Remember when the postman came at the same time every day? Sometimes, when we were waiting for an important delivery, we would wait outside by the mailbox.

We were often disappointed. Heck, he only brought bills.

Wow! Times have changed. What used to be known as a postman is now a mail carrier. Some changes are good.

There is practically no waiting. Facebook, Instagram and email give us instant news and updates. Long gone are the days of handwritten birthday cards, usually written in cursive, with $5 bills embedded or tear-stained condolences.

Who more conscientiously sends or happily receives postcards? Now we often follow our Facebook friends and their travel photos in real time. And no one ever sends postcards with stamps showing what they had for dinner!

These mini mail trucks are very cool. It must be difficult for the driver to steer on the right side of the mail truck on roads designed for normal vehicles.

It’s always interesting to see what kind of equipment independent rural carriers drive. These guys look a little wilder.

I don’t miss licking stamps. It’s better to beat, but, to tell the truth, I don’t have a single brand in my house. Instead, we often pay our bills online on the website using a credit card.

Forever stamps are a great idea. Waiting in line to buy 17 one-cent stamps was no fun at all.

Remember when the postman used to leave a special official note saying that there were not enough stamps on the mail and that postage was due?

All I get is spam. If supermarkets and shops paid as we do for first-class mail services, all useless advertising would be eliminated.

Yes, the few times I sent something to a foreign country, it seemed a lot more expensive to use airmail, but it was so beautiful.

I often ask them and hear that almost all postmen have been bitten by dogs. This is something they will never get used to. Of course, most dogs are friendly to the carrier.

I live in an apartment and most mailboxes, which are federal property by the way, look alike. Smashing a mailbox with a baseball bat is a federal crime!

Many creative approaches to mailboxes. In the Florida Keys, nearly life-sized manatees eat mail, and huge groupers feast on the bait, or mail, in several Chester County homes I’ve seen. Many still decorate with seasonal flowers, Halloween and Christmas.

Postmen are not always in a hurry. It must have been such a sexy form. One neighbor married her postman. Talk about special delivery!

As children, we loved sending mail. There’s something special about flipping that flag to let the operator know you’re sending something.

It’s so nice to see a little tender and loving help while the West Chester Post Office on Gay Street continues to be renovated. Step inside and step back in time. Many of our post offices are wonderful historic buildings, and the post offices in the area are no exception. No offense to Airport Road Post Office, but I’ll take history over functionality most days.

Mail carriers are athletes. They walk several miles a day carrying all this mail. As I often do with nurses, I look at the wearers’ shoes to see how comfortable they are on the feet.

Was Cliff Claven of Cheers based on a real character?

Many still tip the mailman during the holidays, and I’m sure it’s much appreciated.

How many of us have sent a letter to Santa at the North Pole and received a reply? What is Santa’s zip code?

Therefore, deliveries do not happen every day. We don’t wait by the mailbox. Children rarely raise the flag joyfully.

But still, I love this mission or motto of the Postal Service: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night will stop these couriers from speedily completing their appointed round.”

I was checking my mail when I wrote this. Wow! I received a real postcard. Memories came flooding back.

It was from friends visiting Oklahoma. The postcard was much cooler than the couple of emails and internet photos I received from this trip.

The note looked as if it had been hastily written by hand. In the upper right corner, right where I remembered it, was a stamp with a red barn. This stamp had a matching stamp so it could not be used twice.

It wasn’t said, but maybe just maybe they wished I was there?

Bill Rethew is a weekly columnist and native of Chester County. He rarely sends anything, but he’s grateful that he could if he wanted to. Best to contact him at