On a business trip to Madison this summer, I wrote a friend and said, “If you like postcards from kitschy hotels in Wisconsin, send me your address.” He was excited by the idea and sent me his address (along with suggestions of additional kitschy hotels for me to seek out).
I started writing him postcards every time I went on a business trip, but by the second trip to Minneapolis I felt guilty that I was only sending them to him and I added my nephews to the list. Another week went by and I noticed the names and FPOs of a few soldiers from my congregation. My guilt grew a bit and I started to try to send postcards to some of the soldiers from my synagogue.
This has turned into the habit of sending four postcards on every business trip. Despite the fact that I primarily travel to Minneapolis, I still try to send four pieces of mail on each trip. I figure that people like getting real mail and I like sending it.
More than that.
Sending real mail had some curative properties. It physically connects me to home, even when I send the postcards to cities other than Chicago. I check my own mail with more gusto lately, hoping for something handwritten from a strange hotel in Arizona.
I never find anything, so maybe it’s time to add myself to my rotation of four postcards per trip.