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I buy postcards on work trips and it's not as easy as you would think. Postcards are on a path toward extinction, but I'm doing my part to keep them around for future generations.

My grandmother lives in a small town in Kansas, without a computer, cell phone, or any idea of how to use the internet. In order to stay in touch, we keep it old school and write letters. I also send her a postcard from each of my work trips. She was ill earlier this year and one of my thoughts was how my mom or uncle will probably find a shoebox full of letters and postcards. She's going to be around for several more years so the postcards need to be too.

On a trip last year, one of my younger colleagues saw me filling out my grandma's postcard and asked me about it. Turns out, she collects postcards! She doesn't travel often, so I now buy two postcards on each trip and send her one. My goal with her postcard is to find the weirdest, funniest, most unique card. I can tell her about the trip in work talk, while I usually stick to weather and basics with my grandma.

Finding a unique card is a challenge because just finding a normal postcard is hard. Most airport convenience stores have removed their postcard stands or just carry a small selection. In some cases, I'll ask the clerk and after they give me a look like I'm asking for an 8-track, they steer me behind another display to a dusty postcard turnstile.

Unless they come pre-stamped, I wait until I get home to mail. That way my mailman also benefits by getting to see my latest find and probably my latest narrative. Today, I stopped at the post office to buy more postcard stamps. The price had gone up one cent to $0.35 on June 1st so now I have to apply two stamps. I asked the postman what would happen to my postcards that I sent all month. After he looked at me like I should be using FB or email, he told me that unless the mailperson turned a blind eye, they may not be delivered.

Postcards will likely avoid extinction until mailboxes go away, even if it eventually costs more to send them than standard mail. So when you see a postcard, keep in mind that there is at least someone out there looking for them and at least two people waiting patiently for their next one to arrive in their mailbox.


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