Anne Noonan still loves to go to her mailbox (that old-fashioned thing outside the front door). About once a month for decades, Anne has found the latest reason buried within shopping circulars and bills. She grabs it up like a Christmas gift, reads it and laughs, then adds it to a heaping pile in a basket in her sunny living room. It's another postcard from Lisa Grant, her friend since the women were 3 years old, living one block apart in St. Peter, Minn.
"I have a cache of her history," Anne says, "cards that tell tales from her semester abroad in college, trip postcards, work postcards with deadpan one-liners that can only come from someone who knows you so well there's no need for a smiley face."
Anne and Lisa, both 41, attended the same grade school and high school and performed together in plays and piano recitals. One botched duet, they recall, sent them into uncontrollable giggles. They moved to Minneapolis
after college and were bridesmaids at each other's weddings. They still laugh when they get together but "face time" is harder these days.
Anne, of Orono, is a copywriter with Target Corp. Lisa, of Minneapolis, is director of clinical research for a medical device company and mom to a young son. While Anne sends postcards on occasion, Lisa, who travels frequently, is the duo's postcard pundit.
Anne's basket holds kitsch and beefcake, shots of serene sunsets and small-town Main Streets, glimpses of Vietnam, Scotland and India. There's a cowboy riding a gigantic rabbit, and Elvis, too. One features a soaring airplane.
"I'm sorry," Lisa wrote. "I never made it out of the airport."
Anne cherishes every one. "They're a delight," Anne says. "That personal mail ... there's nothing like it."