Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Postal Rates May Be Going Up … But So Are Our Spirits!!

 




I don’t know if you’ve heard the news, but the USPS has announced another increase in postal rates. πŸ˜• Starting July 10, 2022 it will cost $0.60 for a first class postage stamp. 





While this is can be frustrating to a snailmail enthusiast (and normal people, too😏), I want to encourage you to send some good, old-fashioned post. I believe there is something truly special about writing and receiving a real letter. 



Letters matter. Have you ever been to a history museum? I am always amazed by the impact a letter can have. A million possessions have deteriorated into nothingness but fragile pieces of paper have been preserved for generations. Letters have special meaning and meaningful words are worth reading over and over.




An actual ink-on-the-paper, stamp-on-the-envelope letter communicates much more than the words on the page. A real letter confirms the importance of your recipient. Sending a thoughtful note to someone shows you cherish a relationship and want to invest in it. 



Writing real letters helps you pause long enough to say things that matter. When I text I often respond with one word, or even an emoji. πŸ‘ πŸ™„ Texting and email are mostly reactionary. Writing letters is much more thoughtful and purposeful. You do it to give, not to receive. 

Real mail brings so much joy!! Today’s mail is mostly bills and junk. If you take the time to craft a letter, affix a postage stamp and drop it in the mail, you may have single-handedly rescued someone from a bad day! Finding some “good mail” in one’s mailbox is truly magical and serendipitous! 





So while it’s true that inflation seems to be affecting everything,😫I encourage you to keep up your correspondence. It’s a wonderful, worthwhile hobby! 



Go postal, people!! In a good way! 

XOXO,

Mrs. Murphy 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Mrs. Murphy and Miles of Mail

 

The new mountain flower Forever Stamps!! πŸ₯°


Spring has sprung! Or so the calendar tells us. In the part of the world where Mr. Murphy and I dwell spring is a complicated season. Often spring arrives with a warm, sunny day followed by freezing temperatures and snow the next. Its inconsistency is its most reliable characteristic. The world seems rather grayish-brown, wet and muddy but there is an underlying hint of new life, a spark of bright green amidst all the brown, a touch of warmth in the wind. It’s exciting!! 




Mr. Murphy and I enjoy the great outdoors and recently checked out a new to us park/trail in our area on one of those gentler spring days. It got me thinking about the often hidden jewels that can be found in one’s own backyard. We humans are creatures of habit and often go to the same places and do the same things because they are familiar and lovely and we don’t have to worry about whether or not we will enjoy ourselves because we’ve been there before and we KNOW we like it. But as I often said to the MurphyBros when they were wee lads, “It’s fun to try new things!” Usually this involved a vegetable of some sort but the principle is the same. πŸ˜‰




Speaking of those MurphyBros, now that they each have a Mrs. Murphy of their ownπŸ₯°, I was inspired by spring and the great outdoors and decided to send some Mrs. Murphy Adventure Mail!! 




With the help of the fabulous interwebs, I was able to do a little research on some outdoor recreational areas near Mr. and Mrs. Murphy-Boy-Wonder and Mr. and Mrs. Super-Murphy-Boy. I created a little challenge snailmail for them and posted it! Even if they are familiar with this particular area, I think the scavenger hunt idea and novelty of getting a challenge like this in the mail will bring something fun and joyful to their lives!! πŸ₯³ My hope is that they love the surprise snailmail, take the opportunity to connect with nature and each other and, of course, write me back to tell me all about their adventures!! 


A section of my Murphy Miles Adventure Mail! 


Spring has sprung, people!! It’s time to go postal!! 

I mean, get outside!! But also go postal and send some fun spring time snailmail!! 


XOXO,

Mrs. Murphy 🌿🌸🌀






Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Mourning Mail

 



“Given the choice between grief and nothing, I’d choose grief.” William Faulkner 


I am in a season of mourning, walking in the valley of the shadow of death. My sweet father passed away unexpectedly. It’s been so hard, but I have felt loved and supported by my people.  Mr. Murphy and I have been the recipients of so many kind thoughts, gifts, deeds, food, flowers and prayers. I’ve loved and appreciated everything but I’ve especially cherished the snailmail, of course. 




Words, reading the words of others and writing some of my own, are a big part of how I process my feelings and circumstances. It’s no surprise then, that I am treasuring the words of all people writing about grief…the words of the poets, authors and world leaders who have written so eloquently about loss throughout history, the words of Scripture, of course, but also the words of my friends. All these words are a balm to my aching heart. 




Grief and loss are common to all and there have been many customs associated with the processing of it…the wearing of black clothes or arm bands, for example, the sending of flowers and the preparing of casseroles for the grieving family.  For about 100 years, from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries, another mourning custom involved the mail.




Those who were grieving the loss of a loved one used letter paper and envelopes that were edged in black. Some sources say that the width of the borders varied from narrow to broad based upon the closeness of the relationship of the writer to the deceased, the amount of time that has passed, or the importance of the deceased.The use of mourning stationery was understandable in the days when mail was the only form of widely available long-distance communication. Receiving a letter edged in black let the recipient know instantly that it probably contained bad news. 




The USPS issued the first ever “mourning stamp” on April 14, 1866, one year after the assassination of President Lincoln. Up until that time, the people depicted on a postage stamp had been dead for years, sometimes decades. The American people mourned for Mr. Lincoln as they had never grieved for a leader before and it is reported that thousands of them lined the railroad tracks as his body was transported back to Springfield, Illinois, his final resting place. Mr. Lincoln’s letter to a young woman on the passing of her father is a beautiful letter that I have read often over the last few weeks. 




Other mourning stamps have been issued over the years as well. President Garfield was honored on a postage stamp in 1882, just five months after he was assassinated. His stamp is brown rather than black because Mrs. Garfield didn’t like how the black proofs looked and suggested the new color. 




The mourning stamp for President Warren G. Harding was designed in only one day and produced for sale just one month after he died in office in 1923. 




Beginning in 1945, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the USPS launched a new practice, the issuing of a commemorative stamp within one year and four days following the death of a US president. 




I can’t commission a mourning stamp for my dear dad, but I can write my own mourning letters. I want to reply to those wonderful people who sent me cards and letters and share some of my treasured memories of my father. I think it will be a therapeutic exercise for me. 


One pen-friend shared an excerpt from a letter by Robert Browning to his sister, reflecting on the death of his beloved wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning that I found particularly lovely…

“I shall live in the presence of her, in every sense, I hope and believe - so that so far my loss is not irreparable - but the future is nothing to me now, except inasmuch as it confirms and realizes the past…” 




Life is full of meetings and partings. May we mark them with lasting words. 




XOXO, 

Mrs. Murphy 



Friday, January 14, 2022

Viva La Snailmail!!

 




I think a lot about birthdays. As a labor and delivery nurse birth is my business, after all! And as a snailmail enthusiast what better reason is there for sending post? At the beginning of the year I make a list of all my important birthdays. January is a big month for the Murphy family!! I have many family members and friends that start the calendar year with a birthday. πŸ₯³ πŸŽ‚ 






A birthday is a new beginning!

A birthday is the first day of another lovely year,

A year of new tomorrows that is shining, bright and clear,

A year of possibilities as endless as the sky, and a chance to meet the challenges in everything you try! 





I know a certain someone who has always loved miniature things. I thought it would be fun to send a miniature birthday party package! One balloon to blow up, one birthday cake flavored cookie, one small birthday letter, a tiny package of confetti! A little package with a large portion of joy, I hope! πŸ“¦ 




Being present at so many births makes me think of the connection one has with all the other people being born on the exact same day down through the centuries!! January is the birthday month of many interesting folks! And some of them have been memorialized on a postage stamp! A postage stamp connection with my postage stamp collection. πŸ₯° Yay! 






One of my favorite January birthday boys is, none other than, Elvis Presley!! His first commemorative postage stamp is the best-selling US postage stamp in postal history! The USPS printed 517 million Elvis stamps in 1993. 🀯 That’s three times the usual print run for a commemorative. Elvis has another stamp that was issued in his honor in 2015. If you’re not lucky enough to have one of these great stamps in your collection, you can always purchase unused vintage postage from online postage stamp shops.  (One of my favorites is www.edelweisspost.com) 😊 Don’t be afraid to use unused vintage postage on your snailmail creations today!! Just make sure that the total value of stamps adds up to the current postal rate for a first class letter! ($0.58 as of January 2022)

I’m thinking about making an Elvis themed birthday package for a few of my January birthday friends. Nothing like celebrating with the King! Viva La Snailmail!! 





One of the most important things to remember when you are making your birthday list is not to worry if you can’t get to everyone on your list in a timely manner. Even if the wishes are belated, I’ve found that birthday post always makes a “good mail day!” So just keep sending snailmail!! 




Go postal, people!! It’s a good thing!! 


XOXO,

Mrs. Murphy πŸ₯³



Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Moonlight Mail! πŸŒ™




I was driving home from work the other night and the fields were glistening with snow in the moonlight. It was so beautiful. It brought to mind a line from Shelley…

  The cold earth slept below;
       Above the cold sky shone;

I was reminded of one night I was driving home in the winter under a bright full moon. The moonlight was reflecting off the snowy fields so brightly that it almost seemed like day! I even turned my lights off, only very briefly, to see just how bright it really was!! (It turned out I still needed headlights! 😳 LOL!) 




All these thoughts of the winter moon reminded me of a lovely children’s book I read to the MurphyBros when they were young. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. It is a lovely story about a father who takes his child “owling” on a cold winter’s night. The watercolor illustrations are wonderful, too! 




I’ve recently discovered that there are names for the full moons. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac the January Moon is the Wolf Moon. The names they have chosen for each monthly moon come from a number of sources, including Native American, Colonial American and European traditions. 





January’s full moon is called the Wolf Moon. It is thought that it was so named because wolves were more likely to be heard howling at this time. 



Is there a friend or family member you only hear from once in a blue moon? Why not send them some mail? You can relate a moon story of your own!! 

Take inspiration from everything around you! Tell a story, recall a poem, draw a picture, share some postage!! Send some moonlight mail to someone you love!!

Go postal, people!! (In a good way😊 πŸ“¬)

XOXO 

Mrs. Murphy

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Christmas Correspondence

 


Hello! Postal Pals! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on the blog, but I have been busy posting actual mail! πŸ€—

I just finished the last of my holiday snailmail and I’m quite pleased. ☺️ I know it always seems like a bunch of extra work, but I love to receive Christmas cards and letters so I send them!! 

Won’t you join me in sending some Christmas correspondence this year? It’s a great way to spread some cheer! 

I promise to be back in the new year with lots more snailmail ideas and postal projects! In the meantime…


Go postal, people!!

XOXO 
Mrs. Murphy 




Sunday, November 7, 2021

Snailmail! As Gouda As It Gets!!

 




What do you have planned for November? 


Thanksgiving? Of course! πŸ₯³ πŸ¦ƒ 

Black Friday shopping? Probably, no. 😰 πŸ› 

Cyber Monday shopping? Possibly, yes. πŸ€“ πŸ’» 

Christmas preparations? You bet!! 😊 πŸŽ„ 


How about…


“Chillin by the fire while we eatin' fondue

I dunno about me but I know about you” 🎢 (J. Bieber) 







I just found out that November is …


National Fun with Fondue Month! πŸ§€ πŸ«• 


Not only has fondue been memorialized in a Justin Bieber song, but it has been claimed that the earliest record of fondue appears in the Iliad. Homer’s ancient, epic poem (first written down in approximately 750 BC) includes a recipe for a sauce made from wine, grated goat cheese and white flour. 




Greek Postage Stamp from 1975



Fondue also has a long and storied history within Murphy family lore. Mr. Murphy’s family traditions included cheese fondue on Christmas Eve every year. I was first invited to this celebration when I was 16. 🌲  I was hooked after that first melty, cheesy bite. πŸ˜‹ Mr. Murphy and I (and the Murphy Aunties) have carried on the Christmas Eve fondue tradition for lo, these many years. 😊







Mr. Murphy and I decided to break from Murphy tradition slightly however, and started having fondue πŸ§€ πŸ«• on other occasions, too!! I’m not sure exactly when we added chocolate fondue to the menu, but it was a great addition!! 🍫 πŸ“ 🀀 







Now we have a whole month to celebrate fondue!! πŸ₯³ 

It is, of course, perfectly wonderful to simply make fondue for your family to enjoy!! 

But…this is snailmail blog, after all, and one can always include some snailmail elements to anything!! (At least, that’s my motto!) πŸ’Œ 🐌 





So how can one “go postal” with fondue? I do not recommend sending melty cheese through the mail but how about an invitation to enjoy melty cheese together? A recipe via post is always fun mail to receive, too!! And there is nothing like a cheese pun!! πŸ§€ πŸ˜‚








“Boy! Am I sure fondue you! How about joining me for some melty cheese this Saturday? Nothing is feta than time spent together!” πŸ₯°



Go postal, people. It makes life cheddar. πŸ˜‰


XOXO,

Mrs. Murphy