Going Postal

I don’t know anything about him, but he knows quite a bit about me. He knows my name and address. He knows I love food, I’m a current events junkie and tennis and trail running are my thing. He probably figures I like traveling around the West. He may also have picked up that I have a spiritual side. … at least a pop spiritual side, near as he can tell.

He likely assumes I’m married to someone from back East and that my husband and I run a plumbing company. He’s just a little wrong and a little behind.

It’s possible he thinks I’m quite a bit older than I am.

Who is this Columbo? My mailman. And he has a decided clues advantage.

A couple of weeks ago, on a street corner, I stood behind a mail carrier with her pushcart full of mailbox surprises—some no doubt welcomed, some surely not—and felt pangs of envy. It wasn’t the first time, and I know it won’t be the last.

When other kids played cowboys and indians or doctor and patient, I played mailman. There was something calming and fulfilling about putting things in the slots where they were intended to go. Easy but important. Especially then before junk dominated the slot-filling and forever robbed us of the anticipation of getting the mail.

If the work spectrum is assembly line on one end and mentally and spiritually challenging on the other, being a postal worker has to be somewhere left of center. That’s from where I sit, anyway, and why it’s hard to imagine why “going postal” ever became a thing. To me the job sounds rather glorious.

I did run into my mail carrier for the first time a couple of months ago. He was gregarious and friendly. Most of all he seemed to enjoy his job. He was RELAXED! The kind of relaxed I imagine comes with pushing a cart down beautiful Pearl Street with its Flatiron views and 300+ days of sunshine, stopping every few feet to put mail in boxes.

As for his clues about me, they are there if he is paying attention:

He knows I love food, (BON APPETIT), I’m a current events junkie (THE WEEK) and that tennis (TENNIS) and trail running (TRAIL RUNNER) are my thing. He probably figures I like traveling around the west (SUNSET). He may also have picked up that I have a spiritual side. … at least a pop spiritual side, near as he can tell (O – THE OPRAH MAGAZINE).

He likely assumes I’m married to someone from back East (mail and THE NEW YORKER subscription in Bill’s name) and that my husband and I run a plumbing company (more mail to Hollingsworth Plumbing and Heating).

It’s possible he thinks I’m quite a bit older than I am (WHY DO I KEEP GETTING POSTCARDS ABOUT ASSISTED LIVING PLACES??).

This is why I think the job is easy but not at all boring. I’m in. Too bad the United States Postal Service is on the wane. Bad timing on my part. I should’ve gone with my child-gut.

Jill

And Then There Were Three

Jim threw down the gauntlet and Skip was close behind, so here we go a’blogging … merrily, I hope!

It’s true. As Jim said, this “blog thing” was my idea. It’s also true I proposed it nearly two years ago and only created the site within the last couple of months. Hey, no need to rush into anything, right?

Exactly two years ago Skip and Jim came to Boulder to help me celebrate the life of my husband, Bill, with about 100 friends, a few eulogies and lots of dancing fun in true Bill Hollywood style. As the three of us hiked in the beautiful Boulder hills one morning, I posed the question … what do you think about writing a blog together? It’ll be fun. No pressure. Just us hanging out together in the interwebs.

So here we are.

Already I’ve found my brothers’ posts fun and fascinating. Regarding our first home as a complete family, I was too young to have any recollections of it, so I’ve loved reading their memories. I do remember Mom referring to the Civil War general, General Wood, and Skip’s research has borne out that it was his son, a Spanish-American War general, who actually lived there.

I also remember Mom saying the gorgeous maple, four-poster bed I grew up sleeping in belonged to the Civil War General Wood. We’ll never be able to verify that via Google, but I suspect it’s true because it is a VERY short bed typical of a time when people were smaller. Hey, do you think it’s possible to find out how tall Thomas J. Wood (Civil War dad) and George H. Wood (Spanish-American War son) were? In any case, my life memories start in Darien, Conn., so I’ll have more to say when we get to that point in our collective history.

For now, though, a few thoughts are running through my head:

  • That Dayton house had amazing character and history, and I credit Mom for landing us there. She had such an eye—and a heart—for aesthetics and history’s rich, personal stories.
  • I love that my brothers named trees in the yard based on the experiences they created with them. There’s such a joy and purity in that.
  • I think this blog is going to be a blast.

The truth is I’ve always been in awe of my brothers … all four of them … and feel like I hit the jackpot that I was added to my family before the door closed on it. We grew up with love, curiosity, trust, humor, respect and a sense of freedom and adventure, and those qualities got us through the hard times every family endures. No matter what, we were—and are—all in it together. And we do it with laughter and a sense of optimism. You’ll see.

Jill