This is a picture of my mother’s and brother’s mailbox on a country road in OK.  Mom walked to the mailbox every day for years, but now relies on my brother to stop on his way into the lane to her cabin to fetch the daily mail.  I probably send more things through the mail to her than anyone else in my life.  The image of her sorting through bills, ads and nothing with a handwritten address motivates me to send the occasional note – often with hard copy photos.  Nancy Pope, a curator at the Smithsonian’s Postal Museum said, “Mail is just not as deeply emotional anymore.  We don’t have the ‘Great…the mailman came’ moments.”  Correspondence through the US Postal Service has been disdainfully dubbed “snail mail” by those with the desire/means of more immediate connection.  Mail volume will continue to decline, even as the US Postal Service grasps at straws to adapt, cut services here, add services there.  Big blue collection boxes are being ripped up and destroyed. Banking is done online.  Bills are paid online – features of technology I embrace and love.  First-class mail is where the greatest decline in mail volume has been felt.  In other words, my mom’s mailbox has been hit the hardest.  I think I need to go now-and take a minute to hand write a note to my mother, put a stamp on it, go to my mailbox, raise the little red flag and send my note along its way.  Neither the postal system nor my mother will be here forever.