Never has a mail haul so inspired me to quote John Donne! I know I tend to describe basically everything stamped that’s sent my way as “magical,” but these letters are enchanting in the most unique of ways. Mythical creatures of all kinds have traveled to me from Argentina, Iceland, Norway, and the U.K. over the past few weeks!
Wondering where I’ve been this past week? If you’ve ever had to experience the joy of wisdom teeth surgery, I’m sure I needn’t say more. I survived, though, and in the meantime, received some beautiful letters that I read after emerging from the mental fog of oral surgery!
As I rest and weep and wait for that far-off day when I can eat carrots and blue corn chips again, I have plenty of vintage-inspired mail to keep me company. I say “vintage-inspired,” but what I really mean is “one letter that looks genuinely vintage, as in styled after a kind of mod 60s look, while the other reminds me of nineteenth-century natural history.” Pretty cool either way!
Last week, several museum visitors complimented my aggressively pastel, spring-themed attire: a delight, considering that during every other time the year everyone just gazes bemusedly at my seasonally inappropriate color schemes. Flowers, however, are blooming, and humans are apparently allowed to wear mint and lavender again. What a time to be alive!
It looks like my pen pals are on board with this May-ready palette, sending me a variety of softly-hued snail mail–all perfectly complementing the charmingly named “Allure Pastel Blend” of Alyssum seeds pictured above!
Space may be the place, but the sold-individually decorative paper section at a certain major craft store (that will remain anonymous as I still refuse to provide free marketing for chain retailers on my little-read, niche blog) is currently also “the place.” I don’t know when their paper design department upgraded from stripes and polka dots to sky-maps and painted galaxies, but I am not complaining. And neither, I hope, will my pen pals when they receive these envelopes!
(If you want to know how to sing the title of this blog post, check out my #1 jam as a highschooler: one of Symphony of Science’s quality musical remixes of quotes from various “great minds of science.” I think Bill Nye was responsible for this title-worthy phrase!)
‘Tis the season to reflect on another wonderful year of snail mail! Once again, I am astounded and delighted by how many lovely people I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” ever since I decided to start sending mail to random fellow humans around the globe at the start of 2015. I feel very honored to share a letter-writing-relationship with you!
For me, penpalling is all about making friends and glimpsing life outside of my tiny New England town. I’m certainly not in it just to check countries off a list, but after a year of writing I always find it fun to take note of the places from which I’ve received mail. Over the past twelve months, I’ve had the pleasure of sending letters to twelve different countries in Europe, the Americas, and Oceania. Where will my mail travel next? Only 2017 can tell!
(Before you read on, you might want to check out my first “A Year in Letters” post from 2015 to see how my snail mail network has expanded this year!)
It is, truly, the most wonderful time of the year: because in three weeks I’ll return to my family in the middle of the Pacific! I’ve been counting down to this trip since September and I could not be more excited to spend a warm Christmas in my childhood home, where the only snow around will be (maybe!) a light dusting way up on Mauna Kea.
Since I’m going away for nearly a month, I’ll keep up with my pen-palling while in Hawai’i (so those who write to me can expect letters with a postmark from the Volcano post office!). At the same time, I wanted to get a head start on my holiday snail mail packages before my trip, as craft stores aren’t exactly commonplace when you’re living 4,000 feet above sea level and an hour away from major retailers. I think this juxtaposition of wintry papers and tropical ocean stickers will perfectly capture that Christmas-in-the-Pacific feeling!
Do you ever return from a trip, open the huge pile of mail received in your absence, and cry out to the heavens “I am undeserving!”?
Nothing makes me feel more grateful and giddy than the generosity of my talented pen pals–especially when the universe aligns and I receive several letters that all feature my favorite oceanic color palette! (It’s almost as if literally everyone knows that I spend my life in shades of teal and aqua…wonder how they picked up that top-secret intel?) Coincidence or not, I enjoyed photographing these masterpieces of mail art to best show off their watery beauty.