The Gift of the Blue Mail Box

We have not dwelt in this “neck of the woods” very long. However, when we first arrived, we learned of The Blue Mail Box.

decorated with love
Decorated with Love

The Blue Mail Box is an actual place, marked on some maps. People in many surrounding towns could drive you straight to it because they know exactly what you mean when you say, “The Blue Mail Box,” and they know exactly where it is.

Yes, The Blue Mail Box is an actual place you can drive to, but it is also a place in history, a place in the hearts of many local people. You see, it stands for so much more than mail, although it does include mail. It stands for trust, cooperation, and grit. It stands for love-thy-neighbor. It stands for “. . . the howdy and the handshake, the laughter and the tears, the dream that’s been . . . ”

Yes. The Blue Mail Box is a has-been. It still exists, but the lovely things it represents exist only in history, only in hearts, only in memories.

I am sure the first time The Blue Mail Box was vandalized, it brought shock or pain to its extended family of devotees.

Now days, it enjoys protection–it’s been vandalized that much–as a memento of an innocent age we wish we could resume.

But no mail.

Who would try, these days, what was common occurrence back then?

Who would allow all the mail from one community to be deposited in one box with no lock, to be sorted through by anyone who lived there? Who would trust a neighbor to bring him his mail, since he was going that way, anyway? Who would kindly take old Widow Smith her mail, then open and read it for her?

No one in his right mind, that’s who. Not now days. But The Blue Mail Box was all that and more, once upon a time. Friends who chanced to meet at The Blue Mail Box would linger and visit. Surely a few surreptitious meetings between lovers occurred there, too, under the guise of “collecting Mama’s mail”? Probably notes, without postage, sometimes waited inside The Blue Mail Box, for folks who did not have phones to communicate with their neighbors.

But those days are over.

Half of it is illegal, these days, anyway.

Now days, when someone hears of The Blue Mail Box for the first time, they greet it with laughter, as I did. But as we grow to know these people, we realize the love that stood behind all that trust with each other’s mail. Elderly ladies smile as they tell of hi-jinks from school days. They boast of good preachers from back then.  They dream, starry-eyed, of past Christmas plays, spelling bees, weddings . . .

The Blue Mail Box is the stuff of real life, and we all should have something similar stuffed somewhere in the backs of our memories, for it once was the American way.

But we have allowed “them” to steal it from us and it is gone, isn’t it.

Except for the box.

We’ve thrown aside the gift and we’re playing with the box . . .

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

9 thoughts on “The Gift of the Blue Mail Box

  1. Sweet! If only that could work! We would all be a lot happier: Connected, Social, not so isolated and mistrustful. Beautiful! xoxo melis

  2. I wish we could have a place like that these days. Unfortunately in a day where we hear of nothing but bad things and bad people, it would never work.

    1. Thank you, Catt, for this great observation! Maybe if we heard more about the good things that DO happen, and less about the bad ones, people would feel inspired to change. But that would not sell newspapers, would it!

  3. The “blue mail box,” is an inspiration to us all. It embodies the hopes that we all yearn for. It’s sad that someones would vandalize it. Through your post and the memories of those who were a part of it, it will always exist. Thank you for sharing a post that touches the heart and helps us remember of what is important in this life. Take care and wishing you a blessed day.

    1. Thanks, Traveler, and welcome to this site! Yes, I believe the people preserve the blue mailbox because of remembered hope and a sort of joy in well-being or something. The fact that they keep it painted and decorated for the seasons is part of being thankful, too, for past goodness, including love and trust. Thanks, again for your kind words and for the blessing!

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