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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Box of Doom

It has been a time of assault by mail. The box at the end of the road (maybe the beginning of the road?) is fraught with danger and I hold the key. I did not always fear the mailbox. I used to go to it in eager anticipation.

As much as I love my laptop- and I do, I wonder if anyone else remembers getting a letter delivered? One of the worse side effects of the electronic communication age, is the loss of the letter. Receiving a long, newsy letter written by the hand of your beloved was a tangible and archival gift of time. I used to enjoy writing to my far flung friends and relatives. Most of the time, it generated a phone call in return and a chatty visit. I have a few of my favorite letters stashed away from some of my loved ones. There is something powerful in their handwriting that connects me to them personally. Dad had the left hand slant and his writing was laborious and beautiful. Taught to him in school by a rigid taskmaster, he never enjoyed writing longhand. So, if you received a letter from him, it was a rare treat.

My mother had a fluid and lovely hand. Very easy to read, direct and clear. She never wrote much, short and to the point. When I see the writing of my grandmothers and other dear ones that have passed away- it is amazing how strongly I feel their presence. Those letters all took flight during the pre-computer era. It was also prior to junk mail, mass mail and mail marketers.

Nowadays, I dread the trip to the mail box. I miss my mailman. We always had a friendly rapport. It was a comfort that around the same time everyday, the same person checked in with you and your life. The mailman knew a lot about you and that was okay with me!

There are no more letters in the box. I did receive a rare one in January from my MI friend Kay and it is a treasured treat that I have tucked away. Mostly, I find letters form creditors and lawyers. Evan's school and my school send notices and announcements. I learn about things that take me by surprise and leave me avoiding the dreaded box. This past week was especially laden with news I hate to get.

I totally understand wanting to shop and have things arrive that make you happy. I get the whole online shopping thing. So, sometimes I buy a skein of yarn and have it sent. I still love to get knitting magazines and look forward to cards and the occasional photo. Photos are also going the way of the letter. All digital and the reason I am on Facebook- it is where we share our family photos.

As I ramble away, I need to go to the post office. I sell books on Amazon to bring in a little cash and one sold today. I have to go put it in the post and brighten someones day! Hope you get some good news soon.

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