The mailman stays busy this time of year, jumping out of his vehicle at almost every stop to fill the mailboxes with packages. (At our stop he stows over-sized packages in the no longer used pig pen at the left in the picture above.)
I think of long years ago -- when the mailman rode a horse or drove a wagon. And when, at this time of year, he might be delivering Christmas gifts from the Sears Roebuck Catalogue -- the 'wishbook.' His coming was eagerly anticipated, I'm sure.
When I was very young, I went through a stage of sending off for any free or very cheap offer, just for the pleasure of getting mail I still remember sending off a dime, taped to the order blank and receiving, weeks later, a slender little brown plastic-handled knife with a forked end for spearing pickles out of a jar. I was amazingly proud of that little prize -- which broke, I seem to recall, the first time it had to wrestle with an ornery gherkin.
I no longer order stuff just for the fun of getting mail But it's still a cheery sight to see the mailman or the full mailbox-- there's always that somewhat irrational hope that today's mail will bring something wonderful -- a card from a old friend, an un-looked for check, a mysterious letter saying that one is the recipient of a legacy from a long lost uncle...
Or not. But I still haven't outgrown that tingle of anticipation.