Lighthouses!

My friend Kem recently returned from a family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard.  Do you know what I found in the mail today?  That’s right! A postcard she sent days before her return.

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Cape Poge Lighthouse. Photo by Paul Rezendes

Cape Poge Lighthouse is located on Northeast tip of Chappaquiddick Island.

Kem wrote that she always thinks of me when she visits a new place (how sweet!) and that my camera would be quite happy with the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard (I agree!).  The lighthouses were her favorite sites while there.  She talked about her trip and included pics of some of the lighthouses in a recent blog post.

I love lighthouses too, not only because they are beautiful structures but because of their interesting histories.  The Cape Poge Lighthouse postcard prompted me to take another look at the other lighthouse postcards I’ve received over the last several years.

Take a look:

Map of the Lighthouses of Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Until the Cape Cod Canal opened in 1914, every vessel sailing between Boston and points south had to weather the dangers of Cape Cod’s dreaded sand bars that thrust out into the Atlantic Ocean. In 1797, the U.S. government constructed the first lighthouse on Cape Cod. These lonely sentinels have since provided guidance to mariners.

Click the link for more information on the Cape Cod Lighthouses.

Scituate Light (Cedar Point), Massachusetts

Scituate Lighthouse–a historic lighthouse of the War of 1812. This lighthouse is located at the entrance to the harbor and offers a beautiful view of the coast and the harbor.

The Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey

Situated on the southern tip of Cape May Peninsula where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Cape May is recognized by the United States government as the country’s oldest seaside resort.  The Cape May Lighthouse, built in 1859, is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The St. Simons Lighthouse, St. Simons, Georgia

The St. Simons Lighthouse was built by James Gould in 1810. It was destroyed during the Civil War and rebuilt in 1872.

Great Lakes Lighthouses

Left to Right–

Great Lakes Lighthouses

Although the two “Great Lakes Lighthouses” postcards seem to feature the same houses, there is an additional house in the postcard above–Seul Choix Lighthouse, Lake Michigan (middle white lighthouse).

I received the postcards in swaps from 2010-2016.  However, the final postcard in my very small collection of lighthouses is a “souvenir” I picked up in San Francisco after a visit to Alcatraz Island.

Alcatraz Island Lighthouse

The Alcatraz Island Lighthouse was the first one built on the U.S. West Coast, located in California’s San Francisco Bay. It is located at the southern end of the island near the entrance to the prison.

I enjoyed revisiting the lighthouses and reviewing the many other (unrelated) interesting postcards I ran across.  I encountered many that deserve blog posts, so look for some “flashback” postcard posts in the near future.

I think I just added a visit to all the U.S. lighthouses to my travel bucket list.  Maybe, I’ll get started this summer!

Have you visited any lighthouses lately?

Thanks for thinking of me, Kemi, and for prompting the visit down postcard lane.

Postcards for Me and One for You Too!

I have postcards everywhere. On my desk. In my notebooks. On my walls. In my crafting spaces. On my bookshelves. In albums. Even on my nightstand. We won’t talk about the very large box and shelves filled with hundreds (yes, hundreds) of blank postcards waiting to be sent.  I’m presently looking at the mini stack of postcards I received in March, particularly the selected-based-on-my-interests postcards I found in my mailbox last week.

In honor of my love for history…

Scituate Light (Cedar Point), Scituate, MA. A historic light of the War of 1812. The lighthouse is located at the entrance to the harbor and offers a beautiful view of the coast and harbor. From Marissa477 on swap-bot.

And my love for books…

“A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.” –Carl Sagan. From ShyAnn64 on swap-bot.

And bookish art…

“The Reader,” by W.L. Ramsey from developpeople on swap-bot.

And photography…

George Eastman House, Rochester, New York

And literature…

William Butler Yeats from MJBCoffee on swap-bot

And my favorite place in the world, home…

New Orleans!

New Orleans! from Lazycrochet, who just moved to New Iberia, Louisiana 7 months ago.

And random, “just because” postcards…

Pretty Thank You Note (c) ME, Teachers Pay Teachers. This is the front of the postcard sent by developpeople.

And while I try to figure out what to do with my ever-growing postcard collection, it’s time I send a certain set of postcards out in the mail.

Way back in October 2015, I won a swap-bot giveaway.  Here’s the generous collection of swag put together by one of swap-bot’s founders, Rachel Johnson.

Swap-bot 10th Anniverary Giveaway.

Swap-bot 10th Anniverary Giveaway.

"Swap-bot Swag"

“Swap-bot Swag”

Pencils. Postcards. Stickers. Buttons. Magnets. Enough to make one swoon.

I could share this cute Ernie (the Envie) goodness with other swap-bot members, but I decided to use it to lure…ehem…encourage others, to join the snail mail revolution via swap-bot.

I “discovered” swap-bot almost six years ago when I mistakenly clicked a link that popped up on a website I was visiting.  I hesitated before joining, but I was intrigued by the possibility of regular “real” mail in my mailbox! I clearly remember my first swap–an electronic playlist–and my first Artist Trading Card (ATC) swap.  I signed up when I didn’t even know anything about ATCs.  Pretty soon, I was involved in one creative swap after another, and I was completely hooked and addicted to snail mail.

Maybe, you’ll get hooked on snail mail too. If you comment below with your contact information or email address, I will send you a postcard, written on and stamped. OR–you can contact me at iamnnyla at gmail dot com.  I’ll send postcards until the swap-bot postcards are gone.

Don’t you want a little happy in your mailbox?

Happy Belated World Postcard Day! Happy Belated National Postcard Week!

Needless to say, I’ve been a little lax in sharing my good mail days with you.  Life gets busy.  My desk remains cluttered and things get buried beneath other responsibilities, tasks, and daily mayhem.  So I’ve been “decluttering” my desk at a rate that makes “decluttering” pointless.  BUT, I’ve found some great things so far–obviously some things that I’d planned to blog about months ago.  POSTCARDS! (Yes, I’m screaming).

World Postcard Day was a month ago—October 9 to be exact.  I joined a WPCD swap and received cute little Ernie the Envie from Rachel, one of swap-bot’s founders.

Ernie the Envelope, swap-bot's cute logo.

Ernie the Envelope, swap-bot’s cute logo.

She writes that she started swap-bot to connect with people all over the world in a tangible way.

Then, there were these 31st National Postcard Week 2014 surprises waiting in my “check-when-I think-about-it” postal box.  Although, NPCW is in May,  I actually received these some time in August or early September.  Apparently, I’m on some NPCW mailing list somewhere.  (I haven’t even had time to investigate that).

William sent two cards–a fun one and a touristy one:

Bill and Dee with Pals Goofy and Mickey, November 2013

Bill and Dee with Pals Goofy and Mickey, November 2013

"United States Capitol, Washington D.C.: Home of House of Representatives and Senate," Photo by William Marquart, January 2014

“United States Capitol, Washington D.C.: Home of House of Representatives and Senate,” Photo by William Marquart, January 2014

Steve, a postcard collector from Fresno, California sent this postcard of a San Francisco early morning:

"Morning Moods"

“Morning Moods as San Franciso Begins a New Day,” Photo by Sandor Balatoni

This postcard represents his “Plan B.”  Circumstances prevented him from getting his postcards printed in time for NPCW.  Of course, I’m not complaining about the beautiful sunrise.  Not complaining about the vintage postage and postal markings that cover the back of the postcard either. 😉

NPCW and Ch Bk Illustration sent-67-2

NPCW and Ch Bk Illustration sent-67-2 - Version 2

The message on the back closes with, “Living the postcard life.”  Love it!

Earl Bucken from St. Augustine, Florida sent:

NPCW and Ch Bk Illustration sent-67-3

“Light Gull Island Lighthouse,” Photo by Earl Bucken, 2002

He had a bit of the lighthouse’s history printed on the back:

Located on the North Fork of Long Island, NY.  The first lighthouse was built in 1803, at a cost of $15,000. When the War of 1812 came to eastern Long Island, the British visited and demanded the light be extinguished.  The keeper refused, and the British removed the  illuminating apparatus from the lantern. The proven vulnerability caused the government to erect a hundred food diameter wall around the tower and keeper’s quarters in 1817.  The wall cost $24,500 and was 300 feet in circumference.  In 1978 [the lighthouse] was automated, ending 172 years of light keeping tradition on the tiny island.

And here are the postcards I received during National Postcard Week 2014 from swap-bots:

From swap-bot “rubyhouseslippers,” this fun and quirky card:

"Elfin Party" (c) www.VanessaValencia.com

“Elfin Party” by Vanessa Valencia

You can find more of Vanessa Valencia’s fun artwork at her website.  She even lets you inside her studio and gallery.  If you’re into elves and dolls and other fun creations, you’ll love visiting her site.

From swap-bot Andi who hosted the NPCW swap I joined:

Galapagos Islands: Situated in the Pacific Ocean, some 1000 km from the Soth American Continent, these 19 isalnds and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique "living museum and showcase of evotion." Located a the confluence of trhee ocean currents, the Galapagos are a "melting pot" of marine species. UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Galapagos Islands: Living Museum

From the postcard back:

Galapagos Islands: Situated in the Pacific Ocean, some 1000 km from the South American Continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique “living museum and showcase of evolution.” Located a the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galapagos are a “melting pot” of marine species. UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Demaris, whose swap I participated in last year, sent several cards.  Here are the three I like best:

Demaris introduced me to National Postcard Week last year.  She has more information about it here.

And here are the postcards I sent:

Purple Pansies, Photo by Me!

I remember designing this one because I felt I should toss some purple out into the world.

Then, this one, I couldn’t resist:

The “Mysterious” Trike by Me!

After almost two academic years, this trike “mysteriously” appeared outside my office window one day.  I raced out to snap a few shots.  And then, I didn’t see the trike again for the rest of the year.

This year, however, I see it quite frequently.  In fact, I captured it with my camera phone as I was walking back to my office from a meeting one morning. The owner had attached an evergreen tree car fresheners to each handlebar. This was funny to me at the moment.

I didn’t quite achieve the goal of full participation this year (making and sending 100 postcards for NPCW), but I managed to make them and send about 10.  Close enough.

If you’re interested, you can check out the cards I sent last year here and the cards I received last year here.

Happy Postcarding!