It has been a constant in my life, always there, always waiting….
I wonder how many miles I’ve walked…to the mailbox and back.
6 days a week, 52 weeks every year for so many years. I’m not sure how old I was when I started watching for the mailman, with such anticipation, wondering what he would bring that day. My first memory is of The Little Golden Books, then the Funny Books (My brothers and I loved Donald Duck) they came once a month, like clock work. We raced to the mailbox…the fastest one got to read it first.
Mom let me join a book club when I was 11 or 12! Every month I got a new book…I still treasure those stories (Ride Like An Indian, David and the Phoenix) …they wait patiently in my bookcase for some other kid to treasure them.
And the local weekly newspaper, the only way we knew what was happening in town, 25 miles away. And letters - oh how I loved to write them, then run to the mailbox and pop up that little red flag! And I treasured the letters from PenPals, aunts and uncles. My parents didn’t have a phone until years after I was married and gone from home and we didn’t have TV so that mailbox was our main connection to the outside world. I still have some of the letters…the one telling us that my aunt had passed away all the way down in Louisiana, and the ones from my Wyoming uncle…return address, Dwyer, Wyoming…which would one day be my address! Every few days during my 4 years of college I wrote home and mom saved all those letters, sometimes 5 or 6 pages on college rule notebook paper! A few nights ago I read some of them to my granddaughters! Of course I skimmed through them first, before I read them out loud!
This mailbox, on the Southern Colorado Plains where I grew up, is just a decoration now…waiting, always waiting….the fancy new fangled boxes are at the highway, 10 miles closer to town. The mail only comes 3 times a week and you better not forget your key or you won’t know what’s locked up in that cubby hole with no personality until you make another trip to town.
I wonder how much longer we will have rural mail delivery. I’m grateful, I still have a mailbox and I walk to it 6 days a week…rain or shine, snow or ice, even wind…I just HAVE to know what the mailman stuck in there!