Mailboxes and mail carriers and snow

We don’t get snow like this where I live now, but we did in the northeast U.S.A. where I grew up. This meme (below) shows thoughtfulness for the mail man!

With these curbside mailboxes, the mail man drives and can put the mail in the box from his driver’s seat. Where I live now (southeast), this type of mailbox – at the curb/street – is very common, even in town, in residential neighborhoods with many houses. Where I grew up, this type of mailbox you saw mostly in rural areas. In town, the mailboxes were attached to your house – either on the front porch or your front door had a mail slot – and thus the mail man walked from house to house carrying a bag of mail.

* P.S. I suppose calling this person the “mail man” is outdated, but it is still what comes to mind. Other options would be: mail carrier, postal carrier, mail woman, mail man, etc.

When I visited Finland, I got to see a mail woman that delivered the mail via bicycle. See here.

The mail?? The post??

I just realized that November is the 4 year anniversary of when I began this blog. I don’t always blog consistently, but I plan to keep at it! Here is a post (slightly edited) that was originally on the blog in December 2017…

The mail? The post?

I recently told someone that I would send them an item by post. They did not know what this meant! “What is post?” Uh, by mail – the postal service. Then they felt a little dumb. haha.

But really, they should not have felt dumb about it. I tend to use the word post, and I recently realized this is more of a British or European term. Somewhere along the line I picked this up, even though I am American. Perhaps for several reasons: I had a great deal of Canadian influence in my youth. I appreciate certain classic British novels and movies. I’ve long had international pen friends (and international students live with me) that typically write and speak British English.

If you look up the word post in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, there are several definitions, but one is this: “chiefly British, a nation’s organization for handling mail.”

The online free dictionary similarly says for post:

1. Chiefly British
a. a single dispatch or delivery of mail.
b. the mail itself.
c. an established mail system or service.

I sometimes sign my letters “Your friend by post and pen.” You’ll note that this blog is called Postman’s Treasure, rather than Mailman’s Treasure.

However, I am a blend of American and British English when it comes to the post or mail, and may even be inconsistent with my word use. When it comes to my home mail box, I use the word mail. It is the mailbox, not postbox. Do you say that you will “post a letter” or “mail a letter”? Most Americans, in my experience, say mail. I also say mail a letter; somehow post a letter sounds strange to me!

In the U.S.A. we do call it the POST office. It is the USPS: the United States Postal Service. So why is it that we are more likely to use the word mail instead of post…we mail letters, check the mailbox, look for the mailman, and mail packages. Hmmm?

Checking the mailbox…again!

A few years ago a pen pal clipped this cartoon and sent it to me. You should be able to click on it to enlarge it. It is soooo me!! Yes, I admit, I have been known to check the mailbox more than once a day.

No mail today? It can’t be! I’ll check again.

We had a letter carrier for a while who would neglect to get some of your mail in your box the first time, and she would come a second time, shortly thereafter, with it. So, hey, there may be legitimate reasons to check the box twice! You never know!

** Postman’s Treasure is a free wordpress blog, and because it is free, you may see ads. Sorry about that, and please know that I do not have any control over the ads you see. **

Mail delivery times…

I am inconsistent with posting on this blog, but my readership is small anyways. While not a pen pal post exactly, I saw this interesting “Lost Letter Experiment” on another blog. Take a look! I was very impressed that 80% were received.

Some thoughts on mail delivery times. A few years ago I was noting how long it took letters I mailed to get to western Europe and California. I live on the east coast of the USA, in South Carolina. Then, my letters typically got to Europe in 4 days and took 6-7 days to get to California. Hmm.

Recently I have noted mail delivery times to California have improved, and get there in 3-5 days. Yeah for faster coast to coast delivery times. I have not noted the Europe delivery time – need to do so.

Observations about odd mail delivery timing…Someone in California recently mailed me postcards or letters several days apart (for example, on October 1st, 3rd, and 4th) and I received ALL of them on the same day in my mailbox! What’s up with that?
Also recently, someone in North Carolina mailed me letters 2 days apart, and I got both the same day. This person knows I love mail, and purposely mailed a couple days apart so I would get mail on 2 separate days. It did not work! haha. Regardless, I appreciated the mail.


For the love of…postage stamps!

I’ve been inconsistent with this blog, but I don’t have much readership anyways. Just some postage stamp rambles this post…

A friend of mine likes to hand make cards that she sends to immediate family. Other than this, she has not been an active user of the postal system and she has never been a “pen pal.”  I mailed her a couple notes where I specially chose a postage stamp to coordinate with the theme of my card/envelope design. Then she was at my house and I showed her my selection of postage stamps. She had no idea that such a variety of stamps were available! She has always walked in the post office and just said “give me a book of stamps” – which tends to be more boring stamps.

However, I also have pen pals who mostly only get the standard book of stamps, rather than getting the various sheets that are available at any given time. These vary from scenery to art to animals to cartoon characters to cars. Finally, the USPS has gotten more creative and recently there have been iridescent and scratch-n-sniff stamps! The selection changes as new stamps are released. I dislike the typically boring standard book of stamps, and like to have a variety of sheets of stamps from which to make a selection.

My local (nearest to my house) post office is TERRIBLE with their stamp selection. I have politely complained, to no avail. A couple USPS sub-stations (not a full post office but a mini station for mailing) have more stamps available than them!! The next two nearest post offices from my house always have a great selection.They have a big binder with clear sheets in it, and each clear sheet has a different available stamp sheet in it. Why mine does not, is a mystery to me. AND at my post office, if you ask to see the stamps available, the response is mild annoyance. Umm, this is a post office, right? They just want you to accept the standard book of stamps, even if they have other stamps available – although a limited selection. They have no binder, and to find available stamps they have to look in multiple spots/drawers to get them. Sorry to have inconvenienced you because I want stamps at the post office! Ahem.

Due to this, and not wanting to drive out of my way to other post offices, I have been mail ordering my stamps from USPS online for quite some time. It is way easier and less stressful – than being annoyed by my post office or driving to another one.

I have a pretty rectangle shaped glass plate that I keep on my desk, and on it I place the sheets of stamp I have on hand. Recently I got the jack-o-lantern ones, thinking ahead, for autumn and Halloween time. I plan to make some pumpkin theme cards.