Scenes Out of a Box of Post Cards

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Well, sort of…you remember them, the thing you fetch from your mailbox, then magnetize them to your refrigerator. The printed cardboard memento whose picture is overlaid with fanciful text of a meaningful place. Or is it just cheap generic crap tourists buy or the memento that captures the essence of the experience? I guess it can be either.

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Take a moment; when was the last time you sent a postcard? And when was the last time you actually received one? I bet you haven’t seen one in the mailbox for quite a while. We seem to take snail mail for granted nowadays.

While the travel image could easily be posted to FB or Instagram and printed out, it is just not the same as when the postman visited with that shiny cardboard image and warm note. I never got the warm fuzzys from an Instagram of FB vacation photo. For that matter, a blog post is not all that warm either, but thanks to the internet most of us are documenting our travels via the web, me included.

Funny thing. Both the internet and a postcard are a chance to see the world for others without the price of a plane ticket. One is like a jet-propelled rocket while the other is like a slow hot-air balloon. But the balloon ride would be a romantic way to see the world.

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Postcards are still found in all the tourist spots like here in Niagara Falls, but where are all these postcards people are buying going?

Friends and family can read daily travel entries on a blog but also respond, to become part of the journey in a way. That is a plus. Postcards have a fond attachment to tradition though, where the sender takes that extra effort to select it. They personalize it by physically writing on it, then take more time and a few cents to send it off. Technology makes photos, posts and texts instantly happen.

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I made all the images in the post the standard 4 x 6 inch size. If I wanted to, there are post-approved, adhesive postcard backings you can buy, made from heavy postcard stock. But why bother?

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I suppose if I wanted to mail my images, I could just print them on glossy, heavy stock, one side with the photo, the other matte side designed like a postcard.

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But who do you mail them to? Do people appreciate them anymore?

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I think the majority of people who buy postcards do it for the memory of the place and as a keepsake. It is not unlike taking photos and making a photo book.

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My, have times changed? It used to be easier and time-saving to buy and mail a postcard than to take a photo, develop the negatives and get the image printed. Now things are reversed.

Has travel changed as much? Well, a few things come to mind. Now we are all wired and connected, especially when getting money at an ATM. English is spoken fluently by so many in different countries. Speed trains get you all across Europe and now border crossing is so simple because of the Schengen Agreement and Area. I guess things have changed.

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I know postcards changed. Remember those old vintage ones? I recreated one of my photos of the Falls into a vintage look postcard back in 2012. Do you still send postcards?

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Next, a few posts I did many years ago. Things I made for Christmas. I will be missing for a few weeks or more, so if in the event I am not back blogging by Christmas, I wish you all a most happy, healthy holiday season.

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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20 Responses to Scenes Out of a Box of Post Cards

  1. Kalamain says:

    In an ironic turn… My daughter, who is 17 *loves* getting postcards from around the world. With all her internet friends being from many different countries and cultures she loves to get a physical momento of where they are.
    This is a bit of a flip side to us older people who got them all the time years ago now don’t mind the digital idea. But her, and most of her friends, are polar opposites. Postcards are not dead, far from it! Although she does prefer the cheesy, ludicrous kinds that have pun-tastic jokes on them, but she will settle for pics of places that her friends know and like locally to them and she sends them out all the time too. B-)

  2. Thinking about you, Donna. I hope all is well, and that your holiday season will be pleasant. These photos belong enlarged and framed–they’d be steals for postcards! I’d have to echo Kalamain–my daughter, 22, loves them, as well. Plus, when she was a camp counselor for the past two summers, postcards were a God-send. She had limited access to the Internet, so she encouraged family and friends to send letters and postcards. I tried to send her at least a couple each week. It was fun to shop for postcards and to keep in touch with her that way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Emily Scott says:

    There’s something special about being able to hold a physical postcard in your hands and the excitement of it arriving through the letterbox so that some nice post arrives along with all the junk mail. I still send a few.

  4. What a lovely reminder. I wonder now if we should have kept all those postcards as historic documents. Have got my grandfather’s from the First World War. Not many words but beautiful handwriting with sepia faded photos of Eygpt!

  5. Mike Powell says:

    Alas, I can’t remember the last time that I sent one, though I do remember getting one a few years ago from a friend visiting Greece.

  6. lula says:

    Donna, you talk about the personal touch, that that makes you chose what postcard for who, that that makes you think about that someone. It’s not only about the postcard but about the subtle gesture to others and to ourselves, a reminder of things that really matter. Wishing you the best!

  7. Mary OROS says:

    Donna I make quilted postcards for Birthdays and the subject is a fabric Birthday cake or something that the recipient is interested in. Mary O.

  8. Times have changed indeed and for our generations which have experienced ‘the days before internet’ [not to mention ‘the days before computers’!] – it is hard. But I think that more unfortunate are the younger generations who never had these experiences and are growing more and more alienated from the ‘real’ world. I don’t remember sending postcards [I used to send hand made cards – unique for each friend]. I did however like to buy postcards from countries I visited as a souvenir. Your photographs, Donna are so beautiful. Now these would be worth buying just to share their beauty and many more people happy! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Monday, my dear.

  9. I got a postcard in September from a friend visiting England. It was a picture of a lavish garden– she suggested that mine should look like that next summer. The postcard arrived a few days after she returned home; I had already spoken to her.

  10. Glad to see you’re back…jogged here from Nature and Wildlife since it’s been so quiet there!

    Yes, a million times yes to the question of do you send postcards? In fact, my kids love to do so as well…and the youngest is 28! You points are well made, but I posit:

    Why does it have to be ‘either/or’? Why can’t it be ‘in addition to’?

    Snail mail is delightful and because of e-mail, junk mail is now SPAM and more easily deleted!
    BTW: I’d buy one of your postcards.
    peace

  11. David says:

    Those are some really wonderful pictures.

  12. Times have definitely changed. I still have a collection of postcards, though and my niece sent me one a couple years ago, the last one I’ve received. Great pictures, as always!

  13. Andrea says:

    I hope you are very well Donna, i am sending my positive energies your way! Yes things have geometrically changed. Now some people revive the postcard sending to be more special, but i who was there when it was the norm prefer the digital age now, easier and faster. When my sister cleaned the house, a lot of things went off including the collections of old letter and postcards. When i started travelling in the past, i normally send a postcard home, today they went off as garbage, gathering dusts and molds and occupy the much wanted space. Things have change really, and did we?

  14. alesiablogs says:

    I sent postcards throughout the years to my niece and nephews because the school wanted them to get some for projects! I was the willing aunt or sucker they knew would do it! haha

  15. Love your analogy of the rocket and the hot air balloon. I still buy postcards, but rarely send them. Your photographs make wonderful postcards, Donna. I would buy them. Hope you are OK and wishing you a happy Christmas. P. x

  16. Jennifer says:

    I haven’t thought about the fact that postcards disappearing until I read this post, but on reflection, they do seem like items that have gone obsolete. It seems a little sad somehow. Based on the pictures, you look to have had a wonderful trip. Best wishes for the holidays to you too Donna!

  17. A postcard has greater emotional impact than a post, just as a letter has more than an email. On the other hand, a post online enables you to share with people you don’t yet know, and it is interactive enough to allow you to build new relationships.

  18. There is truly something special about a postcard, it’s personal and authentic. Postcards fit into the category of a handshake, a smile I can see, a hug; maybe postcards are what tether my past and present together so that I can make sense of both…A lot to think about Donna.

  19. A.M.B. says:

    Yes, times have changed! Now, I just send people pictures I’ve taken myself instead of a postcard.

  20. I used to love sending and getting post cards…my mother and Aunt would love them as they are not connected with technology. Wishing you a wonderful holiday…..Merry Christmas Donna!

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