You’ve Got Mail!

DSCN3410Opotiki Mailboxes 

Talk about hot mail! A microwave re-purposed for a  mailbox, tickles my funny bone. Mr. Bill and I have seen all sorts of creative mailboxes when we are out and about. Old gas cans and water containers are fairly common but my favorite by far, is the  Evenirude outboard motor in Ohope Beach. It’s brilliant. Wouldn’t it be fun to lift the lid to collect your post?

If your correspondence doesn’t come microwaved or electronically via the internet, you can’t beat delivery by the Ohope Postie. Our Postie, Lisa, is wonderful. She delivers the mail on her bicycle, rain or shine. On beautiful days, when I cycle by her, I think that’s the best job in the world- fresh air, the open road and exercise. Not all days are smooth sailing though- even in Paradise. On windy days when I’m huffing and puffing, struggling  against the wind, I marvel as she peddles by, her basket and side saddle bags laden with letters and packages. When I get caught out in a rainstorm, I head for home as fast as I can, while she stays the course , finishing her rounds.

There are no secrets kept from the Postie. Watching her sort the mail outside Beachpoint, I waited, ever  hopeful it was my lucky day. I asked her if she had any love letters in her bag  for me. As soon as I spoke, I could hear my daughter Audry’s voice in my head saying, “Mom you are so awkward!” (at least I didn’t sing it). The Postie didn’t miss a beat. She shook her head and admonished me, that there would be no love letters for me. Then she smiled and added, “unless they are from Bill.” When I told Mr. Bill of our conversation that night, he was astonished and asked, “how did she know my name”?  Ah, Dear Mr. Bill, the Postie knows all; besides she has been delivering our mail off and on for four years now.

One time, our mail had a Kiwi adventure all it’s own. A card from our dear friend, Kitty, went on a field trip, through the Ministry of Primary Industries. Letters from Kitty are a day brightener. The envelope is addressed in her flowing cursive and is embellished with fantastic stickers. Kitty’s penmanship looks as enthusiastic as she speaks, you can hear her cheery voice as you read the words. When you open a letter from Kitty, there’s always something extra special inside- photographs, comics and newspaper clippings about New Zealand, cut from the New York Times. One of her cards must have been a real standout, in the customs mail sorting center; triggering an inspection  by the Ministry Of Primary Industries.

Now Mr. Bill and I love watching Border Patrol on TV. The inspectors have keen eyes for something that’s out of the ordinary and Kitty’s letters are extraordinary. Was it the beautiful sticker of orchids and the card’s extra weight, that caused an inspector to flag the card for inspection? Smuggled seeds are a grave bio security risk. It makes me smile to think, that when opened for inspection, the card’s contents brightened someone else’s day too, with a little bit of love sent all the way from America. Now, Kiwis are a modest lot and no one likes a bragger but I just can’t help being more than a little bit chuffed, that my mail passed inspection.

The most mysterious mail delivery  I received was passed from hand, to hand, to hand; it was a bizarre version of a chain letter. It all started with a phone call. Mr. Bill answered the  landline one May evening in 2015 and our friend Gavin said, “Open your door, there’s a package outside”. The package was an envelope, which was handed over to Mr. Bill, who passed it along to the addressee, who was me.  Just my name, no address. Inside was a generous gift certificate to The Hui, our favorite restaurant and nothing else, no note, nada! I was alarmed, who would send me an anonymous gift and where would I send a thank you note? Mr. Bill wasn’t  too concerned with the mystery, he was happily anticipating an evening at our local- on my dime! It took a bit of sleuthing but I finally solved the Case of the Secret Admirer-which turned out to be many secret admirers. Our children had purchased a gift certificate from  The Hui  for a Mother’s Day surprise. Fran, the restaurant’s owner, had left the envelope at reception, for ‘the Americans’ and it found it’s way to me. There’s no need for neither addresses nor tracking in a small town, things get delivered just fine!

May all your letters arrive posthaste and be filled with love.


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7 Responses to You’ve Got Mail!

  1. Muriel Wagner says:

    Couldn’t you just see these mailboxes lined up in IRONHORSE or PGA!! What a hoot! Loved the photos and of course all of your “Travels With Mr. Bill”. Keep ’em coming please.


    Sent from my iPad



  2. Karen Higgs says:

    You forgot to mention that some of the Posties were of advanced years which put me to shame .They have my full admiration.


  3. Raewyn Lockart says:

    Just loved this one Maureen. Really tickled my fancy. Looking forward to your BBQ farewell tonight
    and hope you noticed how we shook up your world early this morning to let you know we are not happy about you leaving. Ha Ha!!


  4. Melinda Wax says:

    Hi Maureen-
    Loved your dissertation on Ohope mailboxes…. I will definitely pay more attention to roadsides while spending summers in New Zealand. Sending a longer email but want to wish you safe travels and enjoy your farewell hugs and nibbles.


  5. Rose W says:

    Hi greaat reading your post


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