I remember as a kid receiving letters from my cousin who lived only a quarter of a mile down the road. It didn't matter that we would see each other on the bus every day; we would still write each other letters just because it was so much fun to receive mail.
Today, I watch this same excitement from my nine-year old daugther when she receives a letter in the mail from her Grandmother, or a card from a distant relative. It's the simple joy of communicating and knowing that someone was thinking of you in drafting the card or letter.
I worry that this means of communicating -- the written word on paper -- is slowly becoming lost in our world of Facebook, email, and to be fair, even blogging. I heard on the news the other day that the US Postmaster might stop delivering mail on Saturdays in an effort to cut costs. Is this just the beginning of the end of the need for a mailbox? After all, bills are now paid online and most newspapers have an online version.
The mailbox is also the area that represents our house number; it is the first object in our driveways, or it is attached to the outside of our homes. It is an extension of our house. Given all of this, why, then don't we have fancier mailboxes?