I don’t remember how old I was or any of the details, but when I was younger I had a pen pal. I think. Maybe it was a friend that lived some distance away… or maybe it was even a relative. Well, there was someone anyway. The point is, I loved mail. And since I’m older than email, I’m talking post-office, mailman, mailbox, slap-a-stamp-on-it snail mail. Actually, speaking of mailmen (or mailpersons), I also loved our mail lady. Her name was Queenie, and she knew my brother’s and my birthdays were coming from the colorful envelopes she’d deliver, and she always had a piece of candy or special treat for us to celebrate. I actually wanted to invite her to my wedding, but she was no longer on our route by the time I was ready to say “I do.”
I remember buying cute and fun notecards, mainly designed by the famous-among-preteens Lisa Frank, and fun pens and stickers to go with them. Cute envelopes were a must – the brighter the better, unless they had a design on them and then it was like hitting the jackpot. One set I spent my allowance on actually had neon-colored clear plastic envelopes, and the notecards were classic Lisa Frank design cut-outs – no boring rectangle cards in that box – and I’m pretty sure I wrote every person I knew a message and put it out in the mail that day. Another set was actually a clear plastic bottle that you’d roll your note up and stick inside like you were stuck on a deserted island. That bad boy was mailed off super fast too. I actually had this exact set… and it was really hard not to buy it on eBay just now for nostalgia’s sake!
I was blessed 14 years ago to meet one of my best friends, Elisa, while on a mission trip in Guatemala. We were from different colleges in different states, and on the last day of the trip we ended up sitting together on a long bus ride. While everyone else slept, we talked nonstop. At the airport we exchanged addresses, and through our letters over the past 14 years we’ve developed an amazing friendship, one that’s included weddings, beach vacations, and even a trip to Disney together.
I still love writing letters, and I still love envelopes, stamps, and pretty notecards. Lately I’ve tried to get back in the habit of sending cards to people on my mind, even if I see them on a regular basis. Who doesn’t love getting something in their mailbox that’s just for them – especially among irrelevant ads, political fliers, and bills?
Recently a sweet friend posted a list of all the crazy things you can mail to someone. Among them were coconuts, bottles, potatoes, and even containers of sprinkles! She mentioned that she’d love someone to mail her something crazy, so I volunteered to mail her a flip flop – and the fun began!
Since flip-flops are sold in pairs, it tool less than a millisecond to decide to send the other one to Elisa. After doing some research to see the best way to address them, I took out my permanent marker and got to work, leaving room for the stamps on the front.
I wrote a cute message on the back, and took them to my sweet friend Denise who works at a mailing office. Funnily, she’s actually mailed a coconut before, but never a flip-flop!
Not too long later I saw this on Facebook:
And not too long after that I received this in my mailbox!
Totally fun, right? Now go mail something fun to someone! Stick a sheet of stickers in an envelope (preferably Lisa Frank stickers, of course)… or a wacky photo of you and a friend photoshopped together… or even a bottle of sprinkles!
If you want some fun ideas, check out this blog and click on Happy Mail… I am dying to mail someone a giant sponge! 🙂