Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Memories--The Mailbox

We inherited our 3459 mailbox ten years ago. Then it still had one nail that held it to the post, which has since rusted so the mailbox now sits precariously free. When the kids have asked me what I want for Mother’s Day or Christmas I often say, “Someone to nail the mailbox back down again.” But no one thought it a gift worth giving, partly because it is handy to have a free roaming mailbox. If we don’t pull the car close enough to reach the letters in the back of the box, we just tip the box till they all slide out.

This weekend our kind neighbors bought, addressed, named and bolted two new mailboxes to a hand-crafted and painted metal frame. Just like that: one for them, one for us. It now appears that real people live at the end of the lane rather than homesteader corpses.

Here are a few memories of our old mailbox:

-The first letter. We had just moved here and dozens of friends from Idaho signed and sent a sunflower card saying we were missed

-All of Cali’s free samples that she signs up for: shampoo, diaper, prescription strength deodorant, Kashi bar, Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, laundry detergent

-The monthly J. Crew, Land’s End, Chadwick’s and Oriental Trading post catalogues

-A hundred or more graduation announcements from former students

-A couple hundred wedding announcements from friends, family and former students

-Abe’s letter calling him to serve in the Philippines’ Mission

-An anonymous letter with $200 saying we were being thought of (pretty hard to forget that one)

-Notes from the postmistress saying, “additional postage required” and letter-carrier envelopes with change and stamps

-Thank you cards

-Spiders. Hundreds of black fuzzy ones finding refuge

-Voting ballots

-The kids’ college acceptance letters: Cali: Brigham Young University—Provo, Brigham Young University—Hawaii, Washington State University—Nursing Program, Abe: United States Military Academy at West Point, Ty: United States Air Force Academy, Ande: Brigham Young University—Idaho

-Random good mail including labels and tags, stationery, button covers, bunny pattern, Halloween socks, recipes and good wishes

-Birthday gifts from my sisters. I am lucky to have the best. I got this funny card from one a few months ago

Seldom are the moments so fun and lighthearted as when the family gets together.

Who knows what our new mailbox will deliver.


Amy said...

I think a mailbox is a magical thing..and I dream of the day when I won't live in a neighborhood that has a group of little grey keyed boxes on the corner...not quite so magical as one standing sentinel at the front of one's own home.

I love your memories of the life that your mailbox has seen.

Carolyn said...

I have always wanted to have one of those neat mailboxes...the kind that looks like a cow or a pig or a fish. I'm not sure what mine will look like someday, but it will be cute like that! I hope I will have good memories of my cute mailbox, too!

michelle said...

Oh Jane, please never stop posting your reminiscences! I love them so.

Barb said...

That is a great way to capture a bunch of memories that would otherwise seem random. Are you going to leave up the old one for old time's sake?

lelly said...

this brought a huge smile. oh, how i want to write a post like this for all of my *former* mailboxes...

melanie said...

We used to sign people up randomly for free samples when we were in college. Is that when Cali learned that it was so fun? The one that cracked us up over and over was sending a Depends sample. We did it at least a couple dozen times. I'm sure I wont think it's that funny in another 50 years, ha!

I agree with Michelle, never stop posting like this. You are one fabulous blogger!

Ande Payne said...

OH NO!!! I loved our mail box! Minus the spiders...didn't like those. Our new mail box is beautiful though. Lets keep our old one for sentimental value. I just love your blog. You are the best writer.

Becky said...

What great memories! It certainly makes me want to send something fun for your new mailbox :)

hennchix said...

I'm with Ande, Michelle, and Melanie; You are a great blogger. I love your memories.!

HeatherM said...

Great post Jane - you've got me smiling. I have never thought of the small and large blessings of the mail, but you can bet I will as I drive up to my mailbox today. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I can't say I have ever really thought of the memories my mailbox holds- this is such a wonderful post! Thanks Jane.