Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You've Got Mail

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.

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