar.

Marylène said...

Here, on the old continent, we are still a little more used to get hand writen snail mail and I LOVE it !!
If I ever had your address, I would be happy to send you postcards from France, to make your friendly mailman happy !!!!!

Shell Sherree said...

You know me well, Petrea!

Petrea said...

This one's bringing up memories and stories.

Bernadette, which is the Arroyo Annex? I couldn't find anything online referred to in that way. Still, I like the story and your visits.

Bellis, unless you've moved to Sierra Madre this isn't your mailbox, just one similar to yours.

It's so fun to see you all.

Bernadette Joolen, Beautiful Dreamer... said...

Maybe it's gone now, Petrea. It was on Arroyo, and a little south of Colorado Street. So, not the main post office downtown. Although that's probably changed too! He sorted mail by hand, into hundreds of little cubbyholes, before there where machines. He memorized long lists of addresses and zipcodes! When he retired, he hit the hills.=)

Petrea said...

Yes, probably gone. That's where the freeway went through, so Arroyo goes under the freeway now. Colorado St. is now Colorado Blvd. I hope someone kept the cubbyholes. Those vestiges are priceless, like your memory of your grandfather and that post office.

Natalie DeJohn said...

This picture captures your thoughts perfectly. You could even caption it something like, "Welcome To The Electronic Age." I miss snail mail. You know, I still check my mailbox in hopes of finding an actual letter. It's a dying art. Sigh. Love your blogs!

Petrea said...

Hi Natalie, thanks for your visits and comments. I see I'll have to read every word of your website!

Danial said...

This mailbox for ghost house.