Ephemeral Tragedies: Received from Lithuania, Russia, and the United States

Half of this haul actually went well, but a dramatic title always spices things up!

That poor dead bird, though…


The cat was not responsible for what happened to that bird. At least, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t…

The poor eviscerated bird somehow made its way through my mail slot via Postcrossing, from Lithuania.  It was a die-cut card, which I’m sure is what sealed its fate.  The poor thing’s legs & chest have been torn away. All remaining on the back is (most of) my address, the stamp, Postcrossing ID, and “Hi John! Greetings …m Lithuania!” In the tattered edges, I can see there was originally more. I somehow remember the post office used to deliver such tragedies in little plastic bags with apologetic notes…

Things aren’t going so well with that cat card, either.  Sure it’s in one piece–but its backside is barren!

It came to me from Alabama, part of a swap-bot “creatures great & small” trade, in which we were to exchange animal cards.  The directions included, “write a message, quote, or something something, you know.”  As you can see from the image below the cat, there is a whole lotta nothing on the back of that postcard: simply the swap title, user name, date, a couple of tiny (though lovely) stickers, and “Have a great day!”  And oh, I’m sure I would have, if only the sender had bothered to put just a wee bit of time & effort into writing something on the postcard.  Write what, you ask?  Who cares what!  A message, quote, or something something, you know.  Why sign up for a postcard exchange if you don’t want to use the postcard for its intended purpose?  Swap-bot, Postcrossing–internet searches–they all have plenty of advice for what to write if you can’t think of something by yourself.  I’ve explained several times here that I am not into any of this for the postcards, but rather what I will call cultural exchange.  If I wanted to collect postcards, I would buy them myself.  It would be a whole lot cheaper that way.

I would rather have ten eviscerated birds than one cat with an under-tended backside.

The other two cards are just fine: the one full of colorful siphonophores came to me from Idaho, part of a Postcrossing Forum marine life tag.  The sender fills out a card like I do, with neat writing filling up the space at about 13 lines or so of text.  She writes, in part, of looking up these creatures & learning “…they’re in the same family as Portugese Man ‘o Wars, which I used to see littered on the beach when I lived in Florida.”  Here we have my favorite card of the day.

The final card came to me via Postcrossing from Moscow, Russia.  It depicts the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which Wikipedia tells me is “a few blocks southwest of the Kremlin. With an overall height of 103 metres, it is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world.”  The sender tells me that she and her daughter were having a short vacation.

The stamps are just great.  I love the tiger, and also the birds–which I think look like grackles.


Received from the U.S.: California, Idaho, and Maryland

A variety of swap-bot trades today:


That hawk comes in from California, part of a “chunk of cardboard” trade.  The sender tells me she acquired this “while dumpster diving at our local recycling center.”

The other bit of recycling–a dental checkup reminder card–is from a “recycled pc” swap, and comes from Star, Idaho.  I wish my dentist sent these out!  She just chides folks for waiting so long between checkups.

I think that animal-loaded card is so cool.  It came to me from a swapper in Maryland, and was part of a “what I read in January” trade.  The sender says the book that stood out for him was The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens’ London, by Judith Flanders.

A couple of the swap participants sent me big collections of stamps!