Secret Fence Post Mail System
Contributed by Barbara Bell
Last summer my daughter and family moved to a small acreage next door to where I live. To suit fluctuating work schedules, my grandchildren, 10 year old fraternal twins, were coming to spend after-school time with me twice a week.
These visits came to an end in mid-March with the institution of the social distancing and stay at home policies. Being so close and yet so separated from my grandchildren, and really missing that connection with them, I wondered if there was anything I could do to maintain some contact. After some dedicated thinking I came up with the idea of creating a “secret fence-post” mail system, employing the fence line between our properties. Following up on this thought I sat down to compose an initial letter which I addressed to Dear ‘Miss C.’ and ‘Mr. A.’, explaining the basic idea and including an activity suggestion. I enclosed the letter in a Ziploc bag, and crossing the field between us, I pounded a nail into either side of a post in the fence line, and hung the mail for pickup!
With great anticipation, ‘Miss C.’ and ‘Mr. A.’ ran out to get their morning mail. Return mail was posted on my side of the fence-post later that day, and the mail system was up and running! Secret Mail messages since then have included ideas for activities, chronicles of daily events, wildlife alerts, ‘breaking news’ items, word search puzzles, and household pet tales. The development of a secret code has added to the fun, with a segment of each letter now requiring decoding!
The “secret fence-post” mail system is now in its sixth week of operation, and although mail frequency has been impacted lately by school work requirements, messages continue to go back and forth two to three times a week, and a very satisfying and entertaining connection is being maintained!