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Mail is good, mail is great.

August 10, 2010

You know that horrible feeling of opening your mailbox to find a Walmart ad, Comcast bill, and Chinese take-out menu? Then you trudge to the recycling bin and toss it all in.

I didn’t have that bad-mail feeling today!

Critical Mass: "An assertion of public space and a repudiation of the total domination of car culture."

Instead, I opened my mailbox to find the coolest postcard on the planet. (So all of you who’ve been looking for it can rest now.) Then, I walked over to my fridge and hung it up. I felt happy and smiley and generally lucky in life. It’s all thanks to my friend Martha (also bragged about in this post), who took a few minutes of her day and a few joules of her energy to jot a few lines and address them to me.

What does this have to do with No Car Go?

The postcard was a photograph of a critical mass ride some years ago. The image is five lanes of cyclists with a handful of cars riding the pine in a forlorn parking lot. Under the photo is the text: “We aren’t blocking traffic … WE ARE TRAFFIC.” I was psyched about the card and its message, but I was psyched about something else too.

Getting real, personal mail that you can hold in your hands feels so good.

It’s a small gift that seems to arrive by magic right to your front door, assuring you that, to someone, you’re worth a piece of stationary and postage stamp. That may sound cheap, but it might as well be the cost of a full tank of gas for as much as most of us do it anymore.

Mail that doesn’t have a “reply all” option is rare these days.

So, it meant a lot that I got some today. It meant even more that it came from Martha, to whom I don’t believe I’ve ever penned a line, and who has a lot of things competing for her time and energy:

  • Serving as executive director for Troy Community Works, a local nonprofit that’s working hard for walkable neighborhoods;
  • Spreading the word and recipe of her favorite avocado salad dressing; and
  • Teaching two beautiful children how to—among other things—raise a garden, ride bikes, and be good people.

Let us thank Her for our mail. Amen.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie permalink
    August 10, 2010 2:02 pm

    Hey Amy – Thanks for the this reminder about the pleasures of snail mail. I love sending and receiving snail mail. I’d love to send you some pleasant snail mail here and there so send me an email with your mailing address. I’m loving your blog posts!! Melanie

  2. Martha permalink
    August 10, 2010 3:09 pm

    Hey Amy- you are too sweet. Thanks for your kind words. I’m just the old-fashioned type who likes writing letters! I’m so glad you enjoyed the postcard-I’ve had it for years! I’ll hug your sister extra-tight for you when I see her in a week or so.

    love, M.

  3. avaerewyck permalink
    August 11, 2010 3:13 pm

    Oooh, I definitely won’t refuse pleasant mail. Thanks, Melanie! Extra points (and possible NCG mention) if you send something car-free-related.

    No, YOU’RE too sweet, Martha. I’m sure Wendy will pass on the hug. And, by the way, I’m impressed that you actually like writing letters. I only write them, because they’re so much fun to receive.

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