You've Got Mail

August 19, 2016

 When we first bought Hale Kamaluhia, we were told that we needed to get a P.O. Box because there is no mail delivery. It didn't bother us too much, because we were living on Oahu at the time and all of our mail was delivered there. Just before we moved to Molokai, Yvette went to the post office and got us a P.O. Box. It was kind of a good feeling because we were official residents now. 

The problem with a P.O. Box for those of you who have never had one, is that there are many places who will not deliver to them, which is tough when you live on a remote island and you order stuff off the web all the time. A lot of vendors on Amazon won't ship to a P.O. Box, you can't list your business in Google with a P.O. Box, and the novelty of running to town every day to get you mail doesn't last long. Luckily due to my astute powers of observation, it only took me a few weeks to notice that there were mailboxes all along the road. Then one day I saw a mail truck delivering mail and I went to the post office to ask about it. It turns out that if you live west of Kaunakakai there is no mail delivery (That is where Hale Kamaluhia is), but if you live in town or east, you can have your mail delivered. I asked how I could get my mail delivered and was handed a simple form to fill out and was told I needed to install a mailbox and was given instructions on how to do that. I wanted to make sure the mailbox was installed correctly as I was going to cement it into the ground and it was not moving after I set it in, so I read the requirements thoroughly. Just like anything published by the government, it was fairly vague. The mailbox should be about 3 1/2' to 4' from the ground (not must, but should), and you must use an approved USPS mailbox, but if you get a lot of mail, you can use a bigger one. Armed with this information I headed to Ace to get my supplies. I got my 4' X 4' post, a 1" X 6" board and a bag of cement. Since there were no mailboxes at Ace Hardware, and Yvette was heading over to Oahu anyway, she picked up one and brought it back. It didn't take long to install, and I made sure it was level, plumb and straight and I made it 40" tall. It was a nice looking mailbox. I then took my form and headed to the Post Office so we could start getting our mail. I handed the form to the clerk and he said everything looks good. I asked when I could expect to be getting mail delivered so I could cancel my P.O. Box. He told me the Post Master was on vacation for a month and she is the only one who can approve it, come back in early August. With my dreams of mail delivery crushed, I headed home to wait. Early August came and I again headed to the teller window to check on the status of my new, but now slightly weathered box. I was told the Post master had hurt her leg and would be out a few weeks more.  Disappointed, but not beaten, I headed home. A few weeks later I again went to check on my box and low and behold she is back, but not in right now. The teller did tell me that the mail carrier was checking the mailboxes that day to verify they meet the requirements for mail delivery. I actually saw her taking pictures of my mailbox as I was coming back from town and stopped to talk with her. She agreed that it was a fine looking mailbox and she would be proud to deliver mail to it. She even offered to take a picture of me next to my mailbox. That was a few days ago and I have not had time to go into the post office to check on the status, but hopefully someday soon (before I have to replace it), I will have mail in my almost new mailbox.

 

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