Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Going to the Mail Box....

Going to the mail box has always been a big deal for a farm family. I remember the joy of walking to the Goreville mailbox as a child when we spent summers at Mount Airy Farm. Dust would splash up from the road on my bare feet and as high as my knees as I walked the long lane to await our mail carrier D.P. Jones. It was fun to plop and see how high I could make the dust rise.

If he had not already deposited the mail and gone on, there would be a friendly word or two from Mr. Jones. It was a very good break in the day. In addition to the newspaper, sometimes there were letters from my mother’s sisters or from my girl friend Bobbie Jo. Occasionally there were books that Daddy ordered from the state library system for us to read.

Later as a farm wife, I enjoyed getting long letters from former classmates or friends from other places we'd lived. When our kids went off to college and careers, I would look forward to their letters and photos of their new experiences. Now, however, they write us emails. That is good. But it diminishes the importance of the mailbox. With people writing fewer and fewer personal letters these days, it is nice to have a reason to check the mail for something other than bills and junk mail.

One of the good things about being a writer is that you have a reason to look forward to receiving mail. If you have sent out a manuscript, there is always the possibility that the post person will bring you an acceptance. Of course, too often what is brought is one more rejection letter. But the heart always hopes for good news. And the excitement of that daily drama of what the mail will bring is definitely a pleasant plus in the isolated life of writer.

Because Gerald has been serving as treasurer for our college-era Baptist Student Union group, we have been getting lots of letters back saying that people are coming or can’t come to our annual reunion that Helen Gallaway plans for us. That too has been a reason to check the mail box.

Tomorrow evening we will all gather for soup at Herrin First Baptist Church and reminisce and laugh at our college memories as well as laugh at Helen’s rapid repartee. Friends will be coming home with us to spend the night, and we’ll catch up on what is happening in their lives. Then we will go back to Herrin on Friday for more fun and fellowship, beautiful music, worship, and finally after a noon banquet, the sad farewells.

Fortunately, Christmas is coming, and our mailbox will soon be filled once again with greetings from those same old-time friends and many others. And who knows, there might even be a $20 check for a manuscript someday!

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