I’m a fan of the U.S. Postal Service. Even during all that endless ice of February, our faithful letter carrier showed up at our mailbox.

But change is coming, I thought. Cluster boxes have been appearing all over town, and across the nation. This isn’t a new thing, Cluster boxes have been going up in new additions and housing developments for the past several decades. They have their advantages — less danger of dog bites for those folks in blue, and they lock, so if you leave home for a day or two you don’t have to worry about stopping your mail — but on those February days I was especially glad I didn’t have to walk or even drive to the middle or the end of my block.

From doing some research, I’m relieved to learn that even if a cluster box comes to my neighborhood, I can continue to get mail delivered to my door. According to the Postal Operations Manual, apartment complex managers and homeowners association managers control their method of mail delivery, but if individual property owners get a letter inviting us to change, we don’t have to sign the form and pick up our mailbox key; they actually (according to their manual) cannot change our delivery unless they have approval in writing by the customer. Unless we want this method of delivery, all we have to do is watch for the mail.

Change is part of life. But isn’t it nice when good things don’t change?

Bette Husted


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