Now that we have bikes, I mostly go in and out the back door of our building, to where the bike shelter is, thereby missing the mailboxes. Still, every day I go separately to the front entryway to check for mail. Last week we received anniversary cards, which was very exciting. But there is one thing I have been looking for daily: a letter from a certain close friend. My friend Anna and I communicate almost exclusively by letters (the handwritten variety), and I look forward to them like you might look forward to… [Christmas. fresh-baked cookies. sleeping in. picking up family at the airport. Insert thing you really look forward to here.].
Today, I open the little box, and there’s an envelope in there, a plain envelope in unfamiliar handwriting that looks distinctly elderly. Spindly letters, painstakingly written, nothing more than was necessary. And it’s postmarked in Holland. We don’t know anyone in Holland, so I thought perhaps this was some paperwork for our movers (albeit in an unprofessional package).
I take it upstairs and pretty much forget about it while I get some water and unpack the shopping. Then I remember and open it.
Right away I’m confused, because inside this envelope is another envelope: the distinctive blue stationery Anna uses. My head short-circuits a little. Then I realize there’s a handwritten note, too, and it’s in Dutch (of course) so I pop on Google translator and here is what I read:
Dear Mr. or Mrs…. This letter was delivered to me in Haarlem.
Sorry for folding the envelope.
And then there’s a name. (Sorry for folding the envelope? This person is a saint!) My day is made, 1. because I got the letter and 2. because some nice person who could not possibly have any idea of my situation was kind enough to forward a piece of misdelivered mail. Let’s all remember: misdelivered mail could be from someone’s best friend, and we’d all best forward it on. OK? OK.
*We will withhold judgment of the Dutch postal service, since we have received all sorts of mail in the past three weeks. Not sure what happened to this one! Where even is Haarlem… must go consult map…