Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA

I am about to send this card to my neighbor to thank her for giving us a few dozen tulip bulbs. When I look out the window to my left, I can see her house. I could hand-deliver it, but instead I’m going to spend the 35 cents and send it on a multi-day journey. It will get put on the morning ferry, driven to a local post office, then routed to the regional processing plant. An optical scanner will read the address – I tend to print in all capital letters, so I think the scanners can handle my penmanship – and print a bar code across the bottom. This often makes the last line of text unreadable, which is why I try to avoid using black ink. I could always leave some space at the bottom of the postcard, but I tend to use all the space I have. The postcard will then get sent back to the local post office, with the zip code flagging it for island delivery. It will go on the morning mail boat, get picked up at the dock, and delivered to the room with all the island post office boxes. My neighbor will have to pass my house in order to pick it up. All so vastly inefficient!

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