This week I closed my post office box at Union Station after almost 10 years. When I handed over my key to the postal worker I got a little verklempt. Union Station is beautiful and it always felt like such an adventure to go to the train station to get my mail. When I worked at Hallmark, I could walk over to Union Station a couple days a week during my lunch break and pick up my mail (and maybe a coffee from Parisi) or wander through Crown Center on my way back and visit my pal Katie at The Pen Place.
However, since leaving Hallmark almost two years ago and the start of the pandemic, getting all the way to downtown was more challenging than romantic. And I’ve certainly not been inclined to stop for a leisurely coffee or chat with anyone.
Bob has driven out of his way to pick up my mail after work for almost a year to pick up letters and packages. Especially since I am now working full-time, having packages or mail sitting on the doorstep for hours is not ideal. I knew it was time to make a change.
There is a post office just a mile or so from our house so I have set up a new home for letters.
I like having a box for my mail. I don’t have to worry about mail, magazines or packages getting wet in the rain since my front step is completely exposed to the elements. The post office offers a parcel box so if I receive large items, they leave a key in my box to access the larger parcel bin. This means packages don’t sit on the doorstep getting wet, frozen or enticing random vandals (though that’s not as big a concern). Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue to make an adventure out of collecting my mail, especially when it gets warmer and I can ride my bike over to collect my mail.
If you would like to send a PO Box-warming post card or letter, I would be delighted to receive one and will do my best to reply.
My new box is:
PO Box 8811
Kansas City MO 64114
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I also love having a P. O. Box! I’ve had the same one here in Portland for twenty years this year. I’m lucky that it’s in a central location that’s not more than a few miles from when I live. Over the past couple years I thought about switching it to the closer post office since I feel like I’ll be in this house for a long time. But I haven’t, partly because of the hassle of changing addresses, and party because the distance (about four miles, one way) is a good excuse for a bike ride, a bike ride where I get to ride through a beautiful park for a bit.
It was a tough decision to give up my box but it was also closing a chapter on a part of my life that is over. I like knowing I’ll have new postal adventures. And now, my box is close enough to ride my bike when the weather warms up a little.
A P.O. Box-warming letter is coming your way. While moving your box makes top-notch good sense, I understand why yo got verklempt ver leaving your former box behind. Not only has it served you well and been part of the pattern of a long stretch of. your life, there's also the lost romance of the train station location. I feel as if there's a story there that you should write about the box and what it's seen and the people who used the box and what the box thought about the trains and the contrast between the box that stays in place and has the world come to it through the mail it receives and the trains that run through the station and out into the world. I could see the story being either a children's picture book or the anchor for an adult novel. Maybe you could get Johnny Gamber to publish a short version in _The Pen Post_.
It is a bittersweet moment.
Thanks, Ruth! I will suggest it to Johnny. PS: I liked your article in the last issue I got!
The one I still use in Portland is twenty years old this year. I’m fortunate that it’s in a convenient place that’s just a few miles from where I live. I’ve considered transferring it to a nearby post office in recent years since I believe I’ll be in this home for a long time.