What’s in the mailbox?
Every time I exit Rockefeller State Park, I admire the residential-style mailbox at the edge of the highway. What kind of mail does a state park get? And whose job is it to check it?
My house didn’t have a mailbox when I was little. Instead, we drove to the post office three towns over and collected our mail from a drawer. Thus, as a child, my address was “Drawer WW.” I didn’t like this one bit.
Around age 10, a mailbox was installed at the end of our long, windy driveway. I couldn’t have been more excited. I’d run down the driveway at full speed, braving the treacherous crowds of inchworms that hung from the trees. Then I’d pop in my letter, raise the red flag, and run back as fast as possible, brushing the creepy worms from my shirt once I reached. What a thrill.
Most of my letters were a test to see if the mail system worked. I sent them to my friends who took mailboxes for granted. Then I’d ask them to send me back a letter. A few begrudgingly acquiesced. Most thought I was nuts.
Back when I was traveling, I’d send postcards from every destination. I loved visiting the local post office to select my stamps. And I loved the way the pen felt on the smooth surface of the cards — especially if the pen had a fine point. But I adored the act of affixing the stamps to the cards. Sometimes I’d write all the cards first and leave the stamps for the end. Sometimes I’d place the stamps before I started writing. These days, I don’t travel so I don’t do either.
If I ever get a house, I would like a mailbox and a small correspondence desk where I will sit and write letters to post. No need to reserve this only for travel. My desk will also have an antique banker’s lamp like the ones in the Rose Room at the New York Public Library. And one small clear vase with one flower.
For now while I wait, I will continue to wonder what’s in the mailbox at the park.
Thanks for reading! If you liked this post about the mailbox, you might like this one about an interactive caterpillar I met on a trail last year.