Monday, March 9, 2009

You've got mail...

Please click to enlarge for better viewing.
We went for a little drive yesterday...and came across this mailbox. It is one I had never seen before. I like to find the unusual and I must say this one was.

I really enjoy email, and would be lost without it now. Yet there is nothing like a handwritten note or letter. I am not sure how many of you know that Neal and I come from a big family...there were 8 of us children. So by the time I could remember, three of my sisters had left home, and then another one left before I started school. If I remember correctly, I was in about 5th grade before we got a phone--it was a party line at that. (More about that later.) Anyway, even after we got the phone, we just did not make long distance calls. Money was too tight. So letters was our means of keeping in touch.

Anyway, the rural mail did not come to our area till later...so we had to get our mail at the post office. When we were in school that was fine since we passed right by it every weekday and could pick it up. But in the summer, a special trip had to be made....sometimes one of my brothers road their bike down to get it, others another brother would pick it up if he was down there. The post office was about a mile away...not far. If walking, we walked the railroad cause it was an even shorter distance.

It was almost like Christmas to get a letter from one of my sisters, or even Neal after he left home. If I picked one up after school, I flew up that railroad as fast as I could go. Soon as mom got it, she would take time from whatever she was doing and sit down and read it aloud to all of us that happened to be there, with all of us hanging on to her every word. Such joy that just a few written lines could bring.

I mentioned being on a party line...there were four of us families on it. I can remember who two of the others were, but I cannot remember the fourth. So maybe I am wrong and there were only three....but that is not important. What is important is this. One of my best friends was on it. I cannot remember the exact way we were able to call each other...if we called each other the way you normally do, we would get a busy signal. I know we dialed a number, not sure if it was the right phone number or some other number, and quick hung up our phone and let it ring, and then when we thought it was picked up by the other, then pick our own phone up.

You might ask was was special about that...there were 4 or 5 of us girls that had went through grade school together and we tended to stick together in high school. Well, if there was something we were working on in school, Becky and I might talk. We would hang up and she would call one of the other girls, I would give her time to get them called, and then I would pick up on my end and the three of us could talk. We were ahead of the time!

Even with the phone, some of us girls wrote letters back and forth...and I still really enjoy getting a letter. Even if it is typed, there is just something about holding it in my hand. Maybe somehow I am unconsciously thinking about the fact that my hand is holding something that a loved one's hand has held. Not sure. I just know I still enjoy getting a letter, but that does not happen often these days.

So I eagerly await Christmas cards, and the ones that have a note in them add something to the season. But do I write notes in the ones I send--no. It is usually a hectic time and I don't...though there are always one or two that I write in. People that I don't hear from except at Christmas. I hope it adds as much to their day as it does when I hear from someone.

9 comments:

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Nice post about hand-written letters and phone lines, Rose. Thanks for sharing your memories.

don said...

A great mailbox to find and shoot. I like your description of telephoning and writing. You were ahead of your time with your innovative connections! :-) Very interesting reading.

dot said...

Nice post about the "good ole days"! I remember!

Tricia said...

I'm the same way, I love getting a letter in the mail - It's so good to hear from a loved one & have that letter in my hand!
Now the party line, after I moved out of my parents & got a place of my own, there was still party lines around here! I remember having to wait for others to get off their phone so I could make a call! I didn't know the others on the party line, so we didn't have a chance to do what you guys did & talk to each other - but that would have been a lot of fun!!!

Unfortunately, Justin didn't stay all that long the other day when he brought Jilly by to see us, so I didn't get to take a whole lot of pics - but I still have a few that I haven't posted yet - but I will!!!

Tricia said...

I was watching the Weather Channel yesterday keeping an eye on the tornadoes & they said there were several that touched down in Ind - I hope you guys are ok & UNHARMED!!! That's the only thing I don't like about spring is the tornadoes!!!!

Daniel said...

Great post and thank you for sharing your memories.

John said...

This is a good catch.
Very original and odd mailbox stand.

Carletta said...

Love all that's going on with the mailbox. I'm assuming maybe that cut a hole in the front of the boot and it's a birdhouse - pretty cool idea.
I love 'snail mail' too. I don't get much except at holidays. I keep those letters and cards too.
Growing up we had a party line. No friends, just noisy neighbors. :)

Mary said...

I always enjoyed written letters,too, and yet I groan when I have to send one now. We have just let ourselves to be too busy to do something so old fashioned any more. I know my daughter would love to have me write, but I also know that she would not write me back. Maybe that is part of it. If I write someone, I want a letter back! My handwriting is horrible, so I would type whatever I sent :-) Love the mailbox photo and the memories about letters and phones. It was a different world.

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