This was the text on the return-to-sender sticker on the Christmas card that my sister-in-law sent to the farm address – Return to Sender | No Mail Receptacle | Unable to Forward.
I have known that the farm does not have a mailbox. It was one of the first things my Dad pointed out to me as a must-do. The former owner had all his mail sent to a P.O. Box. I am not even sure there ever was a mailbox at that address. Maybe all the prior owners, all of whom were in the same family, felt it more appropriate to have their mail delivered to a P.O. Box rather than the farmhouse.
Here is the rub, however. First off, we arrived several days later than originally planned. Second, I was much more tired on arrival than I anticipated (something I often do, in that I underestimate how exhausting a cross-country driving trip is, even though I enjoy every moment of it as I adore road trips). TLDR is that I have mail and packages starting to arrive and no mail box, or rather, “mail receptacle,” for any letters. As for package delivery, that has generally been OK but with several hiccups, as the mailing address for the farmhouse is not currently in the USPS system. For example, when an e-commerce website tries to “resolve” the address I enter for the farm, it changes it to a different address altogether. I visited the local post office the first morning after we arrived because of this, and I spoke directly to the postmaster, who is as befuddled as I at the weirdness. He said he would call me once he can figure out what the problem is. I hope that is soon!
I have the new mailbox picked out on the Lowes website. It is a simple black steel mailbox with a red flag. While my generally modern design tastes love the gray and silver flags, there is something so perfect about a red mail flag that I have to have one. I have also picked out a weather-resistant mailbox post and the metal mounting board. I will also need appropriate screws and quick-dry cement for setting the post. I hope to pick this all up tomorrow morning so that perhaps we can set the post in the afternoon and have a functioning mailbox by Monday.
I am also thrilled to have found a vendor on Etsy who makes lovely magnet sets designed specifically for metal mailboxes. The sets I purchased look like watercolor tulips and include some lovely script house numbers (though I will still put reflective and more “standard” numbers along the post and/or the front door of the mailbox). Her store is here if you are interested, and below is a photo from her storefront. My mailbox will look a lot like that one and I can change out the magnets with each season. I am starting spring early this year, and am likely to get her sunflowers-with-bees set or similar for summer.
Wish me luck!! Hopefully I get the mailbox up in time for the mailbox magnets to arrive without also being returned to sender.