The Mailbox

The country roads of WV are barely wide enough for two cars to pass, with nary a place to pull off to get the mail. You would travel home, and as you approach your mailbox, let your left tire drop off the pavement just a bit onto a gravel patch, maybe getting off the road just a few inches. You would reach into the mailbox with one arm to get the mail and with the other arm wave to traffic to ‘go around!’

The country mailbox. Living in a rural area growing up, getting the mail was a big deal. Old metal mailboxes, many rusting away, dotted the landscape of the barely two lane country road. Many of them reflected the personality of their owners. The gardeners would plant flowers around them. Many a housewife painted their mailboxes with floral patterns, the flag, all manner of decor of the 80’s. Some, like their owners, were just old and tired.

Oh how the teens liked to play pranks on the poor mailboxes. Not much to do on a Saturday night in the county, teens would drive around to ‘see what they could get into’, their mischief often turned to the mailboxes they found along the way. The worst they did was smash in the metal ones. Farmers took to building solid housing around the mailboxes to keep them from being smashed with a baseball bat. But it’s difficult to outwit an ornery teen. I drove home once on a hot summer day, metal mailbox, sun beating down, to find hot dogs cooking in my mailbox. What a fine mess that was!

So, finding this tutorial by Peter Sheeler depicting an old country mailbox made me chuckle at the memory of getting the mail at the end of the driveway. So, I got out my 5 x 7 Windsor Newton water color spiral pad, my 005 Micron pen, my watercolors and set to work painting a memory.

Take a drive down memory lane. Take a drive down a country road and ponder the lives of the folks whose mailboxes you see at the end of the driveway.

Enjoy this beautiful day,


Link to Winsor Newton Spiral Pad

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