• Rachel Anne Baer

Staying in Touch

#memories #postcards #photoalbums #familyrecords #familyhistory #touchnote #relatives #family @touchnote

It’s been a few years now since I discovered Touch Note a company with the wonderful idea of an app to link the photos on your phone to an almost instant postcard, birthday card and other personalized gifts.

Such a wonderful idea, especially for families like ours who live so far away from our relatives. It takes just a few minutes from taking a photo with your phone to creating an individual card, postage included, within just a few days your card will land on the doorstep of a loved one. I wish I had thought of this idea as I must have spent a small fortune over the last few years sending cards to different family members and friends. It would have been wonderful to have this available when my boys were young, so much easier than taking an old film reel to the store then waiting to find the time to organize the pictures, write a letter to go with them, get to the post office etc. etc. Photos could be months out of date by the time I got organized with two young boys and a home to look after.

Just last week I had sent a postcard to our close family members in the UK of my youngest son graduating from college. It was a virtual graduation; his photo and award were posted on a screen that we watched from our living room. Very convenient to be able to sit in a comfortable air-conditioned room on a hot and humid afternoon, just not at all the celebration it should have been after so much hard work. My husband managed to get a good shot of the screen, a lovely photo of my son, graduating Magna Cum Laude, we are very proud of him.

We had a surprise email in reply from my husband’s aunts, here is an excerpt -

“It is a lovely photo of Andrew. It arrived yesterday. I can now put it into the album that you gave me when you first moved into Parker Drive. It is now nearly full as it contains all the Christmas cards that you have sent over the years and lots of your holiday pictures, not to mention all the pussycats as well. It is quite a family record. I look at all the photos each time I put a new one in. Hope you are all now feeling better after all the times of the past weeks. I have had frequent updates of you as Mum always reports on all your phone calls. She is very reliant on everyone keeping in touch at the moment. I have not seen her since February as we have been confined to the Village and even here, we have had to keep ourselves to ourselves—-no clubs etc. Bit by bit things are improving, but now they have closed the road outside for 3 days of essential repairs. One day we will go back to normal!! It was lovely to hear from you. We think of you often.      Lots of love xxxx”

Reading this bought tears to my eyes, who would have thought that they would have kept all the notes, cards and letters I had sent over the past almost eighteen years since 2003 moving from the UK to the USA. I actually don't even remember buying them an album, I am so glad that I did. This short email made me realize how much something as simple as a postcard or short note can mean to someone, especially now that most of the world is still in some kind of quarantine at home. Who knows, if you take the time to keep in touch you may one day be rewarded by seeing all your correspondence in an album, a wonderful, unique record of a snap shot of your life.

What a great idea, although I have kept many photos, albums and cards I have not kept them in any order for years, perhaps it is time to revisit that. I suppose that now, during quarantine I have more time to take care of such daunting long-term projects.

If you have distant, or even more local relatives and friends, perhaps consider sending them a postcard or letter, you never know how much it might mean to them. If you do post a comment below, I’d love to know how it went.

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