Mail time was always looked forward to. Most days once the mailman left the mailbox and disappeared down the road John and I would run out to see what he left this time. Most of the time there was a letter or two, but what we really liked was the day the weekly grocery and K-Mart fliers would come.
We would sit on the floor and study and dream about all the good food, and then we'd look at the toy section of the K-Mart flier. It was my dream to have a doll with a real face and hair, even though I loved my rag doll "Sally" very much.
Then one week the mailman didn't stop and John and I were perplexed and troubled that we no longer get mail. We asked Mom why he no longer stops and she told us he would if we would put the flag up. We wanted to run out and put the flag up right away, but she told us we can't do that unless we put something in the mailbox first.
We went on with our day with that new bit of information stored inside our little heads, and when the next day the mailman still didn't stop we took our own steps to rectify the problem. We dug a few carrots from the garden, gathered some pine cones, and selected a few of our favorite rocks from our collection and placed them in the mailbox and put the flag up.
The next morning we waited anxiously for the mailman to come, we were sure with all the great things we put in the mailbox he would be sure to leave us a lot of mail in return. When he finally went we ran to the mailbox only to discover that not only didn't he leave any mail, he didn't like what we had put in the mailbox for him. He had scraped the whole mess out on the ground.
We ran in to tell Mom all about it. That was the day we learned how the postal system worked, she explained everything and then helped us write a letter for Grandma. The next morning she helped us put it in the mailbox correctly and let us put up the flag. The mailman took our letter and several weeks later John and I got a letter of our own from Grandma.
The system really worked just like Mom said it would.