The Past, Present, and Hopefully Future of Snail Mail

Dear Reader:

There are some things I consider “sacred” to me… and the post office, my “magnolia” mailbox Mandy painted for me, and the memories of handwritten messages within that box… are all included in that term.

Right before I, daily, open my mailbox…there is always that fraction of a second pause…wondering if something special might be waiting inside. (Obviously, more times than not…there isn’t…but still the possibility has never died away from my childhood’s excitement at receiving a letter from a loved relative or friend.)

You grandparents, out there, already know this…but simply sending a card to your grandchildren provides squeals of delight as they wait to see what you sent. It is the wonderful sense of anticipation that never fades, texting, facebook, etc. ….none can compare to opening a letter or card from a loved one.

*It makes children feel so important…they got a letter in the mailbox!

One of the most wonderful memories of my life dealt with note cards that arrived shortly after my sudden diagnosis of breast cancer and initial surgery- (followed later by three others.) By the time I got home from the hospital…there was a basket full of get-well cards waiting on me.

It made me so happy to read them and feel bolstered by so much support…and still they kept coming… until…finally both the hearths and the mantels, the balconies and banisters by the steps were filled with hanging cards…I remember some friends who came over to help me put them up…ran out of scotch tape.

My Happy Place had never been so happy…I literally was living in a “House of Cards.” Anybody stopping by did a double-take when they entered the house…I think I let the cards stay up for a couple of months…because I couldn’t bear the thought of taking them down.

Today they are stored in an old antique hat box…filled with these old memories from 2008…some times I still pull them out and re-read them when I face new obstacles in the on-going challenges of living with breast cancer.

While trying to adjust to such a different life style now…the thought of not having my mail carrier to chat with and sneak goodies to makes me terribly sad. I can’t imagine an empty neighborhood street with no mailboxes. There is only so much change we can handle at one time…we need some things in life to remain a constant…an anchor steady enough to secure the past, present, and future.

And what about beautiful hand-made three dimensional cards like what Beverly Parkinson made me for my birthday a couple of years ago…What a keepsake and treasure hers are to everyone she sends one to….just exquisite. (Big Red loves it too! 🙂



I still have letters my children wrote me growing up from camps and college…sweet letters from their teachers, old love letters from first loves…I feel so sorry for young people today if they don’t “snail mail”…how will they ever look back on those early love letters with the same smiles and sweet sighs…Texts and emails can’t begin to compete…too cold.

So until tomorrow… “What the world needs now is mail, snail mail…It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…”


*We could all use a little snail mail today!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh



So now…let’s look at pretty things to make us smile again…


Can’t be an ole’ history teacher and not remember Bastille Day (July 14)…Party on France!






About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to The Past, Present, and Hopefully Future of Snail Mail

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Love sending and receiving cards. I have several places to keep them. A basket in the den that Emmie loves to go through when she visists (hope she inherits that gene that goes bavk to my grandmother)…some musical ones beside my bef in a drawer…another big box in in the closet and a special folder for cards and drawings from the grands…you right they make your heart smile. And some that I have received from you are my favorite…


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Hands down…Gin-g you are the queen of writing letters…you never cease amaze me with your continuity of letter writing…you can teach us all a thing or do…and they always make one smile. Have a hot but wonderful day!


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