Last year, for Christmas, I gave my 91 year old grandma an empty book.
And no, I was not being a grinch.
Technology makes it easy to stay in touch with connected family and friends. I regularly FaceTime with my folks, exchange text messages with old friends, and our blog and Facebook make it easy for most everyone we love to keep up with us.
What about those important people who just aren’t online?
My grandma is amazing in almost every possible way. Up until a few months ago, she still participated in a bowling league, mall walking, and working out at Curves nearly every day.
Her motto: “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”
But when it comes to computers, well… At 90 she was mowing her own lawn and cleaning her own gutters – I guess I can’t expect her to be surfing the web too.
I’ve always struggled with how I could share my life and adventures with her, other than via occasional brief phone calls and having stories pass through my mom. If only there were a way to get snapshots of our life into her hands…
Perhaps there’s an app for that?
Last year I discovered the amazing free iPhone / iPad app PhotoCard by Bill Atkinson – and in it I found the perfect way to be able to share customized photo postcards with my grandma!
PhotoCard allows you to take any photo, and to turn it into a postcard with custom text, “stickers”, and even a custom stamp. You can then send these postcards via email for free, or for a small fee the company will print the card and send it via postal mail to anywhere in the world. Perfect for us on the road who don’t find our way to post offices very often!
Printed cards cost around $1.70 each for US destinations, or just $2.50 to mail internationally.
So that brings us back to the empty book…
For Christmas, I sent my grandma an empty photo-album filled with 60 blank pages. And I made her a promise to send her a postcard every week to share with her and chronicle our year.
This has been a fabulous ongoing project – I have loved having a way to share with my grandma every single week. Especially when she fell and was going through some rough times earlier this year, focusing on creating cards for her really helped me to feel close.
And when we passed through St. Louis recently, it was awesome to get to sit with her and go through the book together.
If you have anyone in your life who isn’t online – I can not recommend PhotoCard enough. There are other good postcard generating apps out there, and I tried many of them, but this one sets the standard for elegance and simplicity that really blows me away.
TIP: If you want to recreate this project for someone you love, keep in mind that the cards PhotoCard sends are over-sized 8.25″ x 5.5″, not regular postcard size. We had to seek out an appropriately sized blank album for the cards. We found ours on the binder isle of an office supply store, along with packages of the 8.25″ x 5.5″ clear inserts. I also suggest numbering the postcards to make it easier to keep in order, or to discover if any end up lost in transit. So far 1 out of 25 has gone missing, but when I discovered this it was easy to resend.
Help keep the USPS in business and send a PhotoCard to someone you love today! *grin*