This is my mailbox. It reminds me of being in college and picking up mail each day from home. The community mailroom is a contract from USPS with the window only open from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM each day. The room itself is open until late at night and very early in the morning, but if you get a yellow card, it means there is something to pick up at the window. Hannah and Charlie have had the contract for 14 years and often bring their dogs with them — Morgan, the chocolate lab and Mackenzie, the yellow lab. I love to stop and say hello and especially Mackenzie will put her rather substantial paws up on the counter and say hello. Tuesday when I stopped at the window to pick up a package of oil and vinegar I had ordered from California, they asked if I wanted to see the puppy! Of course I did. So here came Remington. Remington and Mackenzie, who is just over a year old, have the same parents.
Hannah said, “Remy will almost be big enough to get the cookies soon.” “What cookies?” I asked. “Don’t you know about the cookies?” Obviously I was missing something very important to the mailroom experience. Apparently some people leave dog treats at the back of the mailbox. When they are ready to put the mail in the boxes, Mackenzie then goes around checking for treats! “Not every day,” I was warned, because that would be too many treats. This tradition started with Moose the Mailroom Dog who not only picked out the treats, but learned which boxes were most likely to have them, and then could identify the owners when they came up to the window! I would have liked knowing Moose.
I left the first treat in my box on Wednesday. (I took the treat from the vet’s office having just taken Sydney for her annual check-up.) This morning when I checked my mail at a little past 11:00, I asked if I could take photos of the dogs for this blog. Without hesitation, I was offered both dogs (the brown lab has stayed home lately) and Mackenzie thanked me for the treat I left. Once the thank you licks were completed, the dogs did what young dogs and puppies do best — wrestled around while packages were distributed.
In my enthusiasm to get photos and talk about the dogs, quite a line formed behind me and I was embarrassed when I turned around to see a couple of scowling faces. But…no one said a word, I apologized, and thoroughly enjoyed my few moments at the mailroom. As I was leaving the building, it occurred to me that this is yet another experience with community that makes me glad to live here. I left with a smile on my face and am smiling as I write this and look at the photos. It’s good to take time to enjoy small (or in this case not so small but very big paws) pleasures.