Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Even though stamps cost more, I’ll continue mailing cards February 7, 2019


IF ONLY I’D KNOWN. If only she’d informed me of the price increase when she asked whether I wanted more than one sheet of postage stamps. “Nope, just one,” I said and pulled out my debit card.

I had no idea that the cost of postage stamps was rising by 10 percent the very next day, from 50 cents per first class forever stamp to 55 cents.

I suppose it’s my fault for not being on top of things. But she, the U.S. postal clerk, could have told me when I bought stamps that Saturday morning at my local post office. Had I known, I would have purchased more than 20 stamps. I like to save money when given the opportunity.

Not that I would have bought a stack of postage stamp sheets. But, given all the birthday and Valentine’s Day cards I mail in February, I certainly would have purchased more to save more money.

Sigh. Live and learn.

The increased cost of mailing cards won’t stop me from sending them. I consider greeting cards an important way to communicate care and more. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I appreciated the get well cards I received while recovering from two broken bones in recent years. Never underestimate the power of a greeting card to encourage and uplift others.

I like also to write personal thank you notes. We don’t do that often enough in this high tech world—put pen to paper and hand-write gratitude.

And birthday cards…I still send them even though I seldom get them anymore. It saddens me that most people are seemingly too busy to choose, sign, address and mail birthday cards. A text message or email just is not the same. To slice open an envelope, pull out a greeting card, read and re-read a hand-signed message brings me joy.

Yes, being a writer (including of greeting card verses for Warner Press) likely contributes to my fondness for cards. I’ll give you that. I understand the value of the written word.

How about you? Do you still send greeting cards? If not, why not?

Or what are your thoughts on that 10 percent increase in first class postage stamp rates?

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Post office etiquette 101 September 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:56 PM
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OK, LET’S PRETEND you are at the post office at around 9 a.m. on a Saturday. You’re waiting in line with six customers ahead of you—three at the service windows.

Now let’s say one of these customers asks for religious stamps and the postal worker says those are available only at Christmas.

That’s reasonable, you think.

But then the customer asks for “Father D” stamps. Now, you know that a pastor in town bears the name “Father D.” And you wonder, what exactly are “Father D” stamps? Religious, I suppose. But remember, this is September, not December.

“Does he like baseball?” the postal employee asks. “Or cats and dogs?”

By then you’re becoming a bit impatient wondering exactly how many postage stamps are available and which will fit the customer’s request.

“They’re just stamps,” you mutter to the woman who is ahead of you with a tote full of packages. You check your watch and ponder leaving the post office, doing your banking and then returning. Perhaps the finicky customer at the middle window will have departed by then with her clutch of “Father D” stamps, whatever those may be.

But you decide to wait. A man two ahead of you catches your eye and you can tell he is thinking, like you, that this is ridiculous. Can’t this woman see the line of four customers waiting behind her?

Finally, Ms. Ineedjusttherightstamps leaves with her stamps. And although you’re not certain, you’re pretty sure she’s just purchased “Forever” stamps.

THE ABOVE STORY is not embellished/made-up/fictional or anything other than a factual account of my visit to the Faribault Post Office on Saturday morning. Only the name, “Father D,” is fictional.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling