The Suitcase Lady


June 10, 2014, 10:59 pm

It’s hard to be creative with your mailbox. Postal, city, town and village regulations dictate the parameters for proper mailboxes and posts.

These are necessary rules, as our faithful mail carriers should not have to go on scavenger hunts to find the place to deliver our mail. Happily, creative people are not hampered by a few rules. They embellish their stock issue mailboxes or enhance the space around the boxes.

Our own box is the largest, black, rural mailbox that Fleet Farm sells, a true utilitarian object. Loving mail, I wanted the biggest size box to safely shelter magazines, book deliveries, presents and The New York Times.

We decided to dress up our plain box with numbers in an attractive, modern type style. Beautiful fonts at $30 per digit were readily available online. Finding affordable “peel and stick” digits involved a long computer search.

To help visitors find our home, we needed a marker. Lake Michigan obliged by washing up a huge driftwood pole to which we attached four black metal “scare cats” with marble eyes. The cats were a gift from my beloved Aunt Jane who was fond of ordering items from mail order catalogs. The cats’ purported purpose was to scare birds from fruit trees and gardens. Fortunately, they don’t scare anything away.

IMG_2545This last, brutal winter took its toll on the cat poll. The county’s enormous plows pelted snow down on it until the cats were walking parallel to the ground. When the ice melted, the pole crashed, and we hauled it into the garage for repairs.

A week later we found a note slipped into our mailbox. It read,”I enjoy the cats every time I drive by. I hope they will be coming back.” The note was signed, “The Silver Miata.”

We do not know anyone who owns a silver Miata, but we are happy that whoever they are likes our cats who are once again back and walking proudly up their pole.

Here are some of the unique mailboxes I’ve photographed in the Lake Michigan area. There must be something in the water. (Click to enlarge images)