Informed Delivery image from the USPS
Mail National Letter Writing Month

Informed Delivery

The thing about life is that things “pop up.” Things happen without any warning.

You could be going about your day and something like a power outage from New York to Michigan could disrupt all of your plans. Or, you could walk into a restaurant and find all of your friends waiting to surprise you on your birthday.

People die suddenly. Babies are born when they are ready. Anxiety creeps up on random days.

And for me, mail showed up when I least expected it.

Every day, we’d get home from school and work and I’d hope the kids would forget about getting the mail so I could walk to the mailbox and see what surprises had come. Most days, it was nothing cool, but sometimes a random card or package would be in the box. Sometimes from a friend or pen pal. Sometimes expected, sometimes unexpected. Always refreshing.

At our old house, our dog enjoyed our regular walks to the mailbox.

Then we moved. When I changed our address, the US Postal Service encouraged me to sign up for Informed Delivery.

Every day, I receive an email from USPS with a scan of pretty much all of the mail that will be arriving in my mailbox the next time the delivery truck rolls by. This includes packages delivered by USPS.

I can see how this service can be helpful. It’s been nice to know when checks are coming in for freelance work. It’s been nice to know when packages are being delivered, especially since we now live on a busier road and porch thieves are real.

But it takes all the mystery out of the mail! Gone are the days when I wonder when magic the mailbox will hold on that particular day. I just get disappointed by the junk mail and the bills and statements that arrive.

I’ve written about my love affair with mail multiple times. I can specifically remember when I would walk to mailbox each morning after my first daughter was born. It was a little walk. I’d leave her with my husband and get out of the house for a few minutes by myself. Fresh air. A little walk. Peace. And mail.

Admittedly, lately, not as much mail has been going out. I’m working on that. Maybe if more unexpected mail goes out, more unexpected mail will come in. Plus, National Letter Writing Month is coming up, so that will mean 30 outgoing letters to 30 different people.

This morning, I sent about four emails. It takes very little time and costs no money. But think about regular mail. For the cost of a tiny little stamp, my letter goes from here to Portland. Imagine what it encounters along the way!

Letters are a dying art form, but it my world, long live the letter and bring on the mail!

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