Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Mailboxes. Mounted on a pipe, in a flower barrel, surrounded by a little brick house, lined up in a bank of other mailboxes needing a key.

When I was a child, I loved to walk the gravel lane to the mailbox. I'm not sure if it was the walk I liked or the anticipation of something special inside that white box that said 'Loxley'. Later I would have one of those boxes that requires a key. I always wanted a mail slot in the front door. Perhaps I got lazy over the years or maybe it was the 2' of snow outside of the door of our Wisconsin home.

My granddaughters are excited to check the mail. Gabby wants to rip the junk mail in half. Sydney likes to prove that she is tall enough and old enough to check the box. I still love to check it in hopes of a card, a letter, an unexpected check.

I didn't mail out my Christmas letter this year. Due to the cost of postage, I did an online letter for most people. In contrast, I received many cards from friends along with their family letter. I loved each and every one.

We are becoming correspondents via email, Facebook, etc. Written word is no longer in long hand with twists and flair. We don't wait days to hear from someone. News is instant. I'm not complaining. Oh, maybe I am. In my possession are letters that my grandparents wrote as well as those of my parents and sisters. I have a scrapbook full of old valentines from grade school and those cards and letters sent when my children were born.

Some emails I have saved over the years that pertain to important times in my children's lives as well as those from my parents and other relatives. The written word is all we have of our history. The increase in postage is taking away the once important days of sitting on the hill waiting to see the mailman arrived at the white box at the end of the lane. My grandchildren don't know the thrill of waiting for a letter from a family member. No, now they check their computers.

Guilty as I am for using email instead of writing, I long for those days when I found a letter from my mother in the mail or the days when my sisters wrote a note to me from college. I know that I will print off emails from my granddaughters as they grow into young women. I will cherish those notes from my sisters, my children. My hands don't work so well any more, but, by golly, I will still write those special letters that say "I love you."

Mailboxes. I think I'll go check mine.

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