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

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Bad news from Hope July 27, 2011

The Hope Post Office, which I photographed on Sunday.

I WISH I DIDN’T have to update a story I posted just yesterday about the post office in Hope, south of Owatonna off Interstate 35. But I must, and the news isn’t good.

On Tuesday the United States Postal Service released the latest in a lengthy list—try 3,600-plus—post offices that could be closed to save money.

Hope wasn’t on that list.

But apparently it was on an earlier list as I discovered just minutes ago. While researching another topic online, I came across two newspaper articles about the proposed closing of Hope’s post office. Community residents have already gathered at a meeting to express their dismay with the planned closure.

Click here to read a story published in The Owatonna People’s Press.

Click here to read another story published in the The Star Eagle based in Waseca County.

Residents of Hope and the surrounding area, according to the articles, will have to wait about three more months before a decision is made on the proposed closure.

You’ll read in these stories how residents fear losing the one central place that connects them, how they worry about the impact on local businesses and more.

Their concerns are legitimate. I said it in my previous post and I’ll say it again. In a small town, a post office serves as a community gathering spot. It isn’t just a place to pick up mail, buy stamps or send a package. It is part of the heartbeat of small town Main Street.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling