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When we first decided in November to build a house, my primary hang-up was our new address. I was DYING to know what the address would be because I really wanted to go ahead and design my personal stationery, print our “We’ve Moved!” post cards, and order a self-inking return address stamp – the kind with a cutesy fleur-de-lis or some other such nonsense.

Little did I know how long it would be before I could even CONSIDER such things. We first were told by municipal authorities what our street number would be, and we promptly realized that it was out of order for the street. I sat on that for a couple of months, convinced that we had bigger fish to fry, so to speak. Then one day, our builder realized that the address we were given was already in use at the end of the street. So off we traipsed to the municipal office with our builder to straighten out the issue. I was quite convinced beforehand that one tiny little number in the middle needed to be changed from a 1 to a 0 and everything would be right with the world. As it turns out, that’s exactly what happened.

I recalled there being a set of mailboxes in front of our property, remnants of days gone by when my in-laws rented out trailer homes on the lot next door. I decided early on that when it became time to vacate our present home, I would forward my mail to our new address and use one of those mailboxes while the house is being constructed. The address officially belongs to me; why not? I really don’t want to go through the hassle of forwarding everything to my parents or to in-laws, and then to my permanent home. I fear that will just be a pain for everyone involved. Especially since my mother informed me that if you forward mail from one address to another, ALL the mail going to the original address gets sent to the new one. And then she promptly and politely asked me not to forward anything to her house while we live there so I don’t go screwing with the mail she and Daddy are supposed to receive. Point taken.

Having not paid much attention to the mailboxes recently, I noticed this past weekend that “my” mailbox is the only one standing now, and it has been labeled on three sides with my new address. I believe this is courtesy of my Father-in-law, who labels everything that stands still. I love him for that.

As a matter of courtesy to the dear old postal service, I left a note for the letter carrier in my in-laws’ mailbox last night, explaining who we are and that we are building next door and will be using the address for our mail starting now. Dom and my Father-in-law rolled their eyes at me (my perpetual effect on men!) but my Mother-in-law assures me that the lady who brings mail to our street will be pleased to get my note.

I also decided to test my mailbox, in much the same fashion as Draco Malfoy did with the vanishing cabinet. Put the apple in, run to the other portal, and see if it’s there. Voila, right? So I addressed an envelope to me and Dominic at the new address, stamped it up and dropped it in the outgoing mail at my office yesterday. I don’t know what I expect…maybe the letter will get lost in some black hole because the cosmos know that I do not yet have a house there? Maybe the Postmaster General will pay me a visit for sending mail to an unoccupied lot? (It’d be really cool if the mailbox didn’t work, but all these owls lined my street with my mail, awaiting my arrival! Except that the muggles would get all freaked out. Oh…um…yes, I am an adult…)

I let out a squeal as I showed our receptionist my test letter. We giggled at the thought of my lone mailbox waiting on the side of the road for any small deposit. Since I have shared with her all the ups and downs of selling and building and planning and waiting, she is equally excited at any progress we make. As we talked about this first piece of (totally bogus) mail that will be received at my new address she said, “Wow. These days just go into your heart forever, don’t they?”

They do indeed.