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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You've Got Mail

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photo from flickr.com

I have always loved getting mail. One of my earliest memories is of a card I got in the mail for my 2nd birthday. It was from my Grandma and Grandpa Royce and it included a dollar bill with a note telling me that I should have daddy take me to buy any kind of ice cream that I wanted. I'm not sure if this was the beginning of my love affair with mail but there are many times since that I have waited longingly for the mail to arrive.

When I was a teenager it always made my day to receive letters from my cousin in Sacramento or my friends in Washington or Montana. To increase my chances of receiving mail I wrote numerous letters to others in hopes that they would be reciprocated. Each letter I have ever sent has felt like a gift - a part of myself. Each envelope contained news of my life, my thoughts, feelings and ideas - on paper which I meticulously decorated with a treasured set of markers stored in a bright yellow box. As I would add the stamp to each letter and send it off from the blue mailbox on the corner there was a sense of excitement in knowing that a small part of myself would be traveling to these places so many miles away... and receiving a letter was always equally as thrilling.

The only thing that can even compare to the happiness of receiving a letter is the thrill of receiving a package. Can any words adequately describe the happy tummy-tickling feeling you get when a package arrives with your name on it?

I didn't think so.

When I receive a box or padded envelope in my mailbox or on my doorstep I can hardly contain myself - I am enveloped in that feeling of a child on Christmas morning and have to resist the urge to immediately tear into it and discover what treasure it contains. The best sort of package is the kind that arrives, unexpected, from a friend. It is like receiving a little piece of heaven at your door to discover that someone has not only been thinking of you but that they acted on it by putting together a package for you - just because.

Heaven, I say.

Not only do I get mail from the mailbox in my front yard these days, I have another mailbox I can check more often - the one on my computer. Because times have changed it is much more likely now that I will receive a treasured letter in my email inbox than one packaged in an envelope with a stamp in the corner. I often become excited when any length of time has passed since I have checked my email - simply the anticipation that there could be a message waiting there for me is exciting. I log in, watch as the computer uploads my information and quickly scan through my inbox for the treasures among the junk. When I see a friend's name on the left side of my screen, I play something of a game with myself. I make myself weed through all of the other mail first and then reward myself with the words of a dear friend when my task is complete.

Regardless of how it gets here or what form it takes, mail is something that always has - and always will - make me smile.

I. Love. Mail.


Rachel said...

The theme for 4P's this year is mail. So put on your glasses so you can read it, otherwise you'll be missing out......and you'll look funny. :)

My sentiments exactly Gerb! I couldn't have said this any better which is no surprise as eloquence and the written word is not my forte but relate to this I can and do. So funny. I do the exact same thing with my e-mail. Wade through the junk and savor the good stuff at the last.

I'm as guilty as anyone as I do not write letters anymore in the form of snail mail but I sure do like receiving mail in the mail box at the end of my driveway. I think that is why I like Christmas cards so much. I wait an entire year for something to come in the mail in the form of a letter or card......the rest of the year......bills. And yet knowing that for 11 months out of the year all I will find in the box is bills and trash I STILL go running out to the mailbox after the mailman has driven by because you never know....just maybe.....there might be that which you just spoke of....!!!

Gerb said...

Rachel- I found a website that alerts me to free stuff I can sign up for online. Sometimes I sign up for something I don't even want just so I can get it in the mail. Does that classify me as a mail-addict?

Rachel said...

Gerb, LOL! No, it classifies you as charitable.

GaeLynn said...

You'll love mail even more when you have a missionary! :)

Gerb said...

GaeLynn- I'm totally not ready for that. But I'll probably have a tent pitched next to the mailbox... or be clicking 'refresh' in my inbox 24/7. Do I really have less than 3 years before that happens? Whoa.

Teachinfourth said...

I have to profess that I love to get a friendly letter in the mail every now and again myself...

birdeeb said...

I have a friend I have known for over 20 years and when I moved from MT to WA she wrote to me even though I was SO bad at returning letters to her from me. I started to get better and we are still the best of friends! I think if she hadn't written to me we may have lost touch. AND later in life she wrote me an email letting me know her husband burned her journals...ALL OF THEM! I let her know I kept EVERY single letter she has written to me and when she came to visit she went and copied it and made herself a new journal. It was from Jr High until recent. Letters are to be treasured and it is so great to get letters in the mail! I do the same with my email...I delete the junk and then I read the friend mail. Oh and when I was really little my parents put my name on the Aplets & Cotlets mailings and so it came to me haha~ LOVED IT! Also loved those Publisher Clearing House mailings! Of course I would fill out mailings for the "Free" stuff and when my parents got a lot of "Harliquin Romance" novels they put an end to the mailing in of things haha! We got 2 beautiful crystal cups though haha!

birdeeb said...

Oh and I used to write the missionaries when I was in the singles ward...when I had a lot of friends out on their missions! 7 at a time!!! I felt the blessings and when I got their letters their testimonies helped strengthen mine! I kept every letter I got and maybe someday I will copy them and return them to the friends.

Also I have sent random letters to people that I see at church and let them know I appreciated their comments in church or let them know the things I appreciated about them. One lady I was always kind of afraid of and she started talking to me one day and after that she always said hi to me and told me she appreciated me being there etc...well I wrote her a letter letting her know that I appreciated her and that she was like a mom to me since my mom was so far away. A week later I got a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered to my home! My husband asked me what that was all about and I said, "it was all because of a letter I wrote!"

Lori said...

I love mail, too.

Is this a hint, hint for your Christmas card? It's coming....I just got my hard drive from my old computer that I slew (er...slayed?...kilt. There we go. I kilt it. Dead.)

Lori said...

And I just realized that that commment made absolutely no sense. I was waiting on my hard drive because it had my list from last year with everyone's address. And yes, I realize that your address was not on that list, but me likey to do these things all at once.

Gerb said...

T5- Don't we all?

birdee- I have saved almost every letter I have received, too. I'll admit that I went through and threw out about 2 shoeboxes worth at one point but they are quite a treasure. I had letters from my friend that detailed her life with her boyfriend who is now her husband. I gave her those a few years back and they are a treasure. I also love that you write letters to people at church letting them know what you appreciate. I think the world would be a happier place if we all did things like that.

Oh, and thanks for commenting!

Lori- I'm glad I didn't have to just come right out and say it. Thanks for being perceptive. ;)

Richard & Natalie said...

I love to get mail also and packages are THEE best. That's one reason why I love to shop online; I may know what's coming in that package, but it is still a surprise because I haven't seen it in "real life" yet. I'm a nut job, I know.

Gerb said...

Natalie- If that describes a nut job then I'll be your roommate at the funny farm!

Gina said...

You are a crazy addict. That's what I love about you. Maybe that is what draws me to you too. I am the same about getting mail (though I don't check my actual mailbox nearly ever...it is a block away and I don't take the kids down there too often, I wait for my hubby to bring it home). But, I am exactly the same about my e-mail. Hopeful after some time has passed, sort through the other e-mails first, reward myself with the friend ones. I think I do that with food too. I save the best tasting for the last. That must be an trait you either have or don't. My husband doesn't. He is not crazed about any of this. In fact, he would eat his dessert first. How is that for wrong?

Farscaper said...

Before I became married I LOVED mail as you have described. Now.. I HATE mail. It's always not only a bill but typically a late notice or something will be shut off soon noitce or a lawsuit about some unpaid medical bill. I DREAD the dumb mail box... Wish I could bury it so we didn't have to get any more bad news.

Now the UPS or FedEX trucks... those get me really excited. Wish they could stop by more often.

Corine said...

I LOVE MAIL! I have to say, I thought I loved it more than anyone else on the planet!!! MAYBE I WAS WRONG? LOL - Love the post... :)

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