Thursday, December 14, 2017

Where to start...

December 13, I turned 60 and my husband turned 70 and we celebrated 15 years of marriage. I changed my mind about what I wanted to do to celebrate, and so on the actual day, I stayed home. My three children, Casey, Jessica and Rita spent the day with me. Jessica prepared a breakfast, then we opened presents. Oh my gosh, they overdid themselves. Any ONE of the gifts would have been more than enough, but what I thought was THE gift – my very own mailbox – wasn’t the grandbaby of them all. But look at this mail box:

See? What writer of letters wouldn’t love this beauty?

Then I opened a smaller box and inside contained a key chain with two gold keys on it. It had my name on one side and on the other P.O. Box 113. I didn’t know what it was as the mailbox above had its own set of keys.

Really, I didn’t know what to think. I sat there staring at the gold keys. My kids said something like, “Look at Mom, she doesn’t know what it is or what to think.” They were correct about that. I looked closer at the gold keys and saw engraved U.S.P.S., but still nothing was clicking in that brain of mine.

Then they told me: “Mom, we rented a post office box for you for a year.”

“Really?” Huh, I was thinking. What for? I mean, I love to go to the post office, but wasn’t sure why I'd  need a post office box.

“We also posted on Instagram and have been telling anyone who wants to write you a letter, they can write to P.O. Box 113.”

“What? Are you for real?”

“Yeah. And guess where the post office box is – which post office?”

“Valley Park?”


My arms went sky high and I shouted “Whoo-hooo!” But then I looked around, “Oh my gosh, you’re kidding, right?”

Then they showed me the Instagram message telling people – random people – write my mom a letter and mail to Lynn at P.O. Box 113, Valley Park, MO  63088.

Stunned doesn’t explain my brain. Let me just say that the Valley Park Post Office is an old post office and they have the best employees. I had gone to a post office in Manchester, in a strip mall type area, but they closed and I was so upset because I wasn’t a fan of the other post offices around. I’ll keep it nice. But someone told me about the post office in Valley Park and as soon as I pulled in the parking lot, I fell in love. (Yes, I drive extra just to go there.) And then the employees that work there, well I fell doubly in love as those ladies are great. They are kind. They are sweet. They always have a smile on their face. They are patient and hard working.

When my kids asked what I wanted to do next (after opening my gifts), I said, “Go to the post office and check out my post office box and see if I have any mail.” Duh.

We all piled in the car and drove to Valley Park Post Office. Oh, and 13 is my favorite number for obvious reasons, but other reasons as well. I thought the kids asked for P.O. Box 113 on purpose, but it turns out, it was one of those serendipity kind of things. We talked on the way how there might not be any mail in the box because it’s only been a week and well, not a lot of people like to write and it’s a busy time of year, but I thought it’d be fun regardless to just see the post office box. I was like a kid in a candy shop. I took the key and stuck it in the key hole of P.O. Box 113 while the kids gathered around and snapped pictures. I noticed the long line in the post office and people were looking our way, smiling.  

I opened the box and viola, LETTERS! I grabbed them, counted six and hollered, “Whoo-hooo!”

I wanted to go in and talk to the ladies that work at this post office because they know me and I wanted to tell them what I got for my 60th birthday. Everyone inside waiting in line smiled and it turns out they wondered what was going on – they thought I just found out I was a grandma or something. Ha.  At first I thought they thought I was grandma.

Jessica made a key chain out of bark, painted gold on one side and on the other side are the words: “Like flowers ache for spring, my heart craves my mother more than anything.” This key chain holds the keys to the post office box and mailbox.

In this group of letters was a letter from each of my kids – that they put in my own personal (above) mailbox.

It was the best birthday ever! (There’s more to tell, more gifts, more cards, more people who touched my heart, but I’m keeping this about the mail.) I plan to blog as often as I can to let you know what mail comes in… it may be brief because I’ll have letters to write!

I not only have my own mail box, but my own post office box where people will be writing me letters – what a thrill!


  1. Happy belated birthday, Lynn! That surprise couldn't have happened to a nicer person!

  2. Oh, what a cool surprise. I'd say your family knows you very well indeed.

  3. That is the coolest birthday ever! Congrats on your mailbox. BOTH of them! You were meant to have P.O. Box 113. No coincidences.

    And let's not forget spending the day with your creative kids, who knew just what to give you.

    1. Yes, I'm pretty sure it was the coolest birthday ever!

  4. Lynn--Those two gifts are perfect for you. Happy 60th. (You sure don't look 60. You look much younger.)

    1. The gifts, I know, right? And there are days I feel older than 60! LOL.

  5. This post has so many good vibes. Your kids are such creative and awesome people. You deserve all good things. happy birthday.

  6. As my pen pal for over 20 years, what a perfect gift for a writer! I will be sending my letters to your big mailbox!


    1. Wow, I knew it was a long time we've been pen-pals! Love it!

  7. Hi Lynn, I just got you post about your birthday on FB, so here's withing you the happiest belated birthday, which sounds like you did have. I felt the love you share with your family as you told about your gifts. It's a great story. May the blessings be! Tell everyone in ST. Louis howdy for me from Oklahoma, where I now live...

    1. Thanks Leon! I will tell everyone you said Hi!


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