we used to wait

Walking to the mailbox every day was a very important task for the sisters.  Mom had to rotate through all six of them--one for each day of the week, she said.  She was a very fair mother.

On Sam's day, she would take slow steps.  Walking back to the house, she wouldn't even glance at the letters in her hand.  Solemnly, she'd hand them to Mom and, braids flipping, dash up to her room.  

Hannah, the youngest, felt the importance of Saturdays.  That day she was the mail bearer.  She wore her best apron and deposited the letters neatly into each pocket--one pocket for Mom, and one for Dad.  She turned up her nose when Hope tugged her blonde ponytail demanding her letters first.  She went straight to Mom and handed the letters only to her.

Hope only cared about the mail when it was for her.  On Wednesdays, Dad would find the bills under piles of homework and to-do lists on the kitchen table.  

Susan and Mckenzie didn't mind the task, but they preferred doing dishes together.  Hannah eagerly switched chores with them whenever they didn't feel like walking all the way to the mailbox.

When France got the mail, she would disappear for hours, and the mail came to Mom crumpled and poorly sealed.

The sisters still make the ritual trek to their separate mailboxes each day.  The only mail they get is from each other.  Or collection notices.

photo by Hilda Grahnat.

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