Monday, June 15, 2009

A mailbox experience...

I opened my mailbox and shook my head in wonder.

"Snail Mail"!!!!....the thing of the past...was in my mailbox. A hand addressed envelope and by the feel of it, was a letter.

Perhaps it was just a time warp and I'd wake up in the 1960's, the age when writing letters by hand was still done. The age when 'spell check' and 'grammar check' did not exist, the age when you wrote by hand~~~and did it
so that the recipient could actually read what was written.

I can recall when my sister and I would wait for the rural mailman to deliver. It was one of the most significant events of the day in my grandparent's life. Of course, it was a big honor to get the mail for Grandma and Grandpa.
Back then the mail was not known for its volume of 'junk'.
If a letter came in the mail, it was akin to receiving a gift of sorts. The letter would carry news from far off, details of someone else's life.

We'd walk our ride our bicycles to the end of the driveway and drop the kickstands. Barefoot, we'd pad across the gravel road, or later on, the searing hot blacktop and gather the mail.

Of course we'd look both ways and sometimes we'd stand perfectly still listening for any sounds of traffic. Most of the time we were rewarded by the songs of meadowlarks and purple martins.

But this isn't the 60's and I wasn't in a dream. I was standing next to my mailbox at 1 AM in the morning. My car was idling the drivers door open...[I'd just driven home from a night shift]...its headlights pointing off into the dark.

Above me the stars are bright and to the east and orange 3/4 moon is rising.

I turn the letter over in my hands and smile. It is from a friend in California...far and away. A real honest to goodness letter by its feel. Not an e-mail and not a text message or voice mail.

I smile again and do a little happy dance as I slide the envelope into my uniform pocket. The coyotes bark in the distance as I shut my car door and head into my 'valley'.
I'll save this treat for the morning to read with my coffee.

Anticipation makes my fingers trace the edges of the envelope in my pocket.

But my surprise 'Snail Mail' will have to wait.

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