I’ve always been a mail addict. As soon I learned to write, my mom encouraged me to send letters to my cousins and thank-you notes to my grandparents. There was a show on Saturday morning television in the mid-1970s called Big Blue Marble—a magazine-style show that profiled kids from all over the world and offered a pen-pal matchmaking service. I exchanged letters with kids from Iowa, California, Germany, and even Sri Lanka well into high school. When my husband proposed marriage, he incorporated our mailbox in a series of scavenger-hunt clues that led me to him.
When we moved to the Columbia River Gorge, I thought my dreams were finally coming true—I’d always wanted to walk down the driveway to a mailbox on the road. I was disappointed when we ended up having to get a post office box in town. Driving six miles to get my mail was not part of my country fantasy.
Our new house finally fits the bill! The mailbox is not at the end of the driveway but at a collection point not far from the house, where our box and those of our nearest neighbors are lined up.
One of the first orders of business upon my arrival was to figure out when the mail is delivered, and by whom, at our new home. We are four miles outside of Enterprise, so I figured it wouldn’t be super early. But then again, maybe the mailperson drove out to the edge of town and then worked his or her way back in? The suspense was killing me.
There was a bunch of mail waiting for us the day we drove the big moving truck out to Enterprise—hooray! I was happy to know the forwarding thing was happening. The next day, I checked the mail at about 10. Nothing. I went back at lunch. Nope. Then, I got busy with some projects and didn’t check again until after 5.
My desk is at a window that looks out over the road, so the next day I watched for a mail truck. We’re at the end of said road, so anyone up here is either a neighbor or a utility worker. I knew that few mail carriers use those USPS-issued jeeps anymore; they mostly throw a magnetized decal on the side of their own vehicle. Any time a truck came up my road, I watched. I was fooled a couple times by a truck with a county or utility logo.
Finally, I saw my truck, a gray SUV. I ran to the other side of the house in time to confirm through the window—the driver filled the boxes, turned around and started back down the hill. I haven’t been out there yet to meet her, but I will. Because now I know who I’m looking for!